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When Bad Things Happen to Good People

I’m sure at least once in your life, you’ve heard someone say, “If there is a God, why does He let this really bad things happen?”

Or maybe someone firmly believes in God and still questions these things. Maybe you’re one of those people.

A lot of people questioned their beliefs in God after the terrorist attack on our nation September 11, 2001. A lot of people watched September 11 unravel in horror. Nearly 3,000 people lost their lives that day. They may have lost their faith after praying for their loved ones to come home, but never did. A lot of people started questioning how God could let something so horrendous happen.

We ask ourselves, “how could a person take a gun into an elementary school and shoot little kids and teachers?”, or “what kind of person drives a car into a crowd of protesters, killing three people?”

I recently asked myself why bad things happen to good people after the recent loss of one of my school district’s middle school teachers. I was heartbroken. She was an amazing woman with a smile always on her face. Why did this have to happen to her?

There are a few answers that I strongly believe.

  1. It’s not God doing evil. God is not the one who crashed the planes into the Twin Towers, the Pentagon, and a field in Shanksville on September 11. God did not shoot up Columbine High School on April 20, 1999. God did not bomb a marathon in Boston, nor did He shoot up a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado. Imperfect people did. 
  2. Satan. It’s no surprise that Satan strives to turn our hearts away from God. I wholeheartedly believe that when we don’t let God speak to us, we let Satan in. And he isn’t telling us to go to church and read our Bibles. He’s telling us to do evil. All of the events I named above are evil acts. They are not acts of God, but acts of Satan.
  3. Free will. God did not create evil. He created the potential for evil. Because we are imperfect people, we sin — a lot. We do horrible things that God doesn’t approve of. Because of our imperfection, we have free will. We are free to do what we please. Sometimes what we do has great consequence depending on the sin. However, God did not create evil. He created the potential for evil right from the start with Adam and Eve and the poisonous tree. God is always testing us, like He did Adam and Eve. They both were tempted by Satan (SIN) and ate the poisonous fruit, allowing evil to occur. Had they not eaten the poisonous fruit, we would all be perfect people, but God knew that they would sin with the potential for evil.

Are you confused yet?

God is a pretty wise guy. God is wise enough to foresee that we need some pain in our lives for reasons we cannot see; He sees it necessary for eventual good.

Long story short, bad things happen because of choice. God does not sit in the sky with a wand and say, “Hey, I’m going to have this bad thing happen today.” Bad things happen to everyone, good and bad. Bad things happen to good people because all people, good and bad, are imperfect sinners. No matter how nice a person is, they are still a sinner. No matter how much they go to church on Sundays and read their Bible, they are still a sinner. We are all sinners and that is why bad things happen to good people.

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Don’t Let Your Enemies Become Friends

“Satan will do all he possibly can do to remind you of past sin… He will tell you the Lord is disapppointed in you… never believe a word of this” (Stanley, 2008).

 

Let’s get one thing straight: Satan is NOT your friend. He never was, he isn’t now, and he never will be, under any circumstance. Satan is no friend of ours. He’s no man. He’s just a little boy who has nothing better to do with himself than to mess with our lives. He’s not even worth the capitalization of his name.

Satan is, well….Satan. He wants to hurt us in any way possible. His goal is to put us through every battle, every hardship, every tiff, every anxiety filled moment that he can. He wants to tear down every dream, everything we’ve worked for. His mission is to be the jealous ex-girlfriend watching her ex-boyfriend from the sidelines get very close with someone. He just can’t stand it. So what does he do? He intervenes. He’s determined to get in the middle of your relationship with someone special. Not because he wants the other person. But because he wants you.

He wants you.

But there’s someone better with a better life plan for you that you can run to. I hope I don’t have to say who that is.

Satan is like spam mail. You have to keep deleting those useless emails out of all the good emails you have. And once you click on one bad email, your whole computer is infected with this virus and it’s not working the right way, like it should.

Under no circumstance should we ever find ourselves making a bargain with Satan. Even on those lonely nights when you’re emotionally drained and have nowhere to turn and you feel like you can’t hear God talking to you, you should never listen to the devil sitting there on your shoulder, telling you to give up everything and turn against God. Because Satan will sit there and plea with you that he has a better life for you than God ever could. But it just can’t add up.

Satan is like a stranger in a van, offering you candy. Don’t let him tempt you. One piece of temptation is enough to tear down everything.

Because Satan is your enemy. And the enemy is not your friend.

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Yeah, I Wanna Get Married Young

Yeah, I do want to get married young.  And I’ll openly talk about that desire.  But if you dismiss that idea as stupid or never going to happen, I’ll probably shut down.  Why the heck do people think it’s okay to shut down other’s dreams?  Let me rephrase that …  Why would you want to diminish someone else’s desires?   

Yeah, I Wanna Get Married Young

Let’s frame this in the lens of Scripture, because, especially in this circumstance, it’s incredibly important.   

“Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4 NIV).  

If you’re not first delighting in God’s presence this verse is not applicable.  Nor can you fake delighting in God’s presence.  I hate the phrase “fake it till you make it.”   It makes me cringe every time I hear it.  No, how about actually be honest about where you’re at and be joyful and content with where you’ve made it to.   Now, if you’re not in a good place spiritually, that’s a different conversation altogether. That was a little off topic, though.   

This verse is telling us that God does promise to give us the desires of our hearts if we delight in Him.  So when someone says that they have a desire to be married whether young, old, anywhere in between or any desire that is honoring to God, don’t shoot that down.   

I have had so many people say, “Yeah, well, life doesn’t turn out like you plan.”   And I kinda just nod my head.  Because I feel like if these people know me at all, they should know that I know that my life hasn’t turn out how I planned already.  However, I also am completely and one hundred percent aware of the fact that God has bigger and better plans for my life than I could ever imagine.  So when it comes to marriage, there is no exception.   

Look, I’m not saying that I’m going to be horrified and angry if I don’t get married young.  I’ll be content with it.  However, when that’s something I talk about, it’s because it’s a desire that I have.  It’s like a little kid saying they want a toy or a piece of candy.  Do you tell them they’re never going to get that toy or piece of candy?  Probably not.

That escalated quickly, but seriously, just use your words wisely.