A good friend of mine asked me, “Julien, why do bad things happen to good people.” I didn’t really have the best answer for him. I responded and told him that it was sometimes due to the choices that we make. Looking at the reaction on his face I could tell he was not satisfied with my answer and then he asked the million dollar question. “Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people.” This question has been the topic of many debates and even the reason why some people today do not believe in God. When he rephrased the question this way, I felt obligated to shed some light on the question and what my thoughts were, since I also have asked myself this question numerous times over.
I asked if he had ever read the book of Job in the Bible, he answered that he had, however, he said, the book of Job did not answer the question but only left him more confused. To my readers who are not familiar with Job in the Bible, he was a man who served God diligently and was wealthy. The devil told God that Job was only diligent to him because of the things God afforded him to have and went further to say that, if Job did not have those things that he, Job would turn on God and curse God. God knew what Job was made of and so he allowed the devil to test Job. Let me pause for a second and point some very important things out from what I just said. First and foremost, nothing happens to us physically in this earth realm without first happening in the invisible realm, which I like to call the spirit realm. Secondly, the devil cannot test you without God’s approval. That should put a smile on your face because it means God is aware of your situation. The book of Job ends with Job never cursing or turning against God and God restores to Job twice as much, as what he had before because during the testing period, Job lost everything.
We have all heard the saying, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. In this case what doesn’t kill you builds up your faith in God, it did for me. when we overcome bad things in life, it builds up our character in God. Even Jesus had to suffer many things physically on this Earth more than some of us will ever suffer and he was one who never sinned. Sometimes, we go through stuff to be able to help others once we have come through ourselves. The point is, how can you help or understand what the poor is going through, if you’ve never been poor. How can you know what it’s like to be sick, if you’ve never been sick. How can you be someones’ helper, if you’ve never felt helpless.
It’s hard to explain fully why bad things happen to people in general but sometimes it’s not the bad things that happens to us that is important, it’s what we take away from it when it’s all said and done. The Bible verse that helped me to stop asking why God allows unpleasant things to happen to me is Isaiah 55 verse 8. This verse tells us that God’s thoughts and ways are not like ours. When I fully understood this verse, my questions changed from,”God, why did you allow that to happen to me,” to “God, what are you saying to me through this situation and what would you like me to learn from it.” Big game changer for me and allows me to deal with things a lot better. These are Julien’s thoughts and what’s on his mind.