Why do bad things happen to good people?

A common question with a simple answer: because we live in a fallen world. We were never meant to live here or to deal with the evil that rules this place.

I believe the overall assumption of most people is that we basically live in a good world that has some bad things in it. Bad things happen, for some unknown reason, to good people.
Or worse yet, there are those that believe God allowed something bad to happen to teach them a lesson.
Both assumptions, according to the Bible, are wrong.

The Book of Genesis tells us that God created heaven and earth, crafting them, forming them. He divided night and day, added water , land and creatures.
After he prepared this place, he created a being: a man. The Bible says He created this man in HIS own image (Genesis 1:26), a spirit being, clothed in the full glory of God and given “dominion over the all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.” In verse 27, it states that He created male and female in His image. And in verse 28 “He blessed them.”
When God created humans, both male and female, we were created in His image, as spiritual beings, clothed in His glory and wanting for nothing. He supplied everything that we would ever need in this world. He was our source, our supply house, and we would never want for anything.
The only thing he told Adam to obey, was to avoid eating the fruit of the tree in the midst of the garden, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. They could even eat the fruit of the tree of life, but not the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  Adam and Eve both ate of it (the original sin had less to do with eating this fruit than about blaming God for it). Adam blamed God for giving him Eve, who gave him the fruit. (Genesis 3:12) Many people today still blame women for the original sin, but Scripture states that Adam was with her. (Genesis 3:6) He was right there too, and God told him, not Eve, not to eat the fruit. Eve received the information 2nd hand, from Adam.
When the serpent (satan) questioned Eve about eating from the tree, Eve replied, “God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die”. (Genesis 3:3)
The thing is, God never said anything about not touching the fruit. He told Adam, “Don’t eat it.” Eve added “touching” to it, because she got the information 2nd hand.
That was satan’s “in” with her. He knew that if he could convince her to touch it, and it didn’t kill her, he could likely get her to eat it.
Well, it worked, as we know.

As a result of Adam’s disobedience to God’s Word, Adam and Eve were stripped of their spiritual glory and placed in a fallen world. A cursed world.
This world.
Instead of having everything provided for them, humans were now “on the outs” with God. They had to toil on their own. Humans were not the only ones affected by this, the whole world fell. All the animals, all the plants…everything was now cursed.

But God’s love for mankind was evident even then. In Genesis 3:22, God hid the tree of life from them, for if they ate of that, they would have been cursed and lived forever. Not good.

God set into motion that day, a plan to redeem us back to Him, back to His blessings and to His Glory through Jesus. It was an act of mercy. An act of Grace.

This is a fallen world, with an enemy that hates us. While we are here, satan has access to us. His job is to try every single day to destroy us through manipulation and lies. He will try at every chance to influence our decisions, to maneuver us to a place where he has better access into our lives.
Some people don’t believe in satan. Or his legions. The only I can say about that is: it doesn’t matter if you believe it or not. It neither negates satan’s existence, nor protects you from him. In fact, it likely opens you up to allowing him access into your life. He needs permission to operate, and by doing nothing at all, the default is him. That’s his permission. This is the world in which he operates, has authority to operate, and unless you choose God, the default is satan. Not the other way around. This is not a good world with a little bad, this is a fallen world that satan is allowed to operate in, and the only good things in your life here come from God. Sorry, but that’s the truth. You have an enemy, whether you “believe” in him or not. (1 Peter 5:8-9) and unless you choose God, you are part of this world by default and your father is satan. (John 8:44)

So, why do bad things happen to good people? Because we live in a fallen world and satan has access to anyone here. Becoming born again and allowing God to transform your life through the renewing of your mind with His Word will mitigate satan’s control of your life, but I’m not going to lie. As long as we occupy space in this world, we will have to battle satan, but he is a defeated foe. His only power left after Jesus stripped him is to influence your mind. He has to convince you to allow him access by manipulating your thoughts. He will use people, emotions, situations, circumstances…anything to get you to believe that God cannot help or that God “did this to you”. God isn’t in the business of punishing people. He sent His only Son to take the punishment that we deserved. He’s not even in a bad mood where we’re concerned, but we have to BELIEVE this. And choose Him.

Additionally, through ignorance, people inadvertently allow satan access. By not knowing the Word of God, you are at a greater disadvantage to being influenced by the forces of darkness. Someone that’s deemed “good” can just as easily be caught up in worldly affairs as someone deemed “bad”. The world and its views are inherently antagonistic, by nature, to God and His Word. Most of what passes as “good” today, finds itself lacking within the pages of the Bible. People want to “go along to get along” and not seem old fashioned by adhering to some dusty old manual, but this will come at a cost. And sometimes, a very grave and great cost. You see, satan also knows God’s Word. And he is a master at twisting it. The way to defeat him, is to know the Word, know what God said, so that when darkness shows up, you can use the Word to make it go away. (James 4:7) It will, no doubt, come back at a later date, but that will just give you more time to bone up on God’s Word, so that you have more ammo. I won’t guarantee a life free from bad things happening, but I can guarantee that a bad day with God, is better than a good day without Him.

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I died again and no one cared

There seems a never ending list of people these days, who disappoint me daily. From friends who never pick up their phones when I call, or only call me when they need something, to my husband, who, in finding out that I had the flu, peeled out of the house as fast as he could to go on a business trip clear across the country for 5 days.
Every time I turn around, someone is letting me down.

It’s very difficult not to feel hurt, not to feel let down by those around me. I’m not going to lie.  I feel like most people in my generally vicinity suck. That’s the long and short of it. And I could, very easily, fall victim to a mindset of getting back at them. Ignoring them, making life difficult for them, all because I hurt.
But I choose not to.

Self centeredness is something that every person, Christian or not, will struggle with until the day we die. When we are self centered, nothing spiritual gets through. Any blessing, any breakthrough, is bogged up, like a clog in the line of the drain from Heaven to Earth. Sure, you can justify your hurt all day long, telling yourself that others deserve what they get from you. After all, they’re the ones who forced you to act this way.
But no one is forcing you to act poorly. It’s just an excuse. It’s a demand that self centeredness requires to keep you in bondage.

The Apostle Paul said that he died daily (1 Corinthians 15:31). He didn’t mean that his body physically died, but that he had to choose not to be self centered every day.
The cure for self centeredness is God’s Word. To replace your thoughts with God’s thoughts.
And God’s thoughts are not of this world.
Renewing your mind with God’s thoughts requires the death of your old mind. It’s constant and dynamic, requires choice on your part and a willingness to do the work.

Proverbs 14:12 states “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death”.
We live in a modern world where 144 characters can define our moods. Where we have 1000 opportunities a minute to be offended at the very slightest thing. We talk at each other instead of with each other, each waiting for their turn to get their points across.
But no one ever gets their points across because we are all too busy making points.

I choose not to be offended, because God has shown me that in doing so, I will have peace.
His peace.
A peace that surpasses all understanding.
Quite frankly, it’s too much work now to get rankled over every little thing. For the length of time I’d spend being angry, hurt or plotting revenge, I could spend that time more productively, at peace.
I’m not perfect, not every day. There are days I would much rather cut someone than love them, much rather pick a fight than walk away from one. But those days come less often than in the past.

I could’ve spent the 5 days my husband was gone, moping around angry. Instead, since I was down for the count anyway, I CHOSE to renew my mind with God’s Word. To replace the anger with His Peace.
I CHOSE to die to self. And I am grateful for it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The world may promise but only Jesus delivers

1-19-2017

I sat at my kitchen table this morning, eating breakfast as usual, checking the weather on my phone. The app said 10% chance of snow.
The weather at my house apparently didn’t get the memo, as I sat watching fat flakes tumble to the ground.
How many times does the world get it wrong?
Many.

Did I mention that I really like snow and that warm weather had melted all that had previously fallen? That our area’s 7 day forecast is more warm weather to come? Or that it was technically too warm to snow this morning? Did I also mention that I am usually not up at that hour, that circumstances arose to get me out of bed earlier than normal?

The Holy Spirit whispered to me: “All things are possible to those that believe”.

Jesus Beyond Church Walls

How does God speak to you?
Many people don’t know, they never thought about it. How many people go to church every week, check off the “church” ticker on their “to do” lists, and don’t revisit the “God thing” until the next week? Maybe some add a few nightly prayers into the week. Some might even go to the church masses on a daily basis, but never open the Bible outside the church walls. Or never actually have a conversation with God.

Let me ask a question: does God want your attention only when you’re in a designated building, designed for prayer?
I found that answer in my own life to be: no.
He wants my whole life, every day. He wants me to know that He’s there, always and forever, and He wants me to rest, knowing that He’s “got it covered”.
What “covered”?
Everything.
It’s called Grace and it’s there for everyone who is willing to receive it.

I grew up in the Catholic church. Every week, I went to church because I was supposed to. My parents took me there. I sat in the pews and listened to what sounded like the equivalent of the grown ups in the Peanuts cartoon (wha wha wha wha). Jesus was mentioned, but I didn’t really know Him. Most of the time I spent silently assessing people’s outfits or demeanor, during mass. Hats were of particular interest, especially the really elaborate ones.

I also went to church school on Tuesdays. I didn’t mind that, because I got to leave school, and most of the time in church school, we just fooled around and got into trouble with “Sister Judith”. Fun times.
But not really educational.

Later, after much soul searching, studying and truly finding out who Christ is, what He did and why, I have come to the point in my life of much freedom.
I get it.
Most of the questions that I had growing up, that never got answered by the people I asked the questions to, are now answered. Those that aren’t answered yet, I have faith will be, some day. And there are some that God plainly says are “Not to be answered now. It’s not your business”.
Because I trust Him, that’s okay with me. He is never going to do anything in my life that would result in harming me. In any way. Ever.

I also learned that God speaks to me through nature.
Recently, I had a conversation with my brother about how God speaks to us. For him, it’s through music. For my other brother, we were both guessing that it would be through written words, although, he hasn’t yet come to know God very well.
Yet.
The point is, God speaks to each one of us through a unique channel. Even though He might speak to many through a medium like music, it’s not the same process, the same conversation or the same message. Each individual has a different experience, even though it could be the same medium, the same genre, or even the same song! God knows each of us individually. For some, the conversation begins, and may stay, in the church walls. That’s okay too.
But if you are not being fed the proper spiritual food, don’t just starve. Purpose to find out how God wants to communicate with you. He wants to communicate with you. In fact, He probably reaches out hundreds of times in a day, but it’s chalked up as “coincidence” or “that’s weird”. Those are the moments to pay attention to. He’s there, always patient, waiting with His hand outwardly stretched and inviting all to grasp it.

Now I pray in the middle of a field, while walking my dogs. (I still “go to church”, but I don’t limit my time with Him to just that) That’s my favorite thing in world, to be in nature, talking to God. He shows me things that other people never see. Sometimes, other people come with me, just to humor me, and come away amazed. “Wow! I have never seen that before!” is oftentimes repeated afterwards. “That was amazing!” or “It’s just so….so….beautiful out here!”.
I know. It’s God. He wants to show you those things too. Just ask Him to.