Sometimes it seems that the good people are the ones getting attacked with illness, financial stress or other disasters, while those who have no respect for God are flying high and enjoying life. Have you ever wondered why bad things happen to good people?
There are four basic reasons why Christians suffer with trials:
God is changing our direction
While all “real” Christians are on the same path towards God, He has a unique purpose and calling for each of us. And although we may be on track and living as close to what God expects as we’ve learned from the scriptures, it may not be the place where God wants us at that time.
There may be times when God wants us to go in a different direction and work in an area or with people that we’ve never considered before. But since we feel that we’re right where we’re supposed to be, sometimes God needs to get our attention and this can come through trials. Some of the greatest teachers in the world are a result of trials that they have experienced and got the victory over in their own lives.
Most of us don’t like change, especially when our lives are productive and yet still comfortable. And God knows that we wouldn’t consider change on our own, and so He allows things to happen that will cause us to cry out to Him. Whatever it is we’re going through, we need to seek God and ask Him to show us why we’re going through it. He is faithful and will not only give us the strength to get through it, but work through us to help others do the same.
- Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.—Proverbs 3:5-6
God is disciplining us
God is our Heavenly Father and we need to see Him in the same light that children see their earthly father. They love him because he bestows so much love upon them and he protects and cares for them. But he’s also their disciplinarian. When they disobey the rules of the house, this same loving father has to evaluate their behavior, judge the situation, and then punish them accordingly. He does this because he wants them to grow up in the truth and stay away from the sinful things of the world.—(Proverbs 22:6)
But children that aren’t disciplined and who have been allowed to get away with things, not only lose love and respect for their father, but for anyone in authority. As they grow up, many take resentment in being told what to do and this is when we have rebellion and total disrespect for authority and for the law.
In the same way our Heavenly Father wants to keep us away from sin. He knows that the world is a powerful influence because it’s controlled by a devil that uses sin to keep people from Him through lies and deception that feed their desires and lusts. But God is greater and more powerful than a fallen angel, and He disciplines us when we get off the path by allowing certain trials to come at us. But with each trial, He also provides an answer—(1 Corinthians 10:13)—and He will bring as many trials as it takes to keep us on the right path that leads us home.
- I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.—Psalm 32:8
When deception rules
Many people think they are Christians, but they don’t know God. They are deceived by false teachers and doctrines that convince them they are part of this “new world Christianity” that no longer demands change like the “old-time Christianity”. They let the lusts of the flesh direct them and never study the Bible to know the truth.—(2 Timothy 4:3) And what better way to keep these poor, deceived souls under the devil’s thumb than to deceive them into thinking that their riches and “blessings” are from God when really, it’s all from him? And what better to way to further destroy their lives than to attack them with sickness or other traumas and fool them into thinking that God will heal them?
On the outward (2 Timothy 3:5) they appear to be nice people who are polite, helpful, always smiling, and seem to live in abundance. Neighbors look at them with envy. But “nice” isn’t enough! People need salvation! Without it, they don’t have God’s blessing or protection; only His judgment to come! Those who know God, who have repented and turned from their sins and have accepted the pardon of those sins—salvation—have Jesus living in their heart, and they follow the gospel of Christ and trust God to protect them.
Jesus died for everyone (John 3:16) but only those who accept it and act on it are saved and are part of His kingdom. The rest of the people still belong to this world and to the devil’s kingdom—regardless of how “nice” they appear to their neighbors. And even though they don’t know it because they’re being deceived, they still belong to the devil and are still under his rule which is sin, and will still face judgment for that sin one day.
- Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.—Galatians 6:7
When the enemy attacks us
Sometimes attacks come against Christians who truly love and serve God because the devil doesn’t like what they’re doing, and so he tries to destroy their lives. He wants them to turn from God and die lost, and if he can’t do that then he’ll do what he can to destroy their lives so they won’t be a witness of God’s love and power.—(John 10:10)
When these trials come, we need to immediately turn to God and cry “Abba Father” because He WILL hear us and He WILL help us. The devil wants to us to break, but God wants us to trust Him. He’s already defeated the devil and the Bible is filled with promises that reveal this truth, and all we have to do is study it and get the truth into our heart.
God doesn’t expect us to fight the battles on our own. We can’t beat the devil no matter how smart or how strong we think we are, and we are deceived if we think we can.—(Ephesians 6:12) But Jesus can! And He did at the cross! We need to dig into the scriptures so His word become real in us. God is our only hope; our only help. Then we will be equipped to stand against the attack and seek God for healing. We may be attacked because we belong to God or because we’re stepping out in faith, but God will always bring us through them all when we trust Him.
Bad things may happen to good people simply because we live in this world and are susceptible to all the same things as everyone else. But we have a Father who loves us and when we trust Him, nothing can separate us from His love and His help.
- For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.—Romans 8:38-39