When Bad Things Happen

By Courtesy of the Rapid Response Team   •   January 27, 2010   •   Topics:

What does the Bible say about why we suffer?
God created us because He loves us. God never intended for tragedy and prejudice, wars and hatred, lust and greed, jealousy and pride. God meant for Earth to be a paradise, a place where there would be no death.

But a man and a woman, Adam and Eve, rebelled against God. This act of rebellion said, “I don’t need you, God. I can build my world without you.” As a result, mankind must suffer and die. Physical death is just the death of the body, but the spirit lives on. If your spirit is separated from God for eternity, it will be lost forever.

God has provided a rescue in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ.

Gen 3; 2 Corinthians 1:3-4; Psalms 46:1-2

Is God angry with me?
No, God is not angry with you. In John 3:16, the Bible says that He loves everyone. However, because we live in an imperfect world, we all deal with good and bad. God is aware of everything that happens and has the ability to take what was intended for evil and use for good. The evil in this world does not render God powerless. It is quite the opposite. He promises to be with us – and, if we live life in relationship with Him – to guide us into a life of peace and freedom from fear.

John 3:16-17; Romans 8:28; James 1:1-4; John 10:10

Why me?
It often feels like difficult circumstances are directed at us. We live in an imperfect world, and the Bible says that it rains on the just and the unjust. We all live through painful and uncomfortable things. Who are we trusting when those things happen to us? Are we self-reliant or do we rely on God? If we reach out to God in time of need, then we are accessing the One who created the universe. The Bible says that He is waiting for our response. He has already made the invitation through His Son Jesus. Why you? Because He loves you. He wants you to look to Him so He can rescue you and bring you peace.

Romans 5:8; John 11:1-44

What good can come out of this?
There are no easy answers, just simple ones: growth and glory. We grow because when life hurts, we pay attention and we find out what is real and whom we can trust. In the Bible, in James 1:1- 4 tells us when we face trials, we can see it as a positive thing in our life because ultimately we are going to grow from it. That’s hard to realize when our pain is all we can see and feel. But, after you’ve experienced life as a follower of Jesus, and you’ve experienced His faithfulness, then you know it’s true.

The other answer is a bit more complicated, and it is found in a Bible story about a blind man that Jesus heals in John 9. The man didn’t do anything to deserve to be blind, and when asked why the man was blind, Jesus answered, “So you can see who I am.” He healed the blind man so that the blind man and everyone around him would be amazed by the supernatural power of Jesus and know that He is Who He say He is. It was the best gift He could give them, and us. We are attracted to greatness. God is the greatest of them all and He desires to be with us.

James 1:1-4; John 9; Romans 8:28

How do I recover spiritually from this?
The natural response is to deny that you are affected by the crisis. The truth is that crisis affects everybody it touches, but it affects each person differently. David, in Psalms, tells his soul to praise the Lord. He was in a dark place emotionally, but he knew that praising God was necessary and that calling on Him could effect the outcome of the situation. Psalm 42 and Psalm 88 are Psalms of lament. The writers were despondent, yet they sought God in spite of feelings. Counselors will tell you that feeling will follow fact. So, there are some things that we should do to recover:

    • Acknowledge your need for God.
    • Read God’s Word, the Bible (or listen to it on tape or DVD. Psalms is a good place to start).
    • See if there are others who will pray with you.
    • Look for ways to serve others.
    • Stay connected with a body of Christ followers (small group, activity group, service group, church).

ll ways to be thankful and ways to express that to God and others.

Psalm 9:10, 34:17, 50:15, 145:18-19; James 5:13-16

How can I be strong when my life is falling apart?
When life is difficult, we look to God and find out that He has grace. In 2 Corinthians 12:9, the Bible tell us that His grace is sufficient for you, for his power is made perfect in our weakness. First, we must give our situation and life to God; this is the hardest part, because we feel more secure of we think we are in control of things. Once we give these things over to Him, He is going to give us the ability to stand up and endure.

It is hard to admit weakness. That is what it takes to act in humility and allow God to take control of your situation. Acknowledge to God that He needs to bear your burdens because you can’t anymore. Jesus longs for you to come to Him and know Him personally.

Matthew 11:28-29, 2 Corinthians 12:9; 1 Peter 5:7

Would You like a personal relationship with Jesus? Visit our Steps to Peace page to find out how you can know Him.

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11 Comments

  1. ayo oliver says:

    You have helped me. Thanks so much. I really need God.

  2. Laura Kinkade says:

    My marriage of almost 30 years is terribly flawed. My husband refuses to meet me halfway in so many ways. He is overworked and underpaid and miserable. He won’t budge to even try to spend any quality time with me at all. He says he can’t stand to be idle. He says he can’t change and that he’s always been this way. We’ve grown apart and are both miserable. Is there any help out there?

    1. BGEA says:

      Hi Laura,

      We are so sorry to hear about your marital problems and just prayed for your marriage.

      To start, we urge both of you to examine your relationship with Christ. Have you committed your lives to Christ? Are you seeking to follow Him? If not, make that commitment now, and learn the joy of having Christ at the center of your marriage. When a husband and wife are truly seeking to honor Christ, they won’t want to hurt each other—quite the opposite, they will want to encourage each other. As you pray and learn from God’s Word together, God will help both of you become the loving partners He wants you to be.

      We encourage you to seek the counsel of a Gospel-teaching pastor or professional Christian counselor as well. These individuals can provide more personal, ongoing guidance for your specific problems. Many couples have found this to be helpful in strengthening relationships and improving communication skills as well.

      Finally, since our ministry is more focused on evangelism and discipleship, you might also visit the Focus on the Family website, which has many helpful articles and resources on relationship struggles (www.troubledwith.com/). You could also check out the books “Love Must Be Tough” by James Dobson or “Love is a Decision” by Smalley and Trent.

      God bless you.

      – BGEA Staff

  3. Carli Savage says:

    Please pray for me I lost my mother at a very young age and my world seems to be falling apart in the midst of all this I’m losing friends left and right who always promised to be there for me. Also, there is so much family drama going on right now between the family I could really use some prayer thank you

  4. Charlyn Gibson says:

    Please pray for Rev. Graham foremost.
    I need also to ask for prayer for my brother Rick Sabbides who has been battling advanced stomach/colon cancer for just over 3 years now. Thank you very much.
    Charlyn Gibson
    Pinellas Park Fl

  5. Shanaya says:

    Please pray for me Pastor. thank you.

  6. Shanaya says:

    Please pray for me.

  7. SHEILA says:

    MY DEAR MR. GRAHAM (BROTHER). MY DAUGHTER TOLD ME I NEED TO READ MY SCRPITURES WHEN I TOLD HER I DID NOT AGREE WITH HER STATEMENT THAT CAUSES BAD THINGS TO HAPPEN TO PEOPLE! SHE TRULY BELIEVES THAT! I TOLD HER OUR FATHER HAS A DESTINY FOR US AND IS ALWAYS WITH US. BUT BEACAUSE WE HAVE A FREE WILL WE DIVERT FROM HIS PATH AND WHEN WE CRY OUT FOR HIM HE IS THERE WAITING FOR US TO REACH OUT TO HIM! BROTHER GRAHAM, SATAN AND OUR ON FOOLISH JUDGEMENT CAUSES BAD THING TO HAPPEN TO US! AM I MISTAKEN? I ONLY SEE MY LORD AS LOVING AND GIVING FATHER! WE PUNISH OURSELVES WHEN WE SIN AND DO NOT WALK HIS PATH AND SEEK HIS HELP AND FORGIVNESS. I WAS RAISED TO BELIEVE THERE’S ONLY ONE UNFORGIVABLE SIN. THANKK YOU, YOUR SISTER IN CHRIST, SHEILA

  8. Omo says:

    I was so confused, broken but Tim give me courage and strength again. Am happy for this type of site

  9. jackie says:

    Thank you for the encouragment

  10. Patricia says:

    Thanks for your article. I have faith and trust in GOD and turned everything over to HIM as soon as my health started to get complicated. My health is slowly improving, but my finances are a mess, since I had to stop my part-time job income in April of this year. I am in need of HIS aid on a loan, grant, etc to continue to help me and my needy family survive.
    PRAY!PRAY!PRAY!