Maybe you have asked that question in the past, or are asking it right now. When bad, horrible things happen around us or too us, we often ask that question. A question I hear some times is why do bad things happen to good people. My standard answer has been that we live in a fallen sinful world. Well that is true, but there is more to it.
I started reading this book by Jerry Bridges called “Is God Really In Control? – Trusting God In A World Of Hurt.
This book has been very helpful in getting a better picture of who God is, and why we should always trust Him. The author does a great job of answering some of the tough questions we have about God and the things that happen in this world.
I thought I would share some of the authors thoughts with you. Here are some of the things that I highlighted in the book:
“In order to trust God, we must always view our adverse circumstances through the eyes of faith, not of sense.”
“God in His love always wills what is best for us. In His wisdom He always knows what is best, and in His sovereignty He has the power to bring it about”
“In order to trust God we must know Him in an intimate personal way.”
“To corral our anxious speculation about God in times of suffering, we must shape our vision of God by the Bible, not by our experiences.”
“All people – believers in God as well as unbelievers – experience anxiety, frustration, heartache and disappointment. Some suffer intense physical pain and catastrophic tragedies. But what should distinguish the suffering of believers from nonbelievers is the confidence that our suffering is under the control of an all-powerful and all-loving God; our suffering has meaning and purpose in God’s eternal plan, and He brings or allows into our lives only what is for His glory and our good.”
“Prayer is the acknowledgement of God’s sovereignty and of our dependence upon Him to act on our behalf. Prudence is the acknowledgement of our responsibility to use legitimate means. We must not separate the two.”
“As we watch tragic events unfold, or more particularly as we experience adversity ourselves, we often are prone to ask God, “Why?” The reason we ask is because we do not see any possible good to us or glory to God that can come from the particular adverse circumstances that have come upon us or our loved ones. But is not the wisdom of God-thus the glory of God- more eminently displayed in bringing good out of calamity that out of blessing?”
“The good that God works for in our lives is conformity to the likeness of His Son. So His good is not necessarily our present comfort or happiness, but rather conformity to Christ in ever increasing measure for eternity.”
“But real change, down in the depth of our souls, is produced as the tenets of Scripture are worked out in real life. This usually involves adversity. We may admire and even desire the character trait of patience, but we will never learn patience until we have been treated unjustly and learned experientially to “suffer long” (the meaning of patience) the one who treats us unjustly. If you stop and think about it, you realize that most godly character traits can only be developed through adversity.”
I have been challenged and encouraged by this small book. The author uses a lot of Scripture to back up his thoughts.
I am only half way through the book and looking forward to the rest. What I have taken away so far is this: God has a much bigger plan than we can comprehend, and we are playing a small part in that big plan. When adversity hits us, it is often a big growth time in our lives and develops godly character. God also uses our adversity to bring others into relationship with Him and transform lives. God really is in control!
Between this book and our current series at NewPointe called “What Lies Beneath” I am really doing some self-examination. I am seeing that I have a lot of work to do in many areas of my life. I am realizing that God loves me so much that he wants me to become more like Jesus in every area of my life. He is cheering me on and encouraging me to grow and mature in my faith, character and leadership.