Monday, May 24, 2010
Dear friends, don't be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you.
—1 Peter 4:12
We can accept the idea of suffering in general, especially when it happens as a consequence of bad behavior. But when bad things happen to good people, we don't get it.
Being a Christian is not a guarantee that we will be exempt from suffering, however. Christians will suffer. Christians get cancer. Christians have heart attacks. Christians die in automobile accidents and plane crashes. Christians face the same tragedies as everyone else.
Yet we are surprised, even shocked by that. As 1 Peter 4:12 reminds us, "Dear friends, don't be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you." In other words, don't be shocked that it is happening to you.
Since my son Christopher went to heaven, I have had people come up to me and say, "Why did this happen to you of all people?" The implication being that I get a free pass because I am a pastor. But I suffer along with everyone else. Jesus said, "I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world" (John 16:33).
As Chuck Swindoll has wisely pointed out, "God never promised He would inform us ahead of time all about His plan. He's just promised He has one. Ultimately, it's for our good and His glory."
So that is not to say there are no answers as to why bad things happen to good people. It is just to say I don't know them at this point in life. But I know that God works all things together for good. I know that He is in control. And I know that He is good.
Copyright © 2010 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996, 2004. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.
- This life will have its sorrows
- God loves us
- Jesus weeps in our times of pain
- God can be glorified through human suffering
Hope for Hurting Hearts, Pastor Greg Laurie's new book, examines these truths, revealing God's love and care for us, and shows how we can find hope, even in the midst of the most unbearable pain and sorrow.