Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Why do bad things happen to good people - Part 9

There's a philosophy in our culture today among Christians and non-Christians alike that if you're a good person, nothing bad will happen to you. If you're bad and something terrible happens, then you got what's coming to you, right? Many well-meaning Christians believe if they follow Jesus, they'll have a great life! Unfortunately, the Bible doesn't exactly agree with that idea. In fact, it often contradicts it. Yes, Jesus promises to give us an abundant life, but His idea of what abundance means and ours may be very different! If you've missed the first 8 reasons why bad things happen to good people, please go back and check them out.

This week, the 9th reason bad things happen to good people is to provide evidence for, to empower, and to spread the testimony of the Gospel. Here's a few examples from scripture:

Daniel was thrown into the Lion's den for refusing to stop worshipping God. He was a godly man, above reproach who had done no wrong. But an angel closed the mouths of the lions and spared Daniel. As a result, King Darius, witnessed first hand the power of the living God and declared that everyone in his kingdom should worship and revere the God of Daniel.

Did you know that the apostle Paul wrote most of his letters to the churches while in prison, and some while he was in chains and standing knee deep in sewage? Thousands came to know Christ through Paul's testimony and the man was beaten mulitple times, shipwrecked, starved, mocked, chained, and imprisioned. Do you think these things empowered his testimony or weakened it? Would his words have had the same impact if he had been wealthy, well-loved by everyone, and living in comfort?
A friend of mine told me yesterday that he just got laid off from his job. He said it so causually that I had to ask him to repeat it. He's the breadwinner in his family and he didn't seem the slightest upset or concerned. He told me that he knows God will not let him and his family starve and that God is in control. In this trembling ecnomony where jobs are few, his faith just blew me away. And it helped to strenghthen my faith too. And I bet any non-believer who crosses this man's path will be touched as well by his awesome testimony of the love, mercy and faithfullness of God.
So, if you're suffering right now. Consider that perhaps God is allowing this problem to increase your testimony of His love to others.

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