Friday, July 5, 2019

Why Does God Allow Bad Things to Happen to Good People?

But I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for He makes His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.”  
Jesus  
(Matthew 5:44,45)

Recently, a dear friend, asked me to write an article exploring the question of why God allows bad things to happen to good people.  I must say, when she first asked, I was stumped because it is a question I have personally wrestled with for many years.  In response to my wondering, the Lord gave me some thoughts that I felt led to share with you today.  I hope they will be an encouragement to you in whatever struggles you currently face.


"A mother of four returns home from church to find her husband’s mangled car, just a block from home.  As she enters her house, the phone is ringing.  It is the hospital telling her to come quick, that her husband has been in an accident.  She asks, “How bad is he?” only to have the nurse on the other end of the line insufficiently cover the receiver while asking another nurse, “Shall I tell her?”  In that moment, she knows he is gone.  She struggles wondering why he wouldn’t stop drinking, how she will tell her children their daddy is gone, and how they will ever make it through.

After the ending of a tumultuous relationship, a sweet, kind-hearted girlfriend takes him back just one more time.  She gives him everything he asks for, including the money in her purse, only to have him return a few hours later to ruthlessly and repeatedly stab her face and body, leaving her lying in a pool of blood.  She is found, arms folded, eyes turned Heavenward, dead, on her apartment floor.

She and I stand beside my mother’s/her great-grandmother’s casket as she begins pouring out her heart.  Addiction, abuse, and bad lifestyle choices have caused her to lose custody of her three children, and the only way she could attend the funeral was by obtaining a special pass from rehab.  She tells me how she has made up her mind to change, and I tell her how proud of her I am.  Just a few weeks later, she is released from rehab and everyone thinks she is finally turning her life around. Then someone makes an offer she can’t refuse, and she decides to go back for one more fix.  Something goes terribly wrong, and her Daddy finds her dead the next morning, lying on his bathroom floor.

This stuff isn’t made up.  This is real life.  Each of these are true and have touched my life and the lives of those I love in a deeply personal way.  I could go on and on.  There are plenty more stories.  You could probably share many of your own.  The human condition is something we all have in common.  Everybody hurts.  We all cry.  Things touch our lives, and we are left reeling, sometimes to never fully recover.

So, the question is, why does God allow bad things to happen to good people?

Why does God look on while such things happen?  How can a loving God allow such pain to be inflicted upon His creation?  We hear of horrific happenings every evening on the nightly news, and we find ourselves asking the age-old, still-unanswered question again and again.  Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people?

In spite of the frequency and number of times it has been asked, the question remains unanswered because to answer this question one would have to be able to see into, know, and fully understand the mind and reasoning of God.  We know from Scripture that God is high above us, and His thoughts and ways are beyond what we have the capacity of comprehending.

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the LORD.  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”  Isaiah 55:8,9

“For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct Him?”  I Corinthians 2:16

“Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind and said, "Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?  Now gird up your loins like a man, And I will ask you, and you instruct Me!  Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?”  Job 38:1-4

From these verses, we conclude that we can never fully answer the question of why God allows bad things to happen to good people, but as we look at a broader view of Scripture, we can see that God’s original and never-faltering nature is and always has been purely and entirely good.  Our hearts cry, “Why, God?” when bad things happen because deep in each one of our spirits, we believe that God is good.  We believe He is sovereign, that He is in complete control, and that He can prevent bad things from happening.  So, why doesn’t He?

This world, when first created, was a perfect place where nothing bad ever happened and all was ideal.  Even the concept of “bad” did not exist.  God created Adam and Eve and placed them in a perfect paradise and named it the Garden of Eden.  God said that everything He had created was good, and He gave them one command, “Don’t eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.”  They made the conscious choice to disobey that one command, choosing evil over good, and when they did, they performed the very first exercise of free will.  The choice they made was a bad one, and for the first time, the reality of “bad” was introduced.  In the beginning, “bad” was never a part of God’s plan.  His intentions for His creation were and always will be, all good.  If Adam and Eve had obeyed and stayed in the center of God’s original intentions, “bad” would not have been introduced to their world.

Accompanying disobedience to the command to not eat from that one particular tree, was a consequence.  If they ate of that tree, life would forever change for them, and instead of living forever in an Eden on earth, they would die.  Not just a natural, physical demise, but also a spiritual death.  Their sin would separate them from God and create a barrier to their fellowship.  Because of their disobedience, they were driven out of the utopia God had prepared for them into a world where Adam had to earn his living by the sweat of his brow and Eve had to bear children through agonizing pain.  We can see that their punishment was self-inflicted and caused by their own unwise use of the free will God gave them.  It certainly wasn’t God’s “fault” at all.  He gave fair and ample warning as to what would happen should they use their free will to disobey.

Adam and Eve lived out the punishment for their sin, but their errant actions didn’t just affect them.  How wonderful it would have been for the human race if the repercussions had stopped there!  In reality, because of Adam and Eve’s disobedience, each one of us is born with what Bible scholars call the Adamic nature.  The nature of Adam.  The propensity to sin and perpetuate the bad choice and disobedience that started in that garden all those years ago.  No man is an island.  Just as their actions affect us and every other person ever born, our own actions, whether good or bad, affect other people.

Free will is not selective.  It is universal and innate.  Free will when mishandled breeds bad choices.  Bad choices generate bad consequences and repercussions that spill over into the lives of others causing never-ending ripples that affect not only the present but future generations.

In all of the three examples I shared, we can see that unwise use of free will caused the suffering of others.  In each of these situations, God could have intervened.  He could have prevented the grief and heartache of the sufferers and victims, but in order to do that, He would have had to override the free will of another person.  He gave us free will, He CAN override it, but if He did, it would no longer be unbridled and authentic free will.  God obviously did not want to fill the role of puppeteer over our lives.  He created us with a unique will and the power to choose, and He will not revoke that decision or forcefully control our actions.

In situations like the ones I’ve mentioned, it isn’t hard to see what caused bad things to happen to good people.  But, what about the young wife, Sophia, who dies of a congenital heart disease?  What about another young wife, Melissa, who dies of cancer just months after her wedding day?  What about the Christian blogger who suffers horribly from Rheumatoid Arthritis?  We are always looking for a cause, aren’t we?  When nothing makes sense, and we aren’t able to reconcile what is happening, our first impulse is to blame the One Who could have prevented it.

Joseph in the Old Testament was ruthlessly betrayed by his eleven brothers, sold into slavery, forced to move to a foreign land, falsely accused of a crime, thrown into prison, completely cast aside, and forgotten.  At the end of his suffering, God elevated him to the position of 2nd in command in the nation of Egypt.  When he faced the traitorous brothers who were the cause of his deep trials, and they feared severe retribution from him, he said this, “Fear not: for am I in the place of God?  But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.”  Genesis 50:19,20

All along, God had a plan and was in the process of orchestrating it in and through the life of Joseph.  The fact that Joseph could not see that plan through eyes behind prison walls did not negate the fact that God had and was executing said plan.  God always has a plan.  Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.”  This doesn’t say that all things will BE good, but it does promise that all things work together for good.  Not just the good things, but the bad things, too.  It is like a jigsaw puzzle.  When you open it and lay out the pieces, you see bright pieces that instantly make perfect sense and are immediately recognizable.  A fuchsia colored flower, a puffy cloud, a fallen leaf.  But, there are also many ugly pieces that seem to make no sense and seem completely out of place and unrecognizable.  As time goes by, you put the pieces together, piece by piece, only to see that the ugly pieces had purpose, too.  What looked like a black, pointless piece turns out to be a gentleman’s hat or a hinge on a garden gate.  Its purpose is crystal clear once the pieces are fitted together.  The beautiful, identifiable pieces sitting right next to the ugly, mysterious pieces in perfect harmony, just like the puzzle maker intended.  When the last piece falls into place, you stand back and look at the full effect, and then and then only, does it all make perfect sense, and you realize that every piece was a part of the plan all along.

I don’t understand why the young wife with a congenital heart disease had to die, was never afforded the opportunity to live out life with her husband, have babies, or grow old.  What I can say is that before she died, she asked him to promise her that he would pursue a musical career.  He faithfully kept that promise, and it opened the door to a ministry that is blessing people all over the world.  In the aftermath of his deep loss, he wrote a book called, “Hope in Front of Me: Find Purpose in Your Darkest Moments” and started a homeless ministry in honor of his wife, Sophia, called "Sophia's Heart", now known as "Better Than I Found It."  His name is Danny Gokey.



I don’t understand why the young wife had to die from cancer, why she was never given the opportunity to live out her dreams or why God chose not to heal her and spare her life.  What I can say is that her young husband drew deep inspiration from his pain and wrote a book called, “I Still Believe: Discovering Hope and Healing in the Midst of Life's Deepest Valleys” and songs like, “There Will Be A Day” and “He Knows.”  I hear they are making a movie about his life that will, undoubtedly touch the lives of millions.  His name is Jeremy Camp.



Joseph Scriven’s first love & proposed bride drowned the day before they were to be married.  He moved from his home in Ireland to Canada, fell in love and became engaged a second time, only to endure the heartache of her death just a few weeks before their scheduled wedding.  His sorrow propelled him to pour his life into helping the handicapped and destitute.  When his mother became ill, and he had no funds to return to Ireland to be with her, the immense anguish in his heart became the birthplace of “What A Friend We Have in Jesus.”



After Horatio Spafford lost his young son to pneumonia, much of his business was destroyed in the Chicago fire, the ship that carried his four young daughters collided with another ship, and all four of their lives were lost, he wrote the song, “It Is Well With My Soul.”



Maybe instead of asking the question why God allows bad things to happen to good people, we should be watching to see what happens afterward.  Maybe we should start looking for the good things that were birthed from the point of pain.  Countless survivors of bad things have overcome their circumstances to go on and share their stories and let others know they are not alone.  Their testimonies have resonated with millions who have found hope in the midst of their own heartache.  My Daddy always told me that character is forged in the crucible of pain.  He spoke from places of deeply hurtful personal experience and was one of the most humble, kind-hearted, giving, unselfish, compassionate people I have ever known.  When faced with life’s challenges, we are given the choice of allowing the anguish to make us bitter or better.  My Daddy chose the latter, and it resonated through everything he ever taught me about life.

“Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.”  2 Corinthians 1:3,4

From this verse, we can conclude these things:

Our God is the God of ALL comfort.  His comfort extends to every possible bad thing that can ever happen.  We do not walk alone.  Whether it be divorce or painful separation, the death of someone dear, the loss of a job, a stifled or unfulfilled dream, the loss of a pet, disappointment, embarrassment, shame, betrayal, abuse, shock, financial distress, depression, addiction, anxiety, despair, suicidal temptation, abandonment, ex-communication from a denominational sect, slander, or any other life event, His comfort covers it all and is equally effective in every situation.

Our God is the Father of mercies!  He is merciful to us.  The love of God comforts, it doesn’t condemn.  He doesn’t blame us for the bad things others inflict upon us.  He doesn’t shame us for being victims.  His mercy is a healing balm that will wash over every place of brokenness and open wound, if we will only stop blaming Him and open our hearts to His healing.

Once a person has received comfort from God in any particular area of life, they are automatically endowed with a deeper capacity of compassion in that area.  Once someone has walked through divorce, they are much more sensitive, non-judgmental, and understanding toward others who find themselves in that position.  After walking through the valley of the shadow of a mother’s death, a person is far better equipped to empathize with the friend who just lost her Mom.  The recovering addict whose family left due to his out of control cocaine use is far less likely to ever cast judgment on the teenage junkie he meets ten years down the road.  It is amazing how God places specific people in each of our lives who are going through identical pain to our own.  This is not by coincidence or accident but is Divinely-appointed providential care both for us and for the person who is suffering what we have already gone through and survived.  It holds a lot more weight to look a suicidal person in the eye and say, “I’ve been there.  I’m still here.  I made it, and you will, too” than to just be able to say, “I’m sorry you are going through this.  I can only imagine how you feel.”  Bad things prepare and qualify us for authentically compassionate outreach in our own areas of experience and expertise and make us far more effective as we offer that same kind of comfort to someone else.  “that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.”  See how that works?  As you look back over your life and recall the bad things that have happened to you, it is very likely you will therein unearth the area of calling God has placed upon your life.  When you were suffering most and felt God-forsaken, He was furnishing you with the very tools He would one day empower you to use to help and minister to others.  There are few things more gratifying than to witness the power of God’s redemption of your own sorrow and to see how He takes what was bad and transforms it into the impartation of good.

The words of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem, “The Rainy Day” hold much wisdom and truth.
“Be still, sad heart! and cease repining;
Behind the clouds is the sun still shining;
Thy fate is the common fate of all,
Into each life some rain must fall,
Some days must be dark and dreary.”

These things I have spoken unto you, that in Me you might have peace. In the world you shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. “  Jesus (John 16:33)

Because of Adam and Eve’s sin in the Garden, we live in a fallen world where “bad” has been introduced.  To think we will walk through life unscathed by tribulation is unrealistic.  It is all in the overcoming.  Because Jesus overcame, so will we.

Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people?  While I don’t feel we can ever fully comprehend the mind of God and our finite thoughts can never be reconciled with the infinity of His, could the answer to this question lie in the fact that God knows good people will use the bad to become better?

Full disclosure – Many of the thoughts I share were born out of a deep, late-night conversation with our dear son, Zach, and he greatly contributed to the thoughts I am presenting here.  Thank you, dear Zach, and may God ever bless you for the continual blessing you are to your Daddy and me.

30 comments:

  1. What a moving and inspirational piece you have penned here, Cheryl, addressing the age-old question of why bad things happen to good people. And with you, I believe that we can rise like a phoenix from the ashes of sorrow, using the trials we've been through to help others through theirs. God is still with us, and His strength will sustain us.
    Blessings to you and yours!

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    1. Amen, sweet sister! How very true. Your kind words and support are so appreciated. Many blessings to you and yours, also!

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  2. WOW! Cheryl, what a wonderful, insightful, and encouraging exploration of the Sovereignty of God. You and Zach make a fantastic writing team! I LOVE the testimonies and music of Danny Gokey and Jeremy Camp--both are so inspiring. Heavenly Father, help me to see time as a valuable asset that you have entrusted to me. When you gave me life, you intended that I live life abundantly and that I experience joy, fulfillment, and purpose. Help me not to squander time on meaningless endeavors but to understand that my days are numbered and that each one counts. And although an entire lifetime is just a moment to you, let my days be filled to overflowing with the glory of your presence. Thank you for your promise of unfailing love. Impress on my heart a deeper awareness of your love and care for me. Give me eyes to see all the ways you express that to me throughout this day. Forgive me for seeking satisfaction in material possessions, family, friends, and work. I pray that you will become my greatest source of satisfaction and joy. Enable me to find my rest in you, to discover a place of deeper abandonment and security in your everlasting love. You are my only rock. You are my only rest. I praise you for your amazing sovereignty. You wove me together in my mother’s womb, saw me before I was born, and have already recorded every day of my life. You charted the path ahead of me and laid out every moment before a single day had passed. I don’t have to fear because you are with me, before me, behind me, surrounding me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me! In Jesus’ name I pray, amen. Many blessing to you and your sweet family!

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    1. Dear friend! Your precious prayers are so anointed and Holy Spirit-inspired! I thank God upon every remembrance of you. Your comments and precious emails are solace and encouragement to me. May the dear Lord bless you abundantly. I am SO grateful for your friendship and am praying for you, too, sweet sister.

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  3. Beautiful, Cheryl. Such a difficult question . . . and such inspired answers.

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    1. Thank you ever so much, Karen. May the Lord bless you always!

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  4. Oh my Cheryl, thank you to you and your dear son, Zach, for delving into the soul searching topic of this question. You know how much I always need your messages and they come at just the right time. As you say, there are no coincidences, as we know that God works through us as His helpers for each other. As a deacon at my church recently said that God needs us for this reason. My new anthem is Danny Gokey’s song that you shared with me...”I just haven’t seen this yet”. Isn’t it wonderful how songs can touch us do, and how healing they are for the writers and singers of these songs? Thank you again for your kindness and wisdom. Blessings and prayers are sent to you and your family.

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    1. Oh, sweet friend! I am SO thankful you have adopted that song as your anthem. I truly believe with all my heart that "you just haven't seen it yet," and one day God will answer the many prayers. I am continuing to lift you to the Father and believe alongside you. YES, these wonderful songs! My family and I often speak of the powerful anointing that is upon these contemporary Christian artists and songwriters and so many of the songs they are currently writing sound like old hymns. They just minister so profoundly and are such a blessing! So grateful for you and your friendship and prayers for my family and me. So thankful we can pray one for another!

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  5. Oh Cheryl,I knew something good would come from your suffering..How precious this blog is!!I feel so blessed to have read this from the heart of Cheryl and Zach..I could feel God in every line I read..God bless you two and I am sure you have shed much light on all our paths and all the songs and all you added were perfect..You know God is a great God and so amazing.His ways are past finding out in many cases but still His love and wisdom out does it all.I just feel so blessed to be just be one of His little ones..I can really feel what it means about what we face can help us deal one on one with someone else in need..I have said many times the only way to bear one another's burdens is to be close enough to bear and feel their pain and the comes from walking a mile in their shoes.I brought this out one night in an open discussion in a meeting.I was so shocked what the leader said back to Me..She said we all have enough of our own pain we need not feel others pain..Well the good book did not say if you feel like bear the burdens of others he said do it..I know once I was in a battle and went to a Preacher for help.He looked at me and said there is no hope for you..It hit me so hard that I was gonna take my life and Jesus passed by with sweet words to set me free..How we need wisdom when our Brothers or Sisters or any human is down to deal with them as it was our own pain..What a blessing this has been to Me and I am sure it will greatly touch many lives for Christ..Only through our pain can the light shine the brightest..My love and prayers will always follow you all..Please pray for me also..Love Loads,Elaine

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    1. Dear, sweet Elaine, how grateful I am for your constant support, prayers, friendship, and kindness to my family and me. YES, God is seeing us through, and He is demonstrating continually that He is still on the throne and still answering the cries of His people. I am praying for you, dear friend, and I know the Lord is going to see you through your heavy trials, also. I think often of the verse that tells us "think it not strange concerning the fiery trials which are to try you" and I hear my sweet, precious Mom's voice telling me to press on and keep the faith in spite of the heaviness. I know your dear Mom is there cheering you on in spirit, also. We both had such Godly mothers, and we are so very blessed. Just because they are not here does not mean those prayers aren't still being answered. I like to think they are there together rejoicing with Jesus and looking down on you and me and watching out for us. Sending big hugs to you and much, much love. Keep encouraged and keep fighting the good fight of faith, my friend!

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  6. Thank you, dear Cheryl, for an inspiring post.

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    1. Thank you, sweet friend. I have been thinking of you and missing our chats. I hope you are doing well. Much love to you today!

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  7. Cheryl, thank you for this inspirational post that speaks to a question I have often wrestled with. God’s Word is so powerful in our darkest moments. I will be forwarding your post to a few friends that can glean from it. Blessings sweet friend!

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    1. Oh, how kind of you to forward it on to others! You have blessed me so much today. You are so right. God's Word is surely the lamp we need when we are in such dark times. I love Him more than I have in my whole life. He has never been more dear to me than He is right now, and it is in those "bad" times that His precious Comforter sustains and pulls us through. I was so happy to visit with you today. You always make the day brighter with your sweet words here and your precious blog. Many blessings and hugs to you, sweet friend!

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  8. Cheryl, I haven't been online for a few days and I was so blessed when I opened up your post, the first that I saw. You and your dear Zack make a formidable writing team. Satan will NOT like the wisdom that is flowing from the two of your hearts. I had heard many of these stories and talked to Jeremy Camp about his first wife. I actually met and sat down and talked to him the day he and his new wife found out they were expecting a child. How he praised God for the blessings in his life.
    This question that you have attempted to answer in this post has been asked of me many times. I always go to the scripture you gave in Job, but now I will have additional resource for people to read. This post. You have brought so many sources together for our help and solace. Thank you my dear friend. May God bless you, Kevin and Zack in these uncertain times.
    Much love and blessings,
    Betsy

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    1. Oh, Betsy! Thank you ever so much for your dear comment and encouragement! Oh, how true! satan surely hasn't liked it, and he has manifest in some awful, powerful forms since I finished it up and got it posted. SO thankful that "greater is HE that is in us than he that is in the world" and "we are more than conquerors through Him that loves us!" Oh, how NEAT that you got to meet Jeremy Camp and sit down and talk with him! Wait until I tell Zach that you have met and talked to one of his heroes of the faith!!! SO, so neat. I will have to email you and get more info. about your time with Jeremy. He has been such a blessing to my family and me through his music. Sending much love to you today, my dear, faithful friend. You are such a blessing and comfort to me, and knowing you are praying faithfully for us is such an encouragement! Praying for you, too, and sending many hugs!

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  9. Great post you wrote here. It backs up the message God sent me in a personal dream yesterday. Though I never really ask God that question, since even in my 53 years I've learned that God has it all under control and His reasons will make themselves known!

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    1. Oh, thank you, Ed! I would LOVE to hear more about the message God sent you in a dream if you would you care to share? I love hearing things like that and find it so comforting to hear of how God manifests His presence to His trusting children. You are so right, He will make His reasons known if we will wait for Him and keep trusting Him through it all. So thankful for your visit and encouragement!

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  10. It seems like almost every other day I hear something sad and it causes me to stop and be thankful. If we live long enough we will be apart of much suffering either ourselves or someone we love. Can't get away from it. I was trying to think if I knew someone who did not have any suffering. Nope, not one. So everything you said about it is right on. Through the years I have use those verses everyone else uses, Jesus said, in this world, ye will have trouble. But for a believer we do have another world to look to and someone who is suffering just might want to hear there is a world coming without it. Other than that there is not much else to be said for suffering. It's a part of our life on planet earth. To me , it's like grief, meant to be carried as Christ like as I can. Sometimes I feel guilty if someone gives me a prayer request about a suffering person. I usually pray right away, too forgetful not to. Then I go on with my life. Does that make me shallow, would worrying about them help them, would my sadness help them, would anything I do make the suffering go away. If I could carry their suffering I might do that but it does not work that way. Because we all have to get back to our lives and leave suffering to the Lord. It's His, not ours, it's our punishment for a sinner. Back to that verse, In this world you shall have trouble. Great post Cheryl, you nail it.

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    1. You are so right, sweet sister. Who among us doesn't experience suffering? It makes Heaven all the sweeter to look forward to because we know there is no suffering or heartache there. I sure understand what you mean about when people ask for prayer. It is not that I do not care, and I do my utmost to be a faithful prayer warrior, but there are times that the requests are so many and I am so laden under that I have to just lay it at Jesus' feet and not "absorb" too much of it. I know that sounds callous, and I do not mean to, but I know you will understand what I mean. Trying to absorb the problems of all who share can overload and overwhelm us if we don't know how to turn around and hand them to the Burden Bearer. Lately, I have been on the other end of that need and had to really rely and lean hard on so many others to pray my family and me through. How I thank God for all of our faithful brothers and sisters in Christ who care so deeply and pray so hard! Have you ever heard the Allen Asbury song, "Somebody's Praying Me Through?" Here is the link to it - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ilYi-PJGyc. I think another thing I am learning lately is what it means to be carried by our dear Lord. I don't think I ever fully understood that concept until in the past several months. When you are not physically able to do what you need to and your back is against the wall, it is then that Jesus' strength most vividly shines through and you have no choice but to lean in to His strength and just be held and carried. Love you, sweet sister, and so thankful for your presence in my life.

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  11. WOW Cheryl! I actually read this twice girl. So grateful that you shared with your readers. Our Pastor is preaching on Sunday mornings a series that we call "The Why Series". He preached on this same topic about a month ago. No doubt in my mind that our Lord is always there for us no matter what, even when we don't know WHY! Hugs and blessings to you and your family dear lady. Cindy

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    1. Oh, I would love to hear your pastor's series. It sounds amazing. Many hugs and blessings coming back to you, sweet friend!

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  12. Well, my friend, you and Zach tackled a very difficult question with great insight. God be praised! While exploring this question myself in the recent past I came across this quote on gotquestions.com: "Bad things happen to good people, and the worst things happened to the best Person. Jesus was the only truly Righteous One, yet He suffered more than we can imagine. We follow in His footsteps: 'If you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in His steps. He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in His mouth. When they hurled their insults at Him, He did not retaliate; when He suffered, He made no threats. Instead, He entrusted himself to Him who judges justly' (1 Peter 2:20–23). Jesus is no stranger to our pain." Thank you for this post, Cheryl. Hugs, Nancy

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    1. Yes, to God be all the glory! Oh, wow! I love the quote you shared. To think of what our dear, precious Lord went through and how He STILL continued to love the very ones who hurt Him so deeply and treated Him so vilely. I love the version of the verse you shared, too. So grateful for your kind words, sweet friend. Many hugs to you, too!

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  13. Dear Cheryl ... so many hard questions, truly beyond our limits to understanding. All I can do is lean into the truths of God's character and trust that He knows.

    And that, for now, has to be enough.

    Bless you ...

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    1. God bless you, too, Linda! Thank you so much for stopping by!

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  14. Thanks dear Cheryl for your study and application... this is a needful topic. Curiously I’ve done a post like this on my craft blog many years ago when our church had a run of bad things going on... affecting very lovely folks, and I wrote a post still in drafts about four weeks ago on Wonderful Words blog called “Does sad equal bad?”.
    I’ll blog it as Lord leads, have a number of drafts sitting waiting for more working with prayer till Lord says publish.
    It’s always struck me as curious and sad that non believers blame God for calamities .. they love their free will but not the consequences of free will. Human nature I guess, sinful, fallen human nature.
    Lord bless you dear sis. How precious to have the Christian heritage you have, a wise loving giving in the spiritual sense daddy, and a son who loves the Lord .. what joy and blessing. Thinking of one, dear sister, nay more than one who struggle over many a prodigal... and so we pray and wrestle on !! Till He comes! Marantha! Lo He cometh!
    Praying for you in all things sis.
    Thanks for being a blessing, God bless you too.
    Hugs, Shaz in Oz.x

    {Wonderful Words of Life - Shaz in Oz}
    {Calligraphy Cards - Shaz in Oz}

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    1. Oh, I do praise God for my Christian heritage and now to be able to pass that down to our own dear son! I look forward to when God releases you to share the blog posts you have mentioned. It is a very needful topic because there isn't a person on earth who doesn't wonder about it, and though we will never be able to answer the question, we can turn our attention to the fruit that is borne out of such dark, desperate places and turn to the face of our dear Savior for the solace we all need. Oh, He is a faithful Friend who sticks closer than any brother or earthly friend. Thank you for your prayers and encouragement and loving comments. You are a blessing to me! Praying for you, too, sweet sis.

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  15. Hi Sweet Friend, Thank you so much for tackling a difficult subject with so much grace and humility. Indeed, we do not know the mind of God or His purposes in all things, but we do know the loving God who has allowed those circumstances because He can redeem anything. Oh what hope we have in that knowledge. He does not waste one single trial in our lives and uses it to strengthen us and to bring Himself glory and to comfort others in the way we have been comforted by Him.

    Sending you much love,

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    1. Oh, how your words encouraged me today! To know that He can redeem anything, how that blesses me! To know He doesn't waste waste one single trial in our lives but uses them for our good! Thank you so much for always putting things in the right perspective and for being such a blessing and wonderful encouragement in my life. Sending much love and many blessings back to you today!

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