God Causes the Sun to Shine on Evil and Good Alike
Life’s not fair. The wrong people get sick, get robbed and get killed. Some people see life’s unfairness and decide there’s no God. They see nothing but chaos. Others ask, “What’s fair and what’s unfair?” Does God really cause the sun to shine on evil and good alike?
Outrage/Indignation Rise When One Gets Hurt By Life
- Where is God in all of this, we ask? Does He see what’s going on? Does God cause bad things to happen?
- Does He decide which family shall have a handicapped child, which will be crippled? Maybe?
- Who will have a heart attack or be diagnosed with a devastating disease?
- Is He standing ready to help us cope? We ask, ‘’How could God do this to me?’’ Is it wrong to ask?
When a person is dying of cancer, could there be an underlying cause?
That maybe, despite these terrible diagnoses, God is giving these people the strength for each day? Giving them gratitude for a day of little pain? When people who were not strong become strong, when selfish people become unselfish or heroes, should we not ask where these changes came from? Could it be that God is helping us when we suffer beyond our own strength?
I think many things happen from bad choices, sinful people, our being human and the shape of the world today. A lot of things we bring on ourselves. But – we can turn to Him for help in overcoming, precisely because God understands it all.
Our greatest challenge as Christians is to somehow continue to believe God and trust Him in the midst of devastation. When you see children separated from mothers, when you see lives torn and hundreds dead, it’s very natural to ask, “Where is God?” We make choices and there are consequences, good – or – bad. Sometimes we even suffer the consequences of others’ choices.
God can be trusted, even when it seems He’s not on our side. It was Martin Luther who said, “When you look around and wonder whether God cares, you must always hurry to the cross and you must see Him there.”
Time is short and eternity is long. Sometimes we reverse that. Everybody is going to die someday. We are to grieve with those who grieve and alleviate their suffering.
Does Suffering Have Meaning?
Hmmm… Often, seemingly bad things that happen to us don’t appear to have any meaning when they happen to us – and – we don’t accept them willingly. But we can give these senseless tragedies some meaning, for the Bible says that God will turn everything over for our good. He doesn’t cause it, but he will turn it into good. That is why when we look back, we can see more clearly what was going on… or the good that came out of it.
God Causes the Sun to Shine on Evil and Good Alike – Why??
Lack of Bible Knowledge. Many Christians suffer because they’re too busy seeking carnal knowledge instead of the Word of God. The Lord said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge…” Hosea 4:6
Disobedience. Once we know the Word of God, we have a responsibility to be obedient to it. Too many of us intend to be obedient, but put it off. Procrastination is disobedience, and it causes us to suffer. James 4:7 gives good advice: “Submit yourselves therefore to God…”
Purify/Test Your Faith. People seem surprised that they go through times of trial or suffering. Even when faithful, learning and obeying the Word, the trials still come. Sometimes trials simply test and purify our faith. “You should be exceedingly glad on this account, though now for a little while you may be distressed by trials and suffer temptations, so that the genuineness of your faith may be tested, your faith which is infinitely more precious than the perishable gold which is tested and purified by fire. This proving of your faith is intended to redound to your praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ the Messiah, the Anointed One is revealed.“ 1 Peter 1:6-7
Brokenness. The word strikes fear in people, but it’s not a bad word. God desires to break our pride, rebellion, selfishness and independence, for us to be totally dependent on Him. Suffering seems to bring us to that point so depending on God is a good position to be in.
Build Compassion. Compassion is born out of experiencing similar problems. The Bible says, “we do not have a High Priest Who is unable to understand and sympathize and have a shared feeling with our weaknesses and infirmities and liability to the assaults of temptation, but One Who has been tempted in every respect as we are, yet without sinning.“ Hebrews 4:15 It’s comforting to know that Jesus understands and has compassion. Trials and God’s deliverance better equips us to minister to others. Pain is never wasted; it brings on compassion to reach other hurting people by saying, “I’ve been there, God brought me through, and He’ll do the same for you.”
Encourage Others. The apostle Paul said God allowed him to go through many things as lessons for other people. “I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ. And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.” Philippians 1:12-14 In Paul’s imprisonment, his stability and ability to be used of God was evident. To minister to others, we have to face some adversity. If we stand in faith and confidence, God will bring us to victory, to be a great encouragement to others in the process.
Because of the Word. We suffer attacks from the enemy because of the Word of God. Mark 4:17 speaks of those who hear the Word and endure it for a while, “then when trouble or persecution arises on account of the Word, they immediately are offended (become displeased, indignant, resentful) and they stumble and fall away.”When someone receives the Word of God, Satan delights in coming immediately to try to steal what’s been sown in their heart. He knows the Word will strengthen us and help us live a victorious Christian life. He wants to stop it if he can. It’s imperative to guard the Word in your heart and resist the devil from stealing it from you.
Bad Things Do Happen to “Good” People
The question we should be asking is not, “Why did this happen to me? What did I do to deserve this?” That is a pointless question. We do not have those answers. A better question would be, “What am I going to do about it?”
The simple truth is that there is not much use in a fruit tree that doesn’t grow fruit, just like there isn’t much use in a Christian that isn’t living out Christ’s teachings. God made us, the Church, to be people of growth and action. It is his desire that we constantly seek to mature in our faith.
Although it may seem contrary to us, trials and suffering are often what God uses to make us grow more like Christ. That is the beauty of the gospel–it is often contrary to the world’s way of thinking, and yet so much richer and deeper.