Why Bad Things Happen, Part III: Do & Don’t!

Last week, we continued examining “Why do bad things happen to me or any good person?” We learned that there are several reasons for our misfortunes, including others’ actions, everyday risks, and our poor decisions. This week, we’ll uncover some things that restrict and enable God’s intervention in people’s lives.

As we’ve previously covered, our relationship with God and Christ is a covenant – a two-way spiritual union where we seek to please them through our actions and we, in turn, are transformed and saved from the judgment to come. The Spirit also comforts, guides, and teaches us along the way while we look forward to Jesus’ return and our gathering after this short life. Can we cause ourselves to block intercessions, healings, and blessings during those times when God would like to give them? How?

Not responding to God’s “I will if you will” call will certainly prohibit His intervention, and not treating God appropriately or our fellow man charitably (e.g., 1Peter 3:7) doesn’t help. Refusing to set aside time for prayer, study, and meditation to allow communication with God and spiritual growth can also restrict God’s ability to work. Furthermore, God disciplines those he loves (cf., Hebrews 12:5-13), and what seems wrong might be blessings or growth opportunities. The discipline or tribulation can be akin to a bodybuilder’s breaking down the body to make it stronger. Without pushing the limits physically, we’ll never grow stronger. The same is true for exercising our mental abilities or psychological and emotional strength. So, we have a choice to make when adversity strikes: use it for good or let it get the best of us.

Knowing why seemingly bad things happen is fine, but we should learn how to respond during those times.

Minimize risk from our human-made world. Drive safely, don’t abuse drugs or alcohol. Stay emotionally, mentally, and physically healthy. Fellowship with Godly people and stay out of risky situations.

Learn lessons from each situation and improve your life. The approach will allow you to become better aligned with healthy living.  It will also enable God to effectively discipline for strength or prepare you for whatever He may have in store for you in life or ministering to others. Decide to use what you learn to help others. Think of the witness and healing power of someone who has overcome addictions or other adversities!

In summary, bad things happen because we’ve separated ourselves from God and created an environment full of risk and corruption. We must now live with the consequences, although God does often intercede on our behalf and help. We can minimize the risk of bad things happening and better-enable God’s help through obedience, right living, prayer and scripture study, and charity. Next week, we’ll begin our journey to become students of the Bible by learning how to study it effectively. Prepare to be energized!

Blessings and peace,

Ron Braley

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