(Originally published 8/5/13)
This morning in my Bible time, I came across 2 Chron. 32:1, which says, ‘After all that Hezekiah had so faithfully done, Sennacherib king of Assyria came and invaded Judah.’ Sometimes the Bible makes me laugh out loud with how blunt it is. Basically this verse says, ‘After this guy did everything right, the bad guys got him.’
When bad things happen to good people, we are all left wondering why. ‘And after all they had so faithfully done,’ we think. Or maybe it’s ‘After all I’ve so faithfully done.’ It just doesn’t make sense to us.
A lot of us (myself very much included) are stuck in the mentality that if we are ‘good people,’ then good things will happen to us. I must confess, if I’m walking through a good patch where I’m feeling like I’m doing all right and not sinning too much, I expect to be able to go to the grocery store without getting annoyed. So when I get cut off in the parking lot, can’t get through the aisles because fellow shoppers don’t notice me, and get stuck in line for more than 7 minutes (gasp! The horror!), part of me starts to think, ‘Why are You doing this to me Lord?! I read my Bible this morning and everything!’ This is, albeit, an exaggeration, but not much of one. And I think a lot of us fall into a similar thought pattern every now and then.
We feel that if we are living for God and doing what we know is right, especially if it’s costing us something, then we have the right to live a problem-free life. When we go over a bump in the road, we get disgruntled and worried and stressed, like God is not living up to His end of the deal and can no longer be trusted. It is so dangerous to start thinking that God is holding out on us, to think that He owes us more. He really doesn’t. He created us, which means He gets to call the shots. God is God and we are not. Everything thing we go through – the good, the bad, and the irritating – is all designed for one purpose: to bring God glory. That’s the purpose of human life.
Not to mention, we don’t really know what God’s up to and what He has planned. I read this really amazing quote one time that said, ‘We have to thank God for the seemingly good as well as the seemingly bad because, really, we don’t know the difference.’ So true! God sees the entire picture and, contrary to our own fears and opinions, He knows what He’s doing. God is God and He will not give His glory to another (Is. 42:8). BUT, God is also good, loving, kind, and merciful, and He has promised to work things out for our good if we love Him.
I know that there are people out there right now who don’t even know how they’ll get through tomorrow. I’m friends with some of them. And then there are people who just can’t find the peace and joy to worship God in a traffic jam. I am one of them. But I’m determined to trust God with my life, and strive to live for His glory. Because in the twinkling of an eye, we’ll be standing in that glory!
So take courage friends, in the knowledge that God has a reason for everything He allows into our lives. He is ever faithful and trustworthy.