“And we know that all things work together for the good of them that love God, to them that are the called according to His purpose,” Romans 8:28.
It is amazing how many Christians still ask the question ‘why does God let bad things happen to good people?’ God is not doing bad things to anyone. The Father’s perfect plan for His creation was never for sin, evil, and suffering to enter His world. Sin in the form of human rebellion set mankind outward of God’s perfect plan. Since then, all of creation has known not only good but also evil. God, however, was merciful. He would not leave the world in the condition sin had created. He sent His Son, Christ Jesus, to save mankind from sin. Christ’s sacrifice on the cross makes it possible for the restoration of our sins to be removed and a relationship with God to be restored. What is God’s role in sin?
Simply stated, God will use the most awful circumstances to draw His children closer to Him, to transform us into the likeness of Christ, and to glorify Himself. Most often, what is heard from Christians who are disappointed with God is that God did not do or change something for them. He didn’t save the marriage. He didn’t save a life. He didn’t remove this or that. Many believe that God let them down.
My beloved brother and sister, God is more interested in our character issues than our ‘wish list.’ God will allow us to experience loss so that we can learn gratitude. God will permit us to wait a very long time so that we can develop patience, or perhaps some other virtue. God will deny your requests, so that He can first deliver you from materialism and greed. These are the kinds of issues that are difficult to confront. The mere suggestion provokes resistance and denial from our human nature. The more resistance we show towards what God is doing, the greater the pain of our condition that God desires to correct.
Even in our greatest trial, God’s plan for us is the love He brings to interrupt and correct the problem. “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future,” Jeremiah 29:11. God will allow things to happen in your life to get your attention. He desires that His people will turn their hearts to Him and not to false prophets. God is working to change the hearts of His people. When there is denial with pain, God will take it away. When you are struggling with the fruit of your pain, remember that God is always willing and able to deliver you and set you free. For He knows the plans and the purpose that He has for you, giving you an expected end. Pain can bring us to a wonderful revelation of how deep and great our Lord’s mercy really is. So experience the love of God in all that you are going through, because He can turn the fruit of your pain into a harvest of spiritual renewal and growth.
(Dr. Monterey D. Lee, Sr. is the pastor of Celebration Christian Center, Inc.)