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By Curtis Pugh

Bad things do happen to all of us. But they do not happen outside of God's plan. Knowing this is the first step in a child of God dealing with these things. God says, speaking of diseases and even plagues, “...shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it?” (Amos 3:6). God is not the cause of moral evil although for good and wise reasons He allows it. But in the above quotation physical evils are said to be His work.

We reason, “Why do bad things happen to good people?” But our reasoning is flawed. Our question is based upon a wrong premise. People are sinners and sin has consequences. Bad things happen because of sin.

Bad things happen first of all as a consequence of the sin of Adam, our first father. Romans 5:12 says, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” It is not personal sin that is meant by the phrase “for that all have sinned.” All sinned in Adam. The consequences of Adam's sin is death. While the ultimate cause of death is Adam's sin, diseases, accidents, murders, etc., etc. - bad things - are all the means by which death comes.

Bad things do something to lost people, but nothing for them. On the other hand, God uses the sufferings of His children to accomplish things in them and with them. First: He uses bad things to chasten or correct His children. Hebrews 12:6-8 explains this: “For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.”

Second: God accomplishes something through the suffering of His children. Colossians 1:24 says: “Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church.” Paul rejoiced in his sufferings which he said “fill up that which is behind” or lacking in Christ's sufferings. There is nothing lacking in Christ's expiatory suffering – the suffering He endured to save His people. But Christians can have a part in His exemplary sufferings. Peter wrote: “For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps,” (1 Peter 2:20-21). Suffering patiently glorifies God and is a testimony to those around us. We can, like Christ, be an example to others. We can show them God's sustaining grace as we go through our sufferings.

Grace Bible Baptist Church
26080 Wax Road
Denham Springs, LA 70726

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