If you were right with God, bad things wouldn’t happen to you . . . right?
If you talk to some people, they will tell you that bad things wouldn’t happen to you if you were right with God. This makes me want to know: does this mean that nothing bad ever happens to them? That doesn’t make any sense. Bad things are going to happen whether or not you are “right with God.”
People learn from negative things happening in their lives. The whole point of being on Earth is to learn. If you have nothing to learn, why are you still here?
Let’s look at some biblical sources to prove the point that bad things will happen anyway. The main reason I’m using the Bible in this argument is that I have really only heard this from some of the branches of Christianity.
Let’s look at the Book of Job. As the story begins, Job is one of the wealthiest and most prosperous men on the face of the earth. He fears God and lives an upright life during the ancient patriarchal period in the land of Uz (region of northern Arabia). God allows Satan to test Job’s righteousness with various trials. All of Job’s possessions and his children were destroyed. When this happens, Job does not curse God. Instead, he praises the Lord, Job 1:21 (KJV):
And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.
Job endures more calamities at the hand of Satan, ones that don’t end his life but are still difficult to deal with. His three friends come to console him. He does eventually curse the day that he was born, though. God finally interrupts, calling from a whirlwind and demanding Job to be brave and respond to his questions. God’s questions are rhetorical, intending to show how little Job knows about creation and how much power God alone has. God describes many detailed aspects of his creation, praising especially his creation of two large beasts, the Behemoth and Leviathan. Overwhelmed by the encounter, Job acknowledges God’s unlimited power and admits the limitations of his human knowledge. After all of this, God restores Job’s health, possessions, gives him new children and a very long life.
This is one of the biggest examples in the Old Testament/Tanakh about how even the righteous suffer. What lessons can we take from this story? Here are a few:
- It’s beyond the human ability to understand all of the reasons behind all of the suffering in the world, even though we really do want to know.
- The wicked will receive their just dues.
- Suffering may sometimes be allowed in our lives to purify, to test, to teach, or to strengthen the soul by showing us that when we have lost everything and only God remains, that God remaining is enough.
One more example that we can take is from the New Testament. Jesus did suffer and, as Christians, we tend to accept that this was necessary. There are countless accounts of his suffering, including his crucifixion. All of it had to happen for us and himself. It did everything in the third lesson, above.
We know that suffering exists. In fact, negative things will happen to us regardless of how righteous we are. There are examples throughout the Bible. The reason suffering exists is usually to teach us something or to get us to a new point in our lives. It helps us fulfill our life’s purpose on this earth. Bad things will happen, but so will good things. Have a blessed day everybody!