All through the Gospels, we see the sick and the suffering coming to Christ for healing and deliverance. Ephesians 1:11 says that God works all things after the counsel of His will. It involves deep hurts. When we watch television, we know when a writer is setting us up so that we not only hope to see the villain die, we hope he or she will die a horrible death. Likewise, he does not want people to suffer, but he allows people to suffer. The eternal punishment for sin is no longer upon those who accept Christ as Lord and Savior. While these words may sound strange to us and may be foreign to our worship, they should not be. 5 For even when we came into Macedonia our flesh had no rest, but we were afflicted on every side: conflicts without, fears within (7:5, NASB). 13), which accentuated the apostle’s concern. They happen to those who are good and to those who are evil. 8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Yet there is a lovely rainbow shining through it all, for in his dire distress and deep disappointments he is discovering more than ever before that “the Father of mercies” is the “God of all comfort,” and that the heavenly Master’s strength is made perfect in His servant’s weakness.1, “What an admirable Epistle,” he [George Herbert] exclaimed, “is the second to the Corinthians! Bible verses about bad luck Feeling like you’re unlucky usually comes from being in trials in life, which God uses to build your faith and make you stronger. 1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, To the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints who are in all Achaia: 2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Some refer to this as Paul’s “painful visit,” based upon inferences from some of Paul’s statements in 2 Corinthians (see 2:1-11). And God’s mercy shown to the sufferer becomes an opportunity for all to praise God for the answer, according to the will of God, to their prayers. 11 Blessed are you when men cast insults at you, and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely, on account of Me. 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first-born among many brethren; 30 and whom He predestined, these He also called; and whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified (Romans 8:28-30). Paul’s praise flows out of his growing love for God, as enhanced by his suffering. 24 Five times I received from the Jews thirty-nine lashes. A true believer understands that while there is no way man can ever earn eternal salvation, there is but one way which God has provided whereby we can be saved, and that is by faith in the sacrificial death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord, by which our sins are punished in Christ, and God’s righteousness in Christ is given to us (John 1:12; 3:16, 36; 14:6; Romans 3:21-26; 10:9-10; 2 Corinthians 5:17-21; 1 John 5:11-12). As the loving “Father” of our Lord Jesus Christ, God sent Him to the cross of Calvary to suffer for our sins in ways we cannot even fathom. The suffering and affliction which come to us because we belong to Christ are those sufferings which are righteous, for which we can expect abundant comfort (verse 5). The Bible says in Romans 3:12, “All have turned aside. They happen to those who sacrifice and to those who do not. But sometimes, the Bible says, bad things that happen to us are a result of God’s discipline. Suffering as a Christian, experiencing the “sufferings of Christ,” is a source of personal blessing and benefit. This worship leader was greatly distressed because he perceived (wrongly, in part) that the wicked were prospering while the righteous (as Asaph) were suffering. A book with a similar title, When Bad Things Happen to Good People, attempted to deal with this question in a wrong way. The flat earth model theory has gained traction in recent years. He is said to be strong in his written words but a wimp in person. Are we self-reliant or do we rely on God? The same things happen to a good person as happen to a sinner. 10 For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, that we may share His holiness. 1 John 2:15 - Love not the world, neither the things [that are] in the world. Under this continued strain of excitement and anxiety, his strength succumbed; he was seized with an attack of sickness which threatened to terminate his life.”, The apostle’s own comment is: “We were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life. The key to seeing suffering as we should is found in the Person and work of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. And when those prayers are answered as God purposes, those who have petitioned God may now praise Him for the answers to their prayers. 25 Whom have I in heaven but Thee? We are only good because He has taken our sins and is transforming us into His good image. In 1 Corinthians, Paul alludes to the very real dangers which he had faced in Ephesus: 32 If from human motives I fought with wild beasts at Ephesus, what does it profit me? It often feels like difficult circumstances are directed at us. You may even believe in God and pray to Him at times. “Not bad,” she replied, “but he’ll be better after he has suffered.” And suffer he did. And so there are many today who assure us that God does not want us to suffer and that we need not suffer—if we but have the faith to be delivered from our suffering to the success, health, and wealth God wants to give us. God uses suffering to teach us how evil sin is and how devastating its consequences. St. Many tell us that God wants us to prosper, to have good health, and to have a trouble-free life. They are utterly swept away by sudden terrors! 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. Paul speaks of God as “Father.” He is called, “the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,” and also “the Father of mercies” (verse 3). “He had been at death’s door. Here is … However, there are others whose true colors become more evident in 2 Corinthians by their lack of repentance and their continued resistance to Paul and his teaching. 9 Yes, we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead, 10 who delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver us; in whom we trust that He will still deliver us, 11 you also helping together in prayer for us, that thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf for the gift granted to us through many (2 Corinthians 1:1-11, NKJV). . Knowing better than to lay fault at God’s feet for human suffering, they place the blame at the feet of the one suffering. 121-122. God will be with us, forbidding those things that harass us here on earth, including disease, violence, and the destruction causing us to question why bad things happen to good people. The bad thing that He suffered was the punishment that our sins deserved. We are promised that, in God's plan, all things work together for good for those who are the called and who love God (Romans 8:28). I notice this also in the music we sing. “What did you think of the preacher?” one woman said to the other. This leads us to a second basic truth: The Lord never wants evil things to happen. Some Christians handle the problem of suffering in yet a different way. It is filled with frustrations. 74 May those who fear Thee see me and be glad, Because I wait for Thy word. Wasn’t his suffering a total and complete sacrifice for our sins? C. H. Spurgeon ... and then we ask him, “Why do you contend with me? Galatia was falling away to ‘another Gospel.’ He had narrowly escaped from the enraged populace of Ephesus—‘wild beasts’ with whom he had long been fighting, and at whose mercy he had left his flock in that turbulent city. I much prefer the rendering of the New King James Version: “Who delivered us from so great a death, …”. 29 Who is weak without my being weak? God allowed Satan to do everything he wanted to Job except kill him, and Satan did his worst. From 1 Corinthians we know these saints are into success, not suffering. Bad things do not just happen. In addition to wondering why God allows bad things to happen to good people, many wonder why God allows good things to happen to bad people.What does the Bible teach concerning this issue? God may use all forms of suffering for His glory and for our good, but the kind of suffering for which Christians are commended is righteous suffering: 12 Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may on account of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation (1 Peter 2:12). . Yet, we are saved by it. 23 Are they servants of Christ? Suffering could be explained if God were great, but not good. He later remarried and eventually nursed his second wife until she died. Rest assured if you’re a Christian Satan can’t harm you so you’ll never have bad luck. Those who respond rightly to their suffering turn upward (Godward) and outward (toward people in need of comfort and encouragement), and they grow and blossom as a result. God wants the best for everyone and does not desire for anyone to suffer. At some point in time, Paul finds it necessary to make a quick visit to Corinth, but we are given no details about this encounter (2 Corinthians 12:14; 13:1). There we will find truth, contentment, spiritual riches, and eternal joy. Ultimately, God is in control. “When we were come into Macedonia,” he writes, “our flesh had no rest, but we were troubled on every side. These bad things didn’t happen to them because they were particularly bad. 1. Is it okay to take communion at home outside the church? In 2 Corinthians, Paul’s first words to the Corinthians address the matter of suffering in a way which corrects our thinking about the problem of pain. They rebuke us for our lack of faith and blame us for our suffering if we fail to achieve what they promise. The same things happen to a person who makes promises to God as to one who does not. Those recorded by Luke, who wrote Acts, are thus only the “tip of the iceberg” of Paul’s afflictions. The author apparently struggled with an age-old issue that involves the infinite attributes of God's power and goodness over against the apparent injustice of good people suffering bad things in … It was written with a quill dipped in tears, from the apostle’s ‘anguish of heart,’ and contains more of human pathos than any other of his letters. We only need to keep our focus on our Creator and enter into His presence every day through the portal of His holy Word. What does the Bible say about Bad Things That Happen to Good People? You may know about God. Why do bad things happen to good people? Bible Answer: The book of Malachi tells us about a very interesting complaint from the people of Israel against God. 26 My flesh and my heart may fail, But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. I have entitled this message, “Why Bad Things Happen to God’s People.” Listen closely to the Apostle Paul, and you will learn some of the reasons a good God uses suffering in the lives of His people. This comes about in two different ways, as I understand 2 Corinthians. 30 If I have to boast, I will boast of what pertains to my weakness. The price Paul and his colleagues (Silvanus and Timothy—1:19) pay, as well as the comfort they receive, are for the benefit and blessing of the Corinthians. ... the Bible actually makes it quite clear that faith in Jesus Christ does not guarantee a good life, but a perfect eternity. “Reverend so-and-so has the fastest growing church in …” Such statements are predicated on the very premise our text challenges. The Bible says in Romans 3:12, “All have turned aside. Paul then writes 2 Corinthians from Macedonia to express his great joy and to encourage them further in their faith, as well as to give instructions regarding the gift they had previously promised (chapters 8-9). The true believer knows these things and casts his entire trust on Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of his sins and the assurance of eternal life. Subscribe to the Verse of the day. God is our “Father,” who comforts us in all our affliction. Paul’s words concerning his suffering should call into question a great deal of teaching popular today, teaching about health, wealth, and prosperity. Disappointment, apprehensiveness, and physical illness now swooped in concerted attack upon Paul to make this perhaps the darkest hour in his heroic but costly struggle for the propagation and preservation of the true Gospel. If so, God cannot be good; He can only be great. So why do bad things happen to good people? For example, when we look at the crucifixion of Jesus, which is the means by which we are saved from our sins, we see that it was a result of people doing bad things to Jesus. Any help would be much needed. He continues to employ suffering to draw us closer to Him and to one another. There are two ways to look at the question of why bad things happen to good people. For Asaph to turn away from God would betray those who might follow his example. 6 Now if we are afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effective for enduring the same sufferings which we also suffer. Suffering always comes with the promise of divine comfort and thus provides us with the fuel for worship and praise. He is accused of being fickle and failing to fulfill his promises. The third “s” was “suffering”: Suffering is the tool which God employs in the life of the Christian to make him a leader. But that doesn’t mean that God directly causes bad to happen. In the Mormon Messages video above, Sister Reyna I. Aburto, Second Counselor in the Relief Society General Presidency, describes trials she faced when she was young and how she would long to understand why God was allowing bad things to happen. If it were not for suffering, we would not know God’s mercy, compassion, and comfort. You may remember the book written by a Jewish rabbi, entitled Why Bad Things Happen to Good People.5 The rabbi concluded that God could not possibly be both good and great at the same time. His life and work, to all appearance, were coming to an end, and under circumstances of the most ominous nature. He stays there for 18 months, founding the church at Corinth (see Acts 18:1-18). 10 Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Do we not unconsciously fall into the practice of judging a person’s piety by external benchmarks of success? 5 For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ. How blessed our afflictions will be to us in heaven, if they have been a means by which we have come to the end of ourselves and have cast ourselves upon the mercy and grace of God in the Person of Jesus Christ. 28 Apart from such external things, there is the daily pressure upon me of concern for all the churches. Suffering is human because it comes with our humanity. 28 But as for me, the nearness of God is my good; I have made the Lord GOD my refuge, That I may tell of all Thy works (Psalm 73:16-28). They happen to those who are fair and to those who are wicked. 5 For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ. Asaph wondered why the unrighteous do not suffer. We ourselves sometimes wonder why bad things happened to good people, and at the same time we have trouble understanding why good things seem to happen to bad people. They happen to those who sacrifice and to those who do not. God is God, and we’re not always going to understand why some things happen. What a comfort to know that both our suffering and our comfort come from a loving Father: 3 For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you may not grow weary and lose heart. 8 Concerning this I entreated the Lord three times that it might depart from me. In 1 Corinthians, Sosthenes is with Paul at the time of his writing. The question is asked during difficult times. Our comfort comes at the highest cost, a cost paid by the Son of God and by the loving Father who sent Him. Thank you for your interest in supporting CARM. While it is not the point of our text in 2 Corinthians, it is nonetheless true that, often by means of suffering, God draws the unbeliever to Himself. And since he is certain to die, He must trust in the God who raises the dead. If you have any issues, please call the office at 385-246-1048 or email us at info@carm.org. 73 Thy hands made me and fashioned me; Give me understanding, that I may learn Thy commandments. If we fail in our suffering, doubting God’s goodness and questioning His infinite wisdom and mercy, then we shall also fail to experience the comfort God has for us. Related Readings. It is most commonly asked when we face personal trials, when something happens to someone close to us, or when tragedy impacts our nation and world. I think there are some very practical reasons. The answer to our question can be found in several statements which sum up several reasons God’s people suffer at the hand of a God who is both good and great. Her response to the affliction God brought into her life comforts me even though I have never spent one day in a wheelchair. For one, they put Paul’s sufferings in a whole new light. This He made possible through the sufferings of our Lord Jesus Christ. Suffering for Christ’s sake is sure to bring us comfort from the heavenly Father. Isaiah 57:1 - The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth [it] to heart: and merciful men [are] taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil [to come]. 7 J. Sidlow Baxter, Explore the Book, vol. Sorted by most helpful votes from the Topical Bible. You have probably heard it said, “To err is human, to forgive divine.” I believe the Apostle Paul indicates that to suffer is both human and divine. In other words, we are born in a fallen and sinful world because of Adam’s sin. First, Jesus clearly taught that many of His blessings fall upon all people regardless of their behavior or response toward Him. 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