Can You Really Believe God Is Good When Life Stinks?

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Most people try to find the answer to this question by asking another question - "If God is good, then why do bad things happen to good people?" That is a good question and a very legitimate one. Another good question is - "If God is good, then why do good things happen to bad people?" However, in order to get the right answer, you must first ask the right question. These are wrong questions which only point out that we tend to have the wrong outlook on life. It all boils down to perspective. How you look at trials will determine how you handle them.

James 1:2 says, "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you face trials of many kinds." There's an old song that says, "Pack up your troubles in an old kit bag and smile, smile, smile." That is not what James means here. Considering it pure joy doesn't mean that you pretend everything is okay. He is not advocating that if we somehow just ignore the storm it will go away. In the original Greek, to consider it pure joy literally means to add value or significance to something. In short, he is telling us that joy doesn't come from the trial itself but in the outcome. We tend to focus all our attention on the problem. All this does is paralyze us and keep us from moving forward. The key is to focus on the result.

The next time you face a trial, remember this - Nothing in this life will allow us to truly experience God in a real and tangible way more than adversity does. It is through adversity that we recognize our powerlessness and see His omnipotence. Adversity strips away from our lives all the unimportant stuff and reveals what is really important. This adds value or significance to the trial. Trials make us stronger and deepen our relationship with God.

I mentioned earlier that we tend to ask the wrong questions. When facing trials don't ask - "Why is this happening to me?" Ask - "How can I use this to make me a better person?" Look past the present situation and focus on the future result. Again, this doesn't mean ignore the problem or pretend it isn't there. Just don't focus on it. There are three mistakes you must avoid when facing adversity.

  • Believing that the problem is permanent. Don't believe it because every storm eventually passes.
  • Thinking that the problem is bigger than it really is. No matter how big it looks, don't forget that God is always bigger.
  • Focusing your attention on the problem rather than the problem solver. For every problem, God has a solution so look at him and not the problem.

Can you really believe God is good when life stinks? Yes! It all boils down to perspective. Keep your focus in the right place and trials will become your friend. Instead of of a life that stinks, you will live a life full of the sweet aroma of character that will make people want to be around you.
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Lisa said...

David, this is really good! It's so hard to remember these things when we are in the middle of our storm. That's why it's so important to have that firm foundation and know that you know that you know Who God is. Many blessings!

David Good said...

Thank you Lisa. Yes, storms can be very overwhelming when we are right in the middle of them and we forget that Jesus is in the boat with us.


Pat said...

Amen my brother amen!! It is "all" about our focus,when focusing on Jesus and his words we do not give doubt and fear a chance. If we will learn and hold onto the truth God is bigger than our problems! What peaceful lives we would live and rejoice in the Lord.

David Good said...

Very true Pat. Thanks for commenting.


Mark said...

David, great timing on this post. I just discovered yesterday that a company that was looking at hiring me is postponing adding the position until later this year. Having been out of work since last September it can be very easy to focus on the lack of employment. Every day I try to remember that God is in control and he is working in ways I cannot always see. Thanks for today's reminder!

David Good said...

Mark - I'm glad my post was timely and an encouragement for you. I will keep you in prayer that God will lead to the right job and just the right time.


Jessica Averill Krohn said...

Good post and great reminder. I specifically like and agree with your statement that we often ask the wrong questions.

I found you through LinkReferral and have also connected with you on Networked Blogs.

Good site, I look forward to your future posts.


David Good said...

Thank you Jessica. I'm glad my blog was an encouragement. Thanks for your comments and also for the follow. Blessings!

Anonymous said...

I went through a hard time and I gave up on this. When it came down to it, I realized I wanted to be happy more than I wanted to be a better person. When things were at their worst, I realized that I resented God for expecting me to remain joyful in Him, even when He allowed horrible things to happen. I really tried to make myself believe that God was going to work things out for the good, but I just couldn't. I now feel like God created me in such a way that I can never be happy, and as much as I want to have faith, I always find myself lacking. I become angry when I try to pray, read, or worship. I look at other Christians and I am so jealous and bitter toward them, because they (at least the ones I know) have relatively happy and fulfilling lives. I mourn the fact that I have lost my faith, but I feel helpless to regain it. I no longer consider myself a Christian, and wonder if I ever was. I know I am going to Hell and that terrifies me, but I can't make myself reconcile with God. It sounds awful, but I truly think I hate Him.

David Good said...

Dear Anonymous:

Thank you for your transparent honesty in your comment. There are no easy answers for you and that is what makes it so hard at times. I don't know why God allows bad things to happen in our lives. I'm not convinced that is the right question. A question that bothers me more is, "Why does God allow good things to happen to bad people?" I think you have been presented a false image of God and I can only pray that you would come to truly know God himself. He desires a relationship with you that is not based on what you can or can't do, what you have or haven't done, but just simply because He created you. The faith that you lost needs to be replaced by a real faith in the God you haven't yet known. He said that if we seek Him, we will find Him. Keep seeking Him and don't quit until you do. Don't settle for what any man tells you about God, but only what only God Himself can reveal to you face-to-face.

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