When Bad Things Happen

According to the Roman historian Tacitus, in the early days of Christianity followers of Jesus were paraded before the masses in the Coliseum in Rome, fighting for their very lives before being torn apart by lions. What a humiliating, frightening, painful, horrible way to die, simply for being a Christian. Yet these followers of Jesus were brave, steadfast, unwavering in their faith. And their faith in Jesus for eternal life eventually led to millions upon millions placing their faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior.

So what do you do when bad things happen to you? The difficulties of life are a result of sin the broken world in which we live. God uses these difficulties to refine us, to draw us to himself, to make us more like Jesus. In the midst of difficulties, let’s look to the Lord for strength, guidance and understanding.

First, understand how much the Lord loves you. When bad things happen, it feels like God is far, far away. You will be tempted to think that God does not love you. But if you have surrendered your life to Jesus as Lord and Savior, you are a child of God, and God eternally loves his children.

Proverbs 3:11-12
11 Do not despise the LORD’s instruction, my son, and do not loathe his discipline; 12 for the LORD disciplines the one he loves, just as a father disciplines the son in whom he delights.

The Lord loves you. The Hebrew word translated “loves” in Proverbs 3:12 is word that means the Lord has affection for you. He is not far away. He is near. He cares about you as a loving Heavenly Father. He delights in you, he is pleased to be called your Father.

Next, realize the reason for the Lord’s discipline. The Lord allows you to be disciplined for your instruction, according to Proverbs 3:11. Discipline is your teacher. No situation that you endure is outside the sovereign hand of God. He is in charge. Even when Satan is tempting you, God desires for you to remain faithful, to grow in holiness, to stand strong in Christ, and to glorify God.

Proverbs 3:11-12
11 Do not despise the LORD’s instruction, my son, and do not loathe his discipline; 12 for the LORD disciplines the one he loves, just as a father disciplines the son in whom he delights.

Sometimes in the most difficult of situations, when we feel the Lord’s discipline the strongest, in those situations we experience the most growth and dependence on God and he is most glorified through our lives. The Lord’s discipline teaches us to walk closely with Jesus.

Third, accept the Lord’s discipline and grow! When bad things happen, sometimes the situation is beyond your ability to resolve. What should you do in those cases? Pout? Sulk? Throw up your hands in despair?

No, rather you should pray, read God’s Word, walk faithfully with him, accept his discipline and grow. Jesus lived a perfect life yet he endured the most excruciating suffering imaginable. Certainly we can endure discipline and remain faithful to Jesus, growing to be more like him in every way.

Hebrews 12:3-11
3 For consider him who endured such hostility from sinners against himself, so that you won’t grow weary and give up. 4 In struggling against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 5 And you have forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons:

My son, do not take the Lord’s discipline lightly or lose heart when you are reproved by him, 6 for the Lord disciplines the one he loves and punishes every son he receives.

7 Endure suffering as discipline: God is dealing with you as sons. For what son is there that a father does not discipline? 8 But if you are without discipline — which all receive — then you are illegitimate children and not sons. 9 Furthermore, we had human fathers discipline us, and we respected them. Shouldn’t we submit even more to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they disciplined us for a short time based on what seemed good to them, but he does it for our benefit, so that we can share his holiness. 11 No discipline seems enjoyable at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

According to Hebrews 12:10-11, through discipline God produces holiness and righteousness in us. Discipline is never fun, but in the end it is always worth it because of who we become. And who we become looks a lot like Jesus. When bad things happen, run to Jesus and let him produce holiness and righteousness in you.

4 thoughts on “When Bad Things Happen

  1. Hi Derek, I was saddened to hear of your resigning as I was not at church Sunday. You are a bright light to everyone. You always make people feel so good about Hod, themselves and others. You will be so so missed. I remember the first time I met you. The lobby of the church was very, very crowded. You saw that I was searching for someone and you came up to me and ask if I was looking for someone and I said my children but that I had texted them. You talked to me for a few minutes until I saw them. You told me your name but I did not know you were a pastor then. But I always appreciated you taking the time to help an older person when you thought I needed help. Thank you for all you have done for God’s kingdom. I will really miss seeing your smiling face. Also I do have a prayer request. You of course know BONNIE and Brian Stowe. We just found out BONNIE has breast cancer. I’m going down tomorrow and find out more of details. God bless you and your sweet family.
    Pat Davidson. Luke 12:32 Fear not little flock, it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

  2. This is a possible summary – Romans 8:28.
    As we endure and survive we are able to tell our story so that God gets the glory.

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