Mark it blogged!
When bad things are good?
by M. Clifford Brunner
A number of years ago a book was written entitled, “When Bad Things Happen to Good People.” The book by Harold Kushner was a New York Times bestseller. Why? Because Kushner asked the question that most of us have asked ourselves many times. “Lord, why are these bad things happening to me? I’ve worshiped You, shown mercy to my neighbor, lived a life of prayer and abstained from abusing anyone or anything.” If you haven’t asked that question it’s likely you will at some point in your life. I remember distinctly laying in a hospital bed a few years ago with tubes sticking out of me and lines running into me in places I had never imagined. As I fought back the numbness of sedatives, and the aftereffects of anesthesia, I found myself wondering what I had done wrong to end up in critical care? It’s a natural reaction to misfortune and what sometimes just seems like bad luck. Why?
Essentially, the answer is pretty simple. Bad things don’t ever happen to good people. The Bible tells us that only good things happen to those who believe on Jesus Christ. Bad things are ultimately blessings for “good” people. That includes death by the way.
I made this comment recently to someone who asked me “why God was now allowing a pandemic to kill so many people?” Now? Nearly one third the population of Europe died during the Black Death in the 14th Century. During the 20th Century alone hundreds of thousands died from assorted viruses and plagues. Did God have anything to do with that? If He didn’t He isn’t the omnipotent God I worship. The fact is that God foreknew all these tragedies.
“God foreknew? Then, it would follow, if He foreknew He could have prevented these bad things?” Again, the God I worship and you worship wouldn’t be our God otherwise. Black death, Bubonic plague, Spanish flu, Hong Kong flue, a plethora of other ominous, onerous plagues, and, yes, Covid-19, were and are preventable. God was and is capable of preventing all of these. In fact, God is even capable of taking what is now history and reversing it. None of these horrible plagues would be historic and millions upon millions of people would not have perished from these plagues. Yes, God is now and has always been in control.
Now, let me ask you this question: are all of these terrible deaths, many of them Christian deaths, just? Are they good? How can that possible be? If God is just and He has ordained these things, then there is no other possible answer; these were just deaths and they were good-ultimately. Why? Death is the result of sin, and God’s justice requires that penalty. Therefore, God has reserved the right to end your life and my life at some point. It is inevitable. It is just. And, all things including death, whenever and wherever God decides, are good for a Christian. Because whatever God ordains must be good. There’s the answer. Whatever God ordains, and God ordains all things.
Hundreds of thousands dead around the world, and still people are dying. George Floyd is dead in Minneapolis. A boy is dead in Seattle. Five police officers in the present riots around the country. Another retired police office is killed in St. Louis. Are these deaths ordained? There is only one answer-yes. Were they good? For Christians they have to be. Should any Christian, any Christian riot, loot and destroy because of what God has ordained as good? Never. Only an unbeliever would do such things. Because to an unbeliever even good things are bad. Nothing right will result from their aim to correct a wrong.
Should Christians seek justice amid the chaos, healing among the dying, and peace where there is no calm? Yes. We are to love our neighbor as ourselves. There is no other course. But Christians must be united in purpose on this premise: God is just, He is good and His dominion over us is perfect. There is no political solution that will bring us to this understanding, no social program that will become a harbinger of change in the sinful hearts of man. Christians need to stop bickering over who did what and who is at fault for this present crisis. Sin is the culprit and God is reminding us of His justice and His goodness for a reason. Look up Christians and repent. The days are short and His time is near.
Death is a reminder of life for a Christian. We can mourn those who die but we must not take away God’s right to claim them. And, if we fail to see the good in that, what is the point to living the Christian life? When we start reminding one another of the goodness of God and the justice of His ordaining majesty, pandemics become merely history. These and all the events associated with them are but reminders that God and not man is in control. Look for the good brothers and sisters. It is there in plain sight shielded only from view by our own inability to understand the sovereign majesty of the Lord God Almighty who made heaven and earth. Praise His holy name. God is good. God is just.
From Beech Springs, On the Mark