Why do bad things happen to good people?
The Extraordinary Life
Weekly Devotional Email
For Sunday, March 12, 2017
John 10:10 (ESV)
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
Dear Church Family,
“Peace is not the absence of conflict. It is His presence in our life no matter the conflict.” ~ Anonymous
True Biblical peace is a result of resting in a relationship with God.
Peace is the opposite of chaos. This type of peace is something inward that is not affected by the outward.
Romans 5:1-5 (ESV)
1 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
Through Him – because of Him – because of Christ. Because of what Jesus Christ did on the cross and what He did when He walked out of the tomb…When he did all of that – through all of that – we have peace.
We say Hallelujah and Amen because of the hope of the glory of God!
But not only do we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God, the author, the apostle Paul continues…
3 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings,
Why would we do that?
knowing that suffering produces endurance,
4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,
5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
Isn’t that a beautiful picture?
We have peace through God and we rejoice in hope.
Not only that we rejoice in everything.
Suffering, endurance, character which ultimately produces more hope because God’s love has been poured into our hearts.
See, that’s what peace does…it allows us rejoice in suffering, and in our suffering, we learn to endure seasons of our life, because of our peace.
And then our character is solidified and built through those difficult seasons, because we are rooted in our peace in the first place.
Then because of our character, we now have hope, because we know that God’s love has been poured into our hearts.
‘Blessed are the peacemakers,’ NOT ‘Blessed are those who are at peace.’
II Corinthians 5:17-21 (NLT)
17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
18 And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him.
Our task is to help people reconcile, or make peace, with God!
We are to bring people to God!
Just like someone did for us.
Someone brought you to Jesus…someone helped you make peace with God.
And it our responsibility to bring that peace to other people’s lives.
19 For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation.
20 So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!”
21 For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.
This Sunday’s Study…
‘Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People’
The question is as old as time itself. It’s difficult for us to process at times. We won’t pretend to answer every facet of what that question entails…but this week we will seek to study for a few moments the word of Jesus himself in order to gain a heavenly perspective.
You see, the Bible was inspired and written by an eternal God who knew that every disciple whether in the Jerusalem or Roseburg, every one of us at one time or another would spend time in the dungeon of doubt. I am so glad that God included stories of doubt in the Bible so that we could understand and gain a little understanding to help us in our own journey. Because, let’s face it…we’ve all had these questions…
- If God is so good, why do I hurt so bad?
- If God is really there, why am I here?
- What did I do to deserve this?
- Why are the righteous persecuted?
- Why do bad things happen to good people?
- Does God sometimes sit on his hands?
- Does He choose to sometimes do nothing?
- Does God sometimes opt for silence even when we are screaming the loudest?
The most beautiful lesson we’ll learn this week is: God doesn’t turn away the questions of someone who is sincerely asking.
The Pathway to the Extraordinary Life
Jesus gives us the pathway to this life in His sermon on the mount. This week we focus on Matthew 5:5.
Matthew 5:1-12 (NIV)
1 Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2 and he began to teach them. He said: 3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. 5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. 6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. 7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. 8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. 9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. 10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Bible Verses we’ll study together on Sunday…
Matthew 3:1-6 (NLT)
In those days John the Baptist came to the Judean wilderness and began preaching. His message was, 2 “Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.”
3 The prophet Isaiah was speaking about John when he said, “He is a voice shouting in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord’s coming! Clear the road for him!’”
4 John’s clothes were woven from coarse camel hair, and he wore a leather belt around his waist. For food he ate locusts and wild honey.
5 People from Jerusalem and from all of Judea and all over the Jordan Valley went out to see and hear John.
6 And when they confessed their sins, he baptized them in the Jordan River.
Luke 7:18-23 (ESV)
18 The disciples of John reported all these things to him. And John,
19 calling two of his disciples to him, sent them to the Lord, saying, “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?”
20 And when the men had come to him, they said, “John the Baptist has sent us to you, saying, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?’”
21 In that hour he healed many people of diseases and plagues and evil spirits, and on many who were blind he bestowed sight.
22 And he answered them, “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have good news preached to them.
23 And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.”
Proverbs 6:17 (KJV)
I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.
Questions for Personal Growth and Discovery…
- Have you seen bad things happen to good people?
- What is your reaction when you see that happen?
- What is God’s greatest characteristic?
- How does God’s holiness, justice and love work with each other?
Making the most of this study…
As we continue this study here are some ways to make the most of this study:
- Read Matthew 5:1-12 daily over the next few weeks.
- Memorize our theme verse for this new study listed above (John 10:10 NIV).
- Prepare your heart for next Sunday’s message with this weekly devotional email (if this was forwarded to you by a friend or loved one and you would like to be included, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call the church office).
- Have questions during this study? Email them to email@example.com or text them to (541) 530-4912.
- Resolve now to be with each Sunday in our study ‘The Extraordinary Life’.
- Pray that God will help us understand the truths found in Matthew 5 that he will enable us to live the extraordinary life that He intends for us to live.
This is a difficult subject to study and to teach about. Would you say a prayer for me and our church family as we approach Sunday? Thank you so much. I look forward to seeing you this Sunday.
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