Bad things happen to good people. Many question why this is so – both by the media and Christians. Many people complain about their circumstances – that they don’t deserve it. Have you been there?
“Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.” (Mat. 19: 17)
We tend to differentiate between bad and good, by blaming and judging others, i.e: ‘he must be a bad person because he did …’ or ‘How can a good God let bad things happen to good people?’ It’s like comparing your ‘goodness’ with others’ mis-steps.
“He spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.” (lUKE 18: 9 – 11)
So, why do bad things happen to good people? Because we all do make mistakes, and come short of the glory of God. (Rom. 8: 23) Good people:
“are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” (Isa. 64: 6)
An excellent explanation of why bad things happen to good people is found in the Book of Job. Here satan is accusing God for having a hedge of protection around Job so that he cannot tempt Job to curse God. Job was:
“perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil.” (Job 1)
The word ‘perfect’ here means ‘one who is morally and ethically pure’ (Strong’s) He had reverential fear of the Lord, doing all he could to please Him, and offering sacrifices. When you think of good people, would you take Job as an example? He was blessed exceedingly. You know the story, don’t you?
God told satan that Job was already in his hands, but that he must not kill him. This story took place ages before the Law was given, it being the oldest book in the Bible. By handed- down tradition since Adam, Job endeavoured to do God’s Will as he knew it. Because he did, blessings followed him, and God had as it were a hedge of protection around him.
God does not cause bad things to happen to good people, nor is He the one that tells satan to harass them. Thanks to the cross and resurrection of Jesus, we have the glory of His grace protecting us. It’s all about His goodness; not ours. However, satan still:
“as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Pet. 5: 8)
He keeps looking for gaps in the hedge of protection. In Job’s case, it was there all along, but he did not recognize it as everything Job did seemed done in reverence to God. However, where Job missed it was that he also offered burnt sacrifices every morning for each of his ten children for fear they had sinned and cursed God. (Job 1: 5) God calls each one of us personally to come to repentance, doesn’t He? We cannot repent for someone else. Cain and Abel both offered sacrifices to God; one was accepted; the other was not!
We make our own choices, and are responsible for our own actions which, in turn, result in consequences. We must come to God in repentance daily when we know we have missed it, and/or ask Him to show us where we may have missed it.
Having lost everyone he loved and everything he had, except his wife who wanted him to curse God, Job was struck with painful boils. Yet he refused throughout his terrible ordeals to curse God, and acknowledged:
“the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me.”(job 3: 25)
This is where satan found a ‘hole in the hedge.’ Job could have repented of that as soon as he realized it, but he could not. Although he knew of God, he did not know Him! He had been performing rituals.
Job’s so-called friends offered wrong advice, similar to what might hear today, i.e. ‘God is punishing you for your sins’, or ‘God is teaching you something.’ Although he would not curse God, Job was full of self-defence, relating the great number of good deeds he had done. He felt that God should answer him so that he could personally tell him how good he had been, and why he thought he did not deserve this! (Job 31: 35 – 37)
This was Job’s second major opening for satan to enter: self-righteousness! (Job. 32: 1) The first time I read the accounts of all that Job had done, and how surely he was a good man, I felt that I could never measure up to that degree of goodness!
Self-righteousness is pride in self, isn’t it? It is being proud of what you have done; not giving God the glory for what He has accomplished through you. God loves you unconditionally, as he did Job. Satan’s snare since the beginning is pride. Fear is the opposite of love. If you don’t know God’s immense Love for you, you cannot trust Him, and that is an open door to fear.
We see in this story that Job could not trust God unconditionally because he was not secure in His Love. However, thanks to one good friend who knew the truth, Job got to meet His creator face to face, and exclaim in total exultation:
“I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent.” (Job 42: 6)
How wonderful! When you see your soul in the light of God’s grandeur and Love, surely there is no ‘good’ in you. Job abhorred himself in His marvellous Light! God looks at the heart – the regenerated spirit – which is the real you, and He only sees Jesus! You are spirit, you have a soul, and live in a body. He loves you as He does Jesus:
“ And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. “(John 17: 22 – 23)
Job ended up praying for his friends, and was instantly healed. Furthermore, the Lord restored twice the riches and possessions he had, and also gave him another seven sons and three daughters. (Job 42. 10 -17)
You are so beloved by Him! He does not condemn you, because you have been bought with a price, and all your sins have been forgiven. Be ever so thankful for everything God has done, and is doing in your life. Dear one, whenever you sense the devil trying to get a foothold into your armour of grace. We have an advocate with the Father, and repentance brings us instantly back in right standing with Him. He is our strength, peace, love, provision… our everything, and with Him we can and will overcome!
Unlike Job, you do know God. Endeavour daily to meditate on His Word. The more you come to know just how much you are loved, the more you want to please Him in everything you do, and your soul will be transformed accordingly. Beloved, do everything as unto Him. Holy Spirit guides you in all Truth. In all things acknowledge Him and He will direct your path. (Prov. 3: 5 – 6)
The word of your testimony refers to speaking openly the truth of what you have seen or experienced. The root Hebrew meaning of the word ‘testimony’ is also ‘martyr.’ A martyr is someone who would willingly sacrifice his/her life rather than deny the truth.
Do you have a testimony? Born again Christians have a testimony of how radically their lives have changed since they made Jesus Christ their Lord. They want to speak about their conversion and how His amazing Grace is transforming their lives.
In order to get saved, you have to state it out loud:
“… if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Rom. 10: 9-10)
You know that you know that as soon as you believed, and declared the words that Jesus Christ died and rose again for you, your spirit is regenerated, and you are saved for eternity.
Everything God created came about by His spoken Words: “Let there be…” (Gen. 1)His Word spoke everything into being.
I love the story of the centurion, who asked Jesus to heal his servant but did not feel worthy for Him to come to his house. He totally understood the power of words, knowing in essence that when you fully believe what you say, and act in obedience, those words will come to pass:
“I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.” (Mat. 8: 9-10)
Jesus said that the Words He spoke were not His own, but the Father’s. (John 14: 24) Every Word He spoke came to pass, and He knew it would, because He knew the Father and His Will.
Likewise, as we are a new creation, born of Him spiritually, He abides in us and we in Him. Therefore, we too, now have free access to the Father’s heart. When we picture Jesus in the gospels, we see the Father (John 14: 9) If you believe that, and that He is good, then you will have whatever you ask of Him! (John 14: 14)
Father God made a covenant with the sinless man,Jesus. It is unbreakable! A covenant means that whatever is mine is His, and whatever is His is mine; you are one! Since Jesus is the Truth, died sinless and rose again to the Father, He cannot lie. Jesus chose to become man in order to present you and me sinless unto Abba, our Father.
Now you, too, can hear Father clearly; it’s your inheritance. He loves you unconditionally! Although your spirit has been regenerated, your soul has to learn to differentiate between learned habits from the past and God’s ways. You can do that by renewing your mind through the ‘washing’ of the Word. The more you hear the spoken Word, the more you develop your faith, and learn to hear His voice. (Rom. 10: 17)There are only two voices: God’s words of peace, love, affirmation, comfort, provision, security, etc,. and the lies of the enemy, which make you feel and think turmoil.
Do words matter? Use them as a daily testimony of God’s goodness. Thank Him every day for His covenant, His mercy, His glory over you, and every seemingly minute detail He takes care of. Praise and worship Him daily! Just as not one Word He says returns to Him void, (Isa. 55: 10) none of your words spoken in faith will be left unanswered. Expect results by declaring out loud your petitions according to the Word!
There is power in your words! Your words can bring about something either positive or negative; they can make or break relationships or things. We all know how words can affect people, but do you realize that words can produce things?
What are words? Let’s have a look at what the Bible has to say about words:
“In the beginning God created… and God said… and there was.” (Gen. 1: 1-3)
“..My thoughts are not your thoughts…. For as the rain cometh down… and returneth not,… but… give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater; so shall my Word be that goeth forth of my mouth. It shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. “(Isa. 55: 8-11)
Here you see that nothing was made until Father spoke it. But, where was creation before it was pronounced into being? In Isaiah we see that there is a natural progression of thoughts manifesting into words, and words producing ‘things.’.
Now that begs the question: where do thoughts come from? You have heard the phrase: ‘As a man thinketh, so is he.’ The full verse states::
“Eat thou not the bread of him that hath an evil eye, neither desire thou his dainty meats: For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.” (Prov. 23: 7)
Your thinking originates in your heart. Before God put voice to His thoughts, He imagined what He was about to create. Likewise, you imagine the outcome of what you’re about to do even before you put thought to it. An entrepreneur, for instance, first gets pictures in his mind of something he could conceivably create before he starts putting thoughts to it as to how he could bring it to pass. He will then speak about it to those who could he beneficial to him in bringing the project to fruition.
Thus, in a nutshell, the power in your words is the fruit of your imagination and subsequent thoughts. Therefore, if you imagine painful or bad things, and then spend a lot of time thinking about these, you will verbally produce the fruit of what is in your heart.
Jesus tells us:
“I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.:” (John 14: 10)
Oh, praise God for the Power in His Words! If you have received Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, then you are His child. He is in you, and you are in Him. As His sheep hear His voice (John 10: 27), let us endeavour daily to hear and do what He what He prompts us to do. Then we will witness the manifestation of the Power of His Words in us. The Father will do the works!
When your heart is full of His daily Word, you know that you are His beloved. If you keep your thoughts centered on Him, you can experience how the power in your words can bring about healing, well-being, peace, salvation, provision… and so much more!
Your words are containers of power. With the tongue we bless God and curse men. “Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to so be.” (Jas. 3: 9 – 10) What does that mean, really? It’s understandable that we should not curse our fellow men. Yet, whenever you utter a negative word in jest, such as: “You’re crazy,” it can unwittingly offend the recipient and become a curse.
Jesus Christ is the Word and He dwelt among us (John 1: 1 – 5) He created everything by His Word and then He took on the flesh and nature of man, in essence making His Words audible to mankind. There was no idle word spoken by Him. Every Word that proceeded out of His mouth was specifically sent to do something. He spoke healing, deliverance, teaching about the Kingdom of God and compassion. His Words are containers of Power.
To those who honor the Word of God, the words become life! To those who sought to kill Him, Jesus said:
“My word has no place in you. I speak that which I have seen with my Father; and ye do that which ye have seen with your father.” (Elsewhere he amplifies: your father the devil) (John 8: 37 – 38)
Those are sobering words! It makes you realize that, unless you are completely and constantly enwrapped in the Word of God, the words you speak are not those that you hear Him speaking to you.
O.K., although you’re not of the world, you’re in it and influenced by it. The most important fact is that when Jesus spoke the universe into existence, it was so. When He spoke healing, it was done. Everything He said came to pass!
“So shall my Word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” (Isa. 56: 11)
Likewise, everything you and I say will come to pass! In other words, your words are spiritual containers of power. No matter what you say, there is a degree of power in it. The degree depends on the faith you put behind the words. If you speak healing, soothing, comforting, loving words they will accomplish what you are believing for.
Conversely, when you speak negative words of unbelief, doom, despondency and fear, and you believe it, they will come to pass!
Therefore, be careful when you feel like giving someone a piece of your mind! Likewise, speak good things and health over yourself. Don’t think you are going to get the flu just because it’s the season for it or everyone around you has it! Speak healing Scripture verses over yourself and your loved ones, apply a good dose of faith to it, thank the Lord for his Word that says:
“Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.” (3 John 2)
Be mindful of the fact that good thoughts produce good words that, in turn, produce good fruit:
“A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil; for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.” (Luke 6: 45) and:
“Every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.” (Mat. 12: 36 – 37)
Be encouraged! You can really make miracles happen by speaking the Word of God in faith over every situation in your life! Whenever you notice yourself going off on a tangent and speaking negative words, it’s O.K. Tell the Lord you’re sorry and keep on practicing to speak Life over yourself and others. God is good and ready to forgive!
“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” (Rom 8: 1)
It’s food to start the day praying:
“Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.” (Ps. 19: 14)
Ann Stewart is author of “With Wings As Eagles,” an inspirational and encouraging testimonial of how we can overcome terrible circumstances in our lives. She is dedicated to help and encourage others to stand strong spiritually, emotionally and physically