Why do bad things happen to God's people? Why would God allow bad things to happen to godly men or to anyone? Has God let the men of God down? The answer, as all know who rightly divide the Word of truth, is that we live in a sin-cursed earth, and life on this earth is full of heartache and disappointment. Freedom from the sorrow and disappointment will only happen in the future life.

There are many scriptures that show that God will not and has not forsaken us. One of my very favorites is:

Romans 8:28-39:
28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth.
34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

We know that many saints in the scriptures faced difficulties in their lives. The apostle Paul himself was stoned nearly to death at one time. I imagine it took him quite a while to recover from this horrible event. He also was in a shipwreck several times, and once, survived a day and night in the sea. He faced many, many heartaches and disappointments, as can be seen in the following passage.

2 Corinthians 11:23-28:
23 Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft.
24 Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.
25 Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;
26 In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;
27 In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.
28 Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.

And as we know, Christ our Lord suffered so very much so that we might have eternal life.

Philippians 2:5-11:
5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Many people want the sorrows and heartache of this life to be eradicated, and believe if they are not, that God has forsaken them or doesn't love them. Nothing is further from the truth. God does not ever forsake us during these times. The Apostle Paul prayed that God would deliver him from a certain "thorn in the flesh", but God did not grant his request. Rather, the Lord said to him, "My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness." For this, Paul learned to glory in. When life is at it's worst is when the Lord's love and grace shines through the brightest. When our deepest sorrow happens, is when we can be closest to HIM if we will allow it. We, who are saved, are the strongest during these times, when we lean more on the Lord, than at any other time. And it is because we have gone through these times, that the Lord is able to use us most effectively for His glory.

We see the whole context of the passage about Paul's prayer in II Corinthians 12:

II Cor. 12:7-10:
7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.
8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.
9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

The grace of God sustains us and gives us joy. This joy is in God, through our Lord Jesus Christ, and not in our physical circumstances, as Romans 5 states:

Romans 5:10-11:
10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
11 And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.

We must all take note in the scriptures, that we are not under the old laws but under new ones, the ones that the Apostle Paul ushered in. These are the ones that our Lord Jesus Christ gave to Paul for him to give to us in this present dispensation, or period of time, in which we live. (See Ephesians 3:1-11.)

When we study the writings of Paul in God's inspired Word, we find that the rules about prayer are different. We are never told, "ask, and you will receive," but rather to pray about everything, and "my grace is sufficient for thee". God never promised to give us every request we ask of him. But He did promise to meet our needs, and that He loves us and that His grace will sustain us through everything we have to go through.

This is why we must "rightly divide the word of truth"! The Lord tells us to do so in II Timothy 2:15:

2 Timothy 2:15:
15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

We must also note that the promise of all sorrow being erased is for the future. This is also found in Romans, chapter 8.

Romans 8:17-23:
17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.
20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,
21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.
23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.


My husband gave a wonderful message on this subject, after the events of 9/11. It is applicable for all of life's troubles. You may still order this tape, free of charge, by merely requesting it, if you go to the following link, and order tape #2011.

I hope and pray this helps someone else who is going through trying times. May you experience God's grace and peace through this time, by knowing he still loves you and cares for you and that His grace will sustain you through this time and for always.

Because of Him,
Mary Atwood