OceanSide church of Christ
|Previous||Return to list of Why_Bad_Things_Happen||Next|
REASONS BAD THINGS HAPPEN TO GOOD PEOPLE
Reasons #18 and #19
Victor M. Eskew
A. God is always speaking to us through His precious Word.
B. He exhorts us to give ear to the things that He says (James 1:19).
Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.
C. Sadly, man does not always hear.
1. Mark 8:18
Having eyes, see ye not? And having ears, hear ye not? And do ye not remember?
2. John 8:43
Why do ye not understand my speech? Even because ye cannot hear my word.
3. We often sit in Bible classes and worship services for years and do not really hear what God has to say.
D. Agony gets our attention.
I. WE SUFFER IN ORDER TO RECEIVE INSTRUCTION FROM GOD
A. C.S. Lewis: “Pain is God’s megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”
B. Psalm 119:71
It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.
C. John Thomas: “The real truths of scripture cannot be completely grasped in a classroom setting. They are discovered and only fully understood in the laboratory of life” (as quoted by Earley in 21 Reasons, p. 151).
D. In suffering there may be many things God wants us to learn:
1. We are not as strong as we think we are (Lam 3:19-20)
2. God is present (Exo. 14:10-14).
3. He is stronger than we think He is (II Cor. 12:9-10).
4. There are more important things in life (Deut. 8:3).
5. We will have to trust Him in order to make it through (Dan. 3:16-18).
6. If we will rely on God, we do not have to give up (Job 13:15).
7. Submission to God’s will is important (II Chron. 33:10-13).
E. Only in suffering can we really learn the application of God’s teaching (Ex., Gal. 4:16).
II. WE SUFFER TO DRIVE US TO OUR KNEES IN PRAYER
A. God wants His children to pray. Jesus taught the need to pray to God (Matt. 6:9).
B. When do children call upon their parents the most? Usually in times of adversity. As God’s children, we usually pray more when times are tough.
C. James 5:13
Is any among you afflicted? Let him pray.
D. Examples of those who prayed in their affliction.
1. Hannah (I Sam. 1:10)
And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the Lord, and wept sore.
2. David. David’s despair and dire circumstances invoked in him a deep inner wailing. This inner anguish took expression in the form of cries. One has said: “If I am going to cry in my pain, I might as well cry to God.”
a. Psalm 18:6
In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried unto my God…
b. Psalm 120:1
In my distress I cried unto the Lord, and he heard me.
c. Psalm 130:1
Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O Lord.
d. Other verses in the psalms when David seeks his God in his despair.
1) Psalm 55:1-4
Give ear to my prayer, O God; and hide not thyself from my supplication. Attend unto me, and hear me: I mourn in my complaint, and make a noise…My heart is sore pained within me: and the terrors of death are fallen upon me.
2) Psalm 61:1-2
Hear my cry, O God, attend unto my prayer. From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
3) Psalm 86:1
Bow down thine ear, O Lord, hear me: for I am poor and needy.
4) Psalm 142:6
Attend unto my cry; for I am brought low: deliver me from my persecutors; for they are stronger then I.
5) Psalm 143:7
Hear me speedily, O Lord; my spirit faileth…
3. Manasseh (II Kings 21:1-17; II Chron. 33:1-20)
1) 14th king of Judah
2) Came to the throne at 12 years of age
3) He reversed all the good that his father, Hezekiah, had done.
4) Later in his 55 year reigh, Assyria attacked Jerusalem and took Manasseh prisoner some 1000 miles away.
b. II Chronicles 33:12
And when he was in affliction, he besought the Lord his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers.
c. “We have seen Manasseh's wickedness; here we have his repentance, and a memorable instance it is of the riches of God's pardoning mercy, and the power of his renewing grace. Deprived of his liberty, separated from his evil counsellors and companions, without any prospect but of ending his days in a wretched prison, Manasseh thought upon what had passed; he began to cry for mercy and deliverance. He confessed his sins, condemned himself, was humbled before God, loathing himself as a monster of impiety and wickedness. Yet he hoped to be pardoned through the abundant mercy of the Lord. Then Manasseh knew that Jehovah was God, able to deliver. He knew him as a God of salvation; he learned to fear, trust in, love, and obey him. From this time he bore a new character, and walked in newness of life. Who can tell what tortures of conscience, what pangs of grief, what fears of wrath, what agonizing remorse he endured, when he looked back on his many years of apostasy and rebellion against God; on his having led thousands into sin and perdition; and on his blood-guiltiness in the persecution of a number of God's children? And who can complain that the way of heaven is blocked up, when he sees such a sinner enter? Say the worst against thyself, here is one as bad who finds the way to repentance. Deny not to thyself that which God hath not denied to thee; it is not thy sin, but thy impenitence, that bars heaven against thee” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, biblos.com).
4. Jesus (Matt. 26:37-39)
And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye hear, and watch with me. And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed…
A. Suffering make us listen to God when He speaks.
B. Affliction makes us speak to God, and He will listen (Ps. 3:4).
I cried unto the Lord with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill.