The question is something I indirectly ask myself often. We all know by now that bad things are going to happen to us – health issues, financial woes, heartache, those moments in life that blindside you and instantly your body wants to vomit, you name it. We’re left shattered – like never before. We’re left in anger and frustration. Ever shout out in total frustration WHY?!” or “WHY ME?!” I’ll admit it. I have. I’ll also obviously admit I don’t know the answer to the question “Why do bad things happen”.
We’re often then left wondering why and thinking clearly nothing good can come from this s Nothing good can come from being stripped of everything, nothing good can come from having your heart shattered, nothing good can come from someone dying from cancer. I mean these are bad things, they are life-altering.
I don’t have anything close to the answer on why bad things happen to us, but I do have a few unarguable truths that I personally rest in that help me cope with these bad things when they arise and I use them to grow as much as I can, and perhaps those can help you so I thought I’d share:
I can honestly say that I have learned more through failures and losses than I have winning and successes. Success is great, winning is great, but often times it’s the losses and failures that teach us what went wrong, what to overcome, what to change, how to improve and so forth.
You can learn from mistakes and adapt, you can learn to deal with disappointment for bigger disappointments (they WILL happen), you can build up strength for the next trial by enduring this one, and you can look back at how God carried you through a storm and rest in Him easier next time.
Romans 5:3 tells us “we glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance, and preservice, character, and character, hope!
So many Christian greats have had so many great things to say about hardship and affliction vs experiencing happiness. Just to touch on a few, I love Charles Spuregon’s view when he said “The Lord gets his best soldiers out of the highlands of affliction.” Affliction moves us. It changes us, it builds us. It causes us to grow and depend on the Lord more – something we can all use. As mentioned above in Romans 5:3, its TRIBULATIONS and afflictions, that God says produces perseverance and character.
It was A.W. Tozer who wrote “It is doubtful whether God can bless a man greatly until He has hurt him deeply.” I’ve heard it said many of times, especially from my pastor David Tomasso, that so often God breaks us to remake us. It’s a truth I hold on to dearly. Dave ust touched on this last Wednesday (listen at CCWestside.com) when he said so many times God will break us and strip us everything so that he can build his back up the way he intends (which is ultimately for our own perfect purpose).
The bible has so much to say on affliction and hardships and how God is our refuge through these hard times, but one thing I love is that in Proverbs 24:10, we’re told “if you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small”. There’s really a lot in that verse but one thing I personally take away is that it’s pretty much guaranteeing hardship and adversity and that your faith shouldn’t waiver the least bit when it comes your way. Easier said than done, but what a goal of faith to have.
Minister to Others:
I’m often blown away at how God uses me and the trials he’s carried me through to help others. When I look at myself in the mirror, I don’t see someone who has it all together and should be helping others. Our perfect God sees us differently though. God sees us all as work in progresses and wants to use us all where we’re at.
There have been many hardships in life that I have endured that have absolutely sucked, but one of the most rewarding things about them is when I see someone else going through a similar trial and I’m able to say with the utmost sincerity “I’ve been there.” There’s something about being there before, experiencing something, and ministering to someone going through something that connects two people like nothing else when discussing hardship and hard times.
If you’re dead broke, do you want to talk to someone who was raised up with a trust fund what to do next? If you’re going through a divorce or break-up, do you want to talk to someone who’s been married since 16 on how to cope with the break-up? I mean maybe, but you get the point. Being able to relate to someone brings a connection and a level of sincerity that I believe can cause us to let our guards down and listen with a true expectation of hope and comfort.
We’re not there! We don’t live in a perfect world. We live in a fallen world where sin abounds and until we get to Heaven, we are going to live in a place where sickness, hardship, heartache, and tragedy are rampant and affect almost every one of us in some way shape or form. We are going to experience things that just aren’t fair, we are going to lose people tragically, we are going to see cancer close to us – if not in our own very lives, we are going to have stomach-churning heartache. Unfortunately, that’s just the way it is. The promise and hope we have as Christians is that when we get to Heaven, there will be no more tears, and God will wipe away every tear that exists from our eyes (Revelation 21:4).
I can’t explain why we go through such hardships, heartache and adversity in life, but what I have learned is that it’s by these same hardships, heartache and adversity, the most growth has come – maybe not for you, but I can say that of myself with certainty, and I believe that if you purpose in your heart to endure these hardships with the above in mind, it may not get easier (at all), but it will get better and you will grow and you will become a stronger person.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, God is faithful to make beauty from ashes.
Thoughts, comments, questions, feedback always welcomed.