There’s this age-old question that I am 100% sure you have heard:
"Why do bad things happen to good people?"
Just to be clear, I don’t have the answer to this question.
However, I feel that God has recently provided me with peace of mind...He has brought to my heart, a new book in the Bible:
The book of Ezekiel.
I can’t imagine how I never truly noticed it before. It is full of meaning and depth and harsh beauty.
Ezekiel has this call to demonstrate God as Sovereign Lord.
At first glance, this book is filled with God’s promises of punishment to Israel, but actually, this book is a book of hope. It is filled with God’s amazing promises to His people-a covenant of peace, and an everlasting covenant-God calls it.
See somewhere along the line, the Israelites forgot that God is supreme. They had forgotten their own history of how God had protected them. They had let themselves wander once again, not into the dessert, but into the arms of false gods.
And God was gracious enough to not allow them to stay there.
One of the themes I am finding in Ezekiel is that God wants to be known as the one true God. He says so often to Ezekiel.
“And then they will know that I am the Sovereign Lord.”
The catch is these words usually come after God promises to send His people through trials, which is a major bummer.
But then I realized: that’s what God uses. He uses trials so that we may “know that He is Lord.” As I ponder this, I realize that as a believer, I don’t think I’ve ever gone through something crappy and come out on the other end knowing God less. I always know Him better.
I begin to understand Him as gracious, loving, kind, caring, friend, father, provider, judge, …..sovereign Lord.
I don’t have all the answers, but maybe, just maybe, the key to working through hard times, is not that we need to fully understand the circumstances, it’s that we need to understand ourselves and God.
“So that we may know that He is Lord.”
Or in my own words, so that we may step into a deeper relationship with Him.
Because the truth of the matter is that when we walk through hurt and pain and struggles with God by our side, we begin to discover. All of a sudden this portion of God that we never understood before, begins to step into the light.
And a new piece of God is unleashed. And these trials lead to faith.
Suddenly your own story has instilled in you an assurance.
Because after your fight to understand, you can say with confidence:
Yes God is good.
Yes God is kind.
Yes God is loving.
Yes God is Sovereign Lord, and my story is proof….
After this, it will be as though no one can make you deny what God has proven to you is true.
Why else would God allow us to experience such hard things? He never does things without a purpose. He wants us to know Him better.
So this world-famous question that everyone seems to ask themselves sometimes in life, why do bad things happen to good people...I still have not answered it, I know. But maybe the secret of answering this question does not lie where we think it does. Perhaps, we must simply realize that God’s ultimate goal is to draw us nearer to Him.
Whatever you are going through, whatever the confusion or heartache, search yourself and God. Seek to understand who He is and who He has created you to be.
It is there, that you will find assurance.