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About God When Suffering Happens to Good People

(by Bill Stevenson, November 3, 2005)

I tried to read the book titled “Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People”. A Jew wrote it and
apparently didn’t have the New Testament teaching about God and His grace and wonderful promises for
true Christians. I couldn’t read more than two chapters: the emphasis was for humanism, not faith. The
God I know has good reasons for every bad event He allows to happen. I believe that because of doing a
lot of Bible study and because of many different experiences. Some of the latter, I have been able to
determine the reasons for me to suffer injustice and temporary medical problems.
Since early in 1975, I have done a lot of intercessory praying when I have read about people suffering
with health problems. I have never doubted God. I just kept looking for Romans 8:28 when I have had to
suffer for my faith. I have occasionally asked “Why, God”, but I never became angry against God. I
never blamed Him for anything either. I tried to read the book titled “Why Do Bad Things Happen to
Good People”. A Jew wrote it and apparently didn’t have the New Testament teaching about God and His
grace and wonderful promises for true Christians. I couldn’t read more than two chapters: the emphasis
was for humanism, not faith. The promises that have kept me going during and after suffering are 1
Corinthians 10:13 and Romans 8:28. I summarize the former to “no test of my faith past my strength”.
Like when I was suffering with kidney stone pain, I actually said “thank you, God” a lot meaning “thank
you God for giving me the strength to endure the pain”. And after every upset in my life, I looked for
Romans 8:28 blessings and they always eventually came. Even after the death of my childhood role
model (my mother’s mother), my main Romans8:28 blessing was that I realized before the start of the
annual student/faculty basketball game that life goes on and I had the responsibility to live the Christian
character traits that she exemplified to me about 15 years. Other Romans 8:28 blessings were better
paying ministries and jobs after loosing such.
After the 9/11 terrorists attacks with 3 planes crashing into the 2 World Trade Center buildings and the
Pentagon, a number of wonderful spiritual poems, testimonies, and reports which indicated God was not
just looking down from Heaven. He was personally involved in sparing lives in various ways. Even non-
Christians, who wanted to go to the attacked buildings, said they sensed inner warnings or unexpected
delays. Also, I heard some testimonies of individuals who claimed that supernatural help enabled them to
survive. Some of them were not Christians before. So apparently tragedy and suffering can have Romans
8:28 blessings.
The just mentioned event was much suffering to innocent people caused by a small number of sinners.
God did not cause such. He did not stop the well-planned attacks, because He knew that no one in those
buildings needed more time to decide whether to live for Him or for themselves and Satan. The
spiritually born again individuals who would be in those buildings (much less than usual) were ready for
eternity with Him. He knew the rest of the victims would never commit their lives to loving Him. He is
all knowing and is not limited to our time frame. He also knows who will react to suffering with faith in
His promises for eternal life with Him and who won’t. When Christians in the past were burned at the
stake in Europe, they either quote Scripture or sang Christian songs. The last words of famous atheists
were full of anger, fear, or/and hatred.
Some think He causes the so-called “natural disasters”, but the Bible says that Satan is the prince of
the air. I also believe a lot of the weather problems have been caused by scientific experiments like laser
and chemicals in the atmosphere. But again God knows those who will die from such, who are His
adopted children and who would never want to become such no matter how much more time they would
have to do so.
Finally, diseases in both humans and animals are because of the human beings going away from the
ways God said for us to eat and drink and take care of the Earth. And yes there are many immoral and
unethical people that don’t seem to have to suffer with health problems. But how can God be blamed? I
don’t know if true Christians will see their pets again, but God knows how much suffering they can take
too. I believe that most veterinarians do have some understanding of that too and some may be Holy
Spirit sensitive too. He is the expert.
Since early in 1975, I have done a lot of intercessory praying after I have read about people suffering
with health problems. Most people, especially in Europe and the USA, will not seriously consider really
frequently trusting, loving, and living for God until they are severely tested. So I pray that they will do so
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instead of thinking against Him. I also pray especially for Holy Spirit sensitivity by the true Christian
friends, relatives, and helpers to witness to those having physical and mental problems because of the
tragedy, so that good counsel will be given.
I have never doubted God. I just kept looking for Romans 8:28 when I have had to suffer for my faith.
I have occasionally asked “Why, God”, but I never became angry against God. I never blamed Him for
anything either. The promises that have kept me going during and after suffering are 1 Corinthians 10:13
and Romans 8:28. I summarize the former to “no test of my faith past my strength”. Like when I was
suffering with kidney stone pain, I actually said “thank you, God” a lot meaning “thank you God for
giving me the strength to endure the pain”. And after every upset in my life, I looked for Romans 8:28
blessings and they always eventually came. Even after the death of my childhood role model (my
mother’s mother), my main Romans8:28 blessing was that I realized before the start of the annual
student/faculty basketball game that life goes on and I had the responsibility to live the Christian
character traits that she exemplified to me about 15 years. Other Romans 8:28 blessings were better
paying ministries and jobs after loosing such.
The God I know is very loving in so many ways and He has kept all of His promises to me. No one in
my life has done such. Has anyone in your life been always loving and kept all of his or her promises to
you? Why did the 11 Disciples go from great fear when Jesus Christ was killed and then became some of
the bravest preachers in history after they saw Jesus again and saw Him rise to go back to Heaven? The
eternal-life-with-God promises were enough for them to risk their lives in sharing the Gospel. The later
divinely-chosen Apostle, who was a former Pharisee, frequently spoke about and wrote about joy, peace,
and righteousness from God for the true believer even though he had to experience many sufferings for
his new lifestyle. He counted all of such and his past successes as a religious leader dung compared to his
learning Jesus Christ (to think as He thinks).
True Christians have the greatest courage and compassion in the world even when they are suffering.
This usually is the best testimony and usually makes non-believers either jealous or more selfish or
hateful. Paul’s epistles became 1/3 of the New Testament and millions have changed their ways of
thinking and doing after studying them. He never asked God why He allowed good people and animals
suffer. I would rather base my understanding of God in His written promises because He and His love are
far better than anything and anyone in this world. So everyday I will keep doing a lot of praying for
people who are suffering hoping that they will be persuaded to love and trust God more than they ever
have. They will then receive peace and joy from Him.
In conclusion, one should not scorn God the Creator but should just trust that He knows what He is
doing and not doing. He has good reasons for both and He knows Who all will be with Him for eternity.
So you have the choice to believe Him and His Word or to reject the just mentioned. You are not
promised eternal life by anyone else. What if your life ended later today or tomorrow? Is death final and
forever or would you like to see beautiful Heaven and later the new Earth with just righteous, sincerely
friendly people and no sin forever? As for myself, I choose the latter even though I can’t understand it
completely. I live on by faith in God Almighty and have confidence in what the Bible says for my future.