One of the hardest books to read in the bible, was the Book of Job. The man went through absolutely everything and yet, through everything, he kept turning to God and refuse to give up, over and over and over, till finally, he had to know, what we all ask, “Why”.
Well, a small part of why, is…notice how, growing up as teenagers, we just wanted our way? We insisted to our parents, that we didn’t care what they say, “Whaddya they know” and it was interfering with us, but then when something happens, who do we blame? Our parents? “Why”.
If they knew…”Why” so we can skip the hard stuff and just breeze on through….That’s the thing with “free will”. Free will is like becoming an adult….We want our own way, and part of that is taking the bad with the good.
Hard, it is, Yoda might say, but we have two options….we can grow from it…or stay angry at everything like Anakin (yes, I’m a Star Wars fan) who let his anger, stubbornness and refusal to listen to the advice of anyone and in the process, losing everything and succumbing to the dark side.
My pastor went through the bible (call it the “Cliff Notes version” month) to give a basic understanding of the bible, starting first with the Old Testament,
GotQuestions.org has a great explaination of the point for the OT and the NT that is worth reading. It gives a basic understanding of how the two worked together. As the site shared, “Both testaments reveal the same holy, merciful, and righteous God who must condemn sin but who desires to bring to Himself a fallen human race of sinners through the forgiveness only possible through Christ’s atoning sacrifice. In both testaments, God reveals Himself to us and how we are to come to Him through Jesus Christ. In both testaments, we find all we need for eternal life and godly living “
In other words, the Old Testament, essentially is the backstory, the history, showing many times, throughout biblical history, where man has over and over said, “I don’t need you God” and God goes, “Fine” and steps back and in the process, we see the bad, the ugly and just the worse of men, as God steps back and in some cases, silent.
GotQuestions.org shared really well that, ”
The Old Testament lays the foundation for the teachings and events found in the New Testament. The Bible is a progressive revelation. If you skip the first half of any good book and try to finish it, you will have a hard time understanding the characters, the plot, and the ending. In the same way, the New Testament is only completely understood when it is seen as a fulfillment of the events, characters, laws, sacrificial system, covenants, and promises of the Old Testament.
Life is not easy and God never promised it was going to be.
O Love that will not let me go,
I rest my weary soul on Thee!
I give Thee back the life I owe
That in Thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be. 1
God, He is that loving Father, that no matter what, we may think He’s not there, but He is. He doesn’t promise us easy answers. Bad things happen. Really bad things happen. We will cry, we will hurt, but we have that promise…that promise that life is going to be bad and we will hurt and that is where He is at His strongest in our lives, whether we know it or not or not want to know it.
Back to Job.
The guy had it really rough and I mean really rough that the fact he persevere through it all, says a lot of the man’s character. Yet…he held strong, even in his pain, he held strong; Romans 5:7-10 (CEB) tells us that, “7 It isn’t often that someone will die for a righteous person, though maybe someone might dare to die for a good person. 8 But God shows his love for us, because while we were still sinners Christ died for us. 9 So, now that we have been made righteous by his blood, we can be even more certain that we will be saved from God’s wrath through him. 10 If we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son while we were still enemies, now that we have been reconciled, how much more certain is it that we will be saved by his life?”, so no matter what, its with that promise, God is not abandoning us, He is still there and will see us through…its about trust and its about faith and yes, its both difficult and sometimes painful.
I like how christianity.net.au goes, “The Bible explains that in the beginning God made the world as a good and ordered world that was free from pain and suffering. Things would have stayed that way if humans had continued to acknowledge God for who he is. But when we failed to obey and respect him then the world became a place that was full of bad consequences. Even ‘nature’ itself became a source of pain. God let this happen because he gave humanity a free-will to decide how we live.” and reminds us though,”God will not let this go on forever. The Bible clearly presents a future day when God will reverse the downward spiral of this present existence. On that day he will do two things (amongst many). Firstly, he will bring to justice all those who have caused bad things to happen to others (Psalm 10). Secondly, he will do a magnificent work on this world so that “the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay” (Romans 8:21). 2
© 2012, Sunflower Faith. All rights reserved.
- Lloyd M. Perry and Charles Sell, Speaking to Life’s Problems (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1983), p. 198. ↩
- christianity.net.au/questions/why_does_god_let_bad_things_happen_to_good_people/ 3”
As a follower of Christ, this is an easy (albeit difficult at the same time) to understand, not so much as a non-believer, particularly in a very chaotic world that we know and see and read and hear, but we can’t ignore the good that is there and for followers, the hope and promise that is in and through our Father in Heaven.
No matter what happen, God won’t abandon us. Yes it’s easy to go, well look God was in a wager with the enemy, but look at why, because God knew that He could trust in Job and Job trusted in Him. It was a testament to the enemy of the power and hope that is in trusting, believing in our Father in Heaven.
One that is not easy, that is absolutely for sure, but as Revelations 21:4 NIV, shares with us, “4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’[a] or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”” We want life to be easy, but realists know that we don’t live in a perfect world. Its a broken world and yet we can’t give up that hope and in the process see the good that is there. God hasn’t abandon us, or being standoffish, He is there with and for us, all the way. We just need to take that leap of faith, and trust…trust that is hard, but possible at the same time to have.