Community of Christ Church
Good morning. As I start with this theme today, I put it also in the vain of motivational speaking. Our first mindset to have is: WE ARE RESILIENT!!
We have heard the quote that God only gives us what we can handle, although we at times wonder… So why do bad things happen to good people? We can start by saying God didn’t promise a perfect life, without pain, without suffering, without learning, without trials and tribulations. In John 16:33, he says, “In this world you will have trouble.” That should put all into perspective, buckle up and get ready.
As we are well aware, we all have FREE WILL!! And with free will comes EVIL. In Mark 7:20, “what comes out of man is what makes him unclean.”
The bible is clear that not only do we have the ability to choose, we also have the RESPONSIBILITY to choose wisely. Let’s read Deuteronomy 30: 19-20:
“19 This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live 20 and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.”
As you can see, God doesn’t send us the problem, he gives us the strength to deal WITH the problem. As furtherance we read in Romans 5:35, “Suffering produces perseverance, perseverance produces character, and character produces hope.” I have a quote on my wall that says Perseverance – the greater the obstacle, the greater the glory in overcoming it. Learning to stick to something, and finally to persevere, we can all agree with Romans in our character builds and we hope as we persevere.
In our suffering we are brought closer to know what Jesus endured which brings us closer to him. We are able to closer relate to how Jesus suffered so that we can endure life. In Ephesians 4:24, we are “created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”
In a recent event, we were hit with ransomware at work, which threw us all in turmoil. My daughter made comment that she doesn’t know why people have to cause problems for others – that answer is simple – EVIL. Rabbi Harold Kushner wrote a book similar in name of “why bad things happen to good people” and he quotes, “God is limited by the evolution of human nature and human moral freedom.” Yes, we are back to Free Will, the choice of good or evil.
There are some who are nonbelievers and to this they have the choice. It is one thing to not know of God but it’s another to refuse him. In John 5:40, Jesus said “you refuse to come to me to have life.” In other words, they could come to Jesus but they choose not to follow with their free will. We should continue to provide opportunities for others to know Jesus and his good works, as he will persevere.
At the end of the day, evil, pain, suffering will all happen in life and we WILL deal with all of these. We need to remember to turn TO God not AWAY from him. He will help us to persevere even when we feel that bad things are happening to us and we do not understand why.
Paul said in 2 Corinthians 12:10, “When I am weak, I am strong.” While we don’t think we can handle more, God tells us we can handle it and is here to make us stronger. Jesus has promised to walk with us through any hardship or disaster that might look as if it could overtake us.
Let me leave you with the following thought:
YOU WILL NEVER SEE ALL THE AWESOME THINGS AHEAD OF YOU IF YOU KEEP LOOKING AT ALL THE BAD THINGS BEHIND YOU.
WE ARE RESILIENT!!