fred-wintersAs I write this post, a pastor has been shot to death in the pulpit by a person who walked into the church.  It happened at the First Baptist Church of Maryville, IL.  We wonder, “Why would God allow such a thing… in His house… on His day… in worship?”  Keep reading…

Last week I wrote about a young man who is a member of the church I serve who found out he has pancreatic cancer (click here This post is something of a followup but has a different purpose in mind that follows the question posed in the last paragraph.

suffering  When I hear people say, “I know we’re not supposed to question God…”  I wonder to myself… Why not?  When I hear people say, “I know we can’t know why these things happen…” I wonder to myself… Why can’t we know?

  After all, didn’t Jesus say if anyone seeks they will find?  Isn’t it written if any man lacks wisdom he can ask of God and it will be given?

I would agree we can’t know every reason for what God does nor are we able to know all the intricacies of what happens in our lives… however… I do believe God has given us a lot of answers to “Why ‘bad’ things happen to Christians.”  My goal in this post is to suggest a few reasons… keeping in mind this post is not exhaustive and only begins to explore this issue.

In order to get our arms around the answers, I believe there are two foundational questions that must be answered in the affirmative:  #1 Do you believe God (Ps 84:11b)?  #2 Do you trust God (Heb 13:5b)?  If either or both are answered “no,” then these answers will be very difficult to deal with.

Reason #1: To Glorify God (2 Cor 4:15)

   For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.

   John 9:1 As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” 3 Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.”

Reason #2: To Share in Christ’s Glory (1 Peter 4:12-14)

   Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. 14 If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you…

Reason #3: To Be Conformed To The Image Of Christ (Romans 8:29)

   And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might bethe firstborn among many brothers.

Reason #4: To Mature Christians In The Faith (James 1:2-4)

   Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

Reason #5: To Comfort Others In Their Trials (2 Cor 1:3-4)

   Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

Reason #6: To Rest Completely Upon Christ’s Power (2 Cor 12:7-10)

   So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Reason #7: To Embolden Christians To Faithful Service (Phil 1:12-14)

   I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, 13 so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ. 14 And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.

Reason #8: So That Jesus’ Life Is Manfiested In Us (2 Cor 4:7-12)

   But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We areafflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10 always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. 11 For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12 So death is at work in us, but life in you.

Reason #9: It Is God’s Will For Christians To Suffer (Phil 1:29)

   For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in Him but also suffer for His sake…

Reason #10: It Is God’s Way Of Increasing Rewards (2 Cor 4:16-18)

   So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

Click here for part 2…