When Bad Things Happen
August 25, 2009 • By Ed Wrather
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. - Romans 5:1-4 NKJV.
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord. - 1 Corinthians 15:58 NKJV.
We often think of bad things happening to people who have done something that they should not have done. However, bad things sometimes happen to people who are just living life, doing the best they can day after day.
Anna Ramirez and her family encountered this sad truth up close and very personally when they were unexpectedly, and without reason evicted from their home. The Ramirez home and furniture was auctioned and sold to the highest bidder by their bank. The family was given only three hours to leave the home with their personal possessions. The entire unfortunate incident was the result of an error by the Miami-Dade County Clerk's Office. Eventually, a judge did rectify the situation, and the Ramirez family recovered their home and furniture.
Donald May encountered another traumatic incident when he was driving home from work. An officer stopped him, because of an expired tag on his car. Donald had a mint in his mouth when the officer stepped up to the window of his car. Seeing the white mint, the officer believed it was crack cocaine, and arrested Donald and impounded his car. The officer made several claims that were false and Donald ended up falsely imprisoned in jail for three months. He was finally released after tests proved that the mint was just a mint and not cocaine. Meanwhile, Donald lost his job, his apartment, and his car which the police department auctioned off. As Donald says, “I lost everything.”
Bad things do happen to good people who are just busy trying to live life. How are we to respond as Christians when those bad things happen to us? Do we blame God? Do we give up on trying to live the Christian life? What are we to do?
What we are to do is to stand up, put one foot in front of the other, continue on with living life, and serving our Lord. We are the beneficiaries of “grace in which we stand.” That grace was not, and is not free; it was paid for by the blood of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ on the cross at Calvary. While we are still clothed in this flesh, and living on Planet Earth bad things do happen. We must not let that deter us from our mission to be “ambassadors of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20).” Instead of being discouraged, we must stand in the grace with which we have been blessed. Instead of being broken and beaten by life, we should be “steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that (our) your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”
How is it possible for us to be steadfast in the face of evil? We can do all things through Christ, who strengthens us (Philippians 4:13), and we are His “ambassadors.” Instead of focusing in upon the trouble, the problems, the pain that life may have sent your way - put your focus upon Jesus: “…consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls (Hebrews 12:3).” With your focus on Jesus you will have “perfect peace (Isaiah 26:3),” and you will be empowered and able to meet any challenge that you may encounter in life.