Have you ever found yourself looking at someone who has had something bad happen to them, and thinking that it’s their fault; it’s because of their actions? I have, I’m guilty …. I have judged more than once, and I’m certain to do it again – and if you try to say you have never had that thought, I will call you out as a liar. Bad things happen to bad people, right? If we are “good,” somehow we will be spared? Try telling that to the elderly woman who was battered and raped and robbed. Tell it to the child who lost their family in a fire. Tell that to the hundreds of thousands who have been through devastating storms and fires and earthquakes; volcano eruptions and floods and tsunamis; tell it to people who have lost every material thing they own, along with family members who are killed. Sure, there are bad people among them, but many of those people were what we would consider ‘good.’
Do we, as the human race, deserve all the bad that happens to us and around us? Oh, friend, we absolutely deserve all of the bad! Are we the ‘better person(s)’ because we were spared? Not at all. JESUS answers the question of whether people who are ‘bad,’ the sinners and the offenders, are the only ones who suffer. We need to take heed of His Words:
“At that very time there were some present who told Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. He asked them, “Do you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way they were worse sinners than all other Galileans? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish as they did. Or those eighteen who were killed when the tower of Siloam fell on them—do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others living in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish just as they did.” ” – Luke 13:1-5 MRS
In fact, Satan (GOD’s nemesis, the enemy of mankind and all of the angelic beings) delights in tormenting the innocent and the defenseless; especially those who are at the mercy of others. He delights in torment, no matter how good or kind the person might be, and he especially takes pleasure in causing pain to all of GOD’s creation, maiming and disfiguring and hurting.
Because Adam and Eve chose to follow the guiles of the enemy, turning their backs on the ALMIGHTY GOD, simply to sample the forbidden fruit in the Garden…. the ONE tree they were to leave untouched out of all the bounty and beauty of the Garden. It lies in our perversity, our determination to do things our way rather than GOD’s way, that opens the door to let the enemy ceate havoc in our lives and in our world. Why does GOD allow it? I confess to not really understanding the ‘why’s’ and ‘wherefores,’ but I do know this:
Paul writes: “For many live as enemies of the Cross of CHRIST; I have often told you of them, and now I tell you even with tears. Their end is destruction; their god is the belly; and their glory is in their shame; their minds are set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and it is from there that we are expecting a SAVIOR, the LORD JESUS CHRIST. He will transform the body of our humiliation that it may be conformed to the body of His Glory, by the Power that also enables Him to make all things subject to Himself.” – Philippians 3:18-21 NRSV
Paul’s words were true when he wrote them, and they are true 10x or 100x or 1000x today! Regardless of the damage that may be done to my body, or the loss of all my earthly goods, man – indeed, Satan himself, cannot destroy my soul. Jesus assures me of this:
“Who will separate us from the Love of CHRIST? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the LOVE of GOD in CHRIST JESUS our LORD.” – Romans 8:35, 38-39 NRSV
Man may hurt and kill my physical body, but I am not afraid. For I know that no one, nothing, can kill my soul. My LORD has my heart in His very capable Hands!
Image: “Heart or Hand” by Shamieka Dean http://www.shamiekadean.com/hand-or-heart/