It is difficult to accept the fact that sometimes – we just suffer.

The largest attended Bible Study during my seven year tenure at Williamson’s Chapel was the one entitled, “Why do bad things happen to good people?”

The masses attended that study more than any other because that question is at the heart of any person when they worship a God that is “all good, all powerful, and all knowing.” Yet – bad things happen to good people, thus evil exists.

It is an age old question . . .  and yes, it does seem that tragic life events happen to those who have done nothing to deserve them.

Famous German philosopher and economist Karl Marx is quoted as saying,

Religion is the opium of the people.” It was translated from the German original, “Die Religion … ist das Opium des Volkes” and is often rendered as “religion… is the opiate of the masses.”

That opiate would be believing that there is a God that has everything in control and we need not fear or worry – the good and the bad are both being directed by one force (person) that is causing such events to teach, guide, console, form and develop us. We just need to sit back and let life happen. Ever heard the analogy, “Sit back and enjoy the ride”?

If that were the case, however, why would we need to bother with . . . anything?

Wouldn’t we be able to just “exist” and wait on life to happen TO us rather than our being actively engaged in the world?

John Wesley, the father of Methodism, introduced a concept called “Free Will.”

Free Will is our ability to choose how we live and act. It is freedom of choice and as we exercise these choices, we either draw ourselves closer to God/Love – or we push ourselves further away.

Which ultimately influences how we respond to God’s will.

What if God’s will were not the PATH we are walking but rather how we walk the path we find ourselves on in life?

God’s will for us is to walk with no fear, no worry, and a sense that we are not alone in our pain.

God’s will is for us to know that there IS a peace that surpasses all understanding available to us; yet it requires action on our part. We must connect to that peace.

And the human condition is hard wired for pain and suffering. God is not causing us to hurt. God hurts when we hurt but it is what we do with that hurt that matters.

Do we grow calloused?



Or – do we persevere knowing that we will make it through and the worst things are never the last things.

It is how we handle tragedies and hurts in our lives that bring purpose into our pain.

There’s hardly ever a justifiable reason for the bad things that happen in life.

Tragic loss is not laced with parts and pieces of good.

There may not be GOOD in every situation . . . but – that doesn’t stop God/Love from using all things together FOR good.

Not everything happens for a reason that is “God’s reason” but yes, there is cause and effect that happens in our universe. But in all things that happen, there can good that comes from that reason. God can use our pain for a greater good if we choose to allow it.

Romans 8:26-28

26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.

28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[i] have been called according to his purpose.