Last week, we approached a hard truth. God wants with every fiber of his being for good things to happen to you in life. However, it’s not the condition of your life that is of utmost priority to God. It is the condition of your soul. So, if you’re wondering why God hasn’t broken through and dealt with your difficulty yet, maybe it’s because he knows that you can still handle the pressure. It could be doing something good in you or in someone else’ life. This post is an attempt to make sense of those times when something bad happens and it’s just bad. In the past few years, we’ve known some wonderful people that have been hit hard by things. Some of them have lost somebody close for no reason that we can find good in. The question is, “If God wants good for you and he is powerful to do it, then why doesn’t he? Isn’t his authority absolute?” Yes and no. Before you brand me a heretic and close this page, let me explain. (Knowing that it’s going to take a lot of scripture to make this point, I have inserted them into the paragraphs. I don’t want to break up the continuity of the thought, so I’ll just make reference to them.)
It all comes down to “The Kingdom of God.” Many Christians falsely assume that we are living in the Kingdom of God and that the promises of the Kingdom are a given for us as believers in Jesus. The truth of the matter is that this, right here and now, is not the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God is coming, with all it’s beautiful attributes: healing, peace, prosperity, creativity, love, joy, security, strength, etc… But it’s not here yet. Jesus said that it was near, but that the Kingdom will come to earth in its fullness when he returns (Luke 9:26-28, Revelation 12:7-10, 1 Corinthians 15:24, Luke 21:27-31, Luke 22:15-17).
Until the Kingdom does come, we are living in the kingdom of this world with the evil spiritual forces that govern it. The curse of death that came into the world with Adam’s sin is still here and at work to hurt people until Jesus comes back and conquers it (1 Corinthians 15:26). On top of that, there are demonic forces that want only to destroy people’s lives (John 10:10). And then there are people’s choices that bring consequences on themselves and others. All of these things come together to create circumstances that work against what God wants in this world.
So, why don’t good things always happen for people who believe in Jesus and follow him? Because we’re not living in the Kingdom of God. We’re living in the world and bad things happen in the world. God’s goodness, power, and Spirit are at work to counteract them through his believers. His will, however, sometimes loses the battle (for any number of reasons: Mark 6:4-6, Mark 9: 14-29, Daniel 10:12-14). When it does, though, he can redeem that bad situation and bring something good out of it (Romans 8:28). Jesus told us that sometimes we may lose a battle, get knocked down, and beaten up without any good coming out of it. He continued, however, and said that when we do, we can get back up and keep fighting, because he has already won the war.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33.