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Okay, so lately it seems like a lot, no a ton of bad things are happening to friends and family.  Not to mention there have been crazy floods and huge earthquakes and droughts all over the place.  When these things happen, it leads a lot of people to question, “Why Does God Let Bad Things Happen?”  So today, let’s look at that very subject.

In Acts chapter 9 is the conversion of Saul. Now Saul was a total character.  He went around persecuting Christians. Some of them he killed and others he threw in prison.  It made him a very well-known and well-to-do man in that culture.  But God had other plans for him.

So what did God have to do to get His attention?

Acts 9:3-9

As he was traveling, it happened that he was approaching Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him; and he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” And He said, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting, but get up and enter the city, and it will be told you what you must do.” The men who traveled with him stood speechless, hearing the [c]voice but seeing no one.Saul got up from the ground, and though his eyes were open, he [d]could see nothing; and leading him by the hand, they brought him into Damascus. And he was three days without sight, and neither ate nor drank.

God blinded Him. Wow!  What a strong thing to have to do to get someone’s attention!  What did this accomplish?  Saul himself was saved and became Paul.  Paul wrote a majority of the New Testament.  Paul’s conversion became the way for many other people to believe in Jesus.  Paul preached the gospel all over the place.  He is also the one who started preaching to the Gentiles, people who weren’t Jewish.

Again, Wow! All because God called Paul to do work for Him.  Now, did God leave Paul like that?

Acts 9:10-19

10 Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias; and the Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, “Here I am, Lord.” 11 And the Lord said to him, “Get up and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying, 12 and he has seen[e]in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him, so that he might regain his sight.” 13 But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he did to Your [f]saints at Jerusalem;14 and here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on Your name.” 15 But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen [g]instrument of Mine, to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel;16 for I will show him how much he must suffer for My name’s sake.” 17 So Ananias departed and entered the house, and after laying his hands on him said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road by which you were coming, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 And immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he regained his sight, and he got up and was baptized; 19 and he took food and was strengthened.

No, God did not!  He healed his vision and made a huge believer of Paul.

So back to the question of Why Does God Let Bad Things Happen.  It could be to get someone’s attention.  It could be to reveal Himself  to an unbeliever.  It could be to reveal sin or idols in a believer’s life.  There are numerous reasons.  And I can’t begin to understand how God thinks or to explain them.  His thoughts and actions are way higher and better than mine.

So here comes the rub; If God’s ways are better than mine and God’s plans are way better than anything I would think of for myself, can I trust Him in the dark times?  The answer, of course, is yes.  He is using this situation for my best or for someone else’s best.  He is teaching throughout and calling throughout.  It’s not a mistake that the phrase, “Do Not Be Afraid” is in the Bible 365 times.  He needs to remind us that He is there and with us. No matter what.

Is God using large-scale events such as famine and earthquakes?  The answer, of course is yes. Is He using persecution?  Naturally.  But why?  In persecuted countries God’s church is growing by leaps and bounds.  In America, we are slowly but surely pulling away from church and God’s ways.  You see the difference?

So there will continue to be cancer, there will continue to be floods and famines and earthquakes and heart attacks, etc. But is God in them all? Yes! And is He using the circumstances for our good?  YES!

Romans 8:28

28 And we know that [a]God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

So I will leave you today with a testimony from one of our Thailand Mission Team girls.  Her name is Jasmine.

According to Jaz, Her mom was a dynamic woman of God.  Her family came to church and Jaz believed in God, but she always felt like church was being pushed on her.  Her momma always told her to run after God before He had to come get her.  she said if He has to get you, it may come with pain.  Jaz never understood what that meant.

One beautiful bright day, her mother died in her sleep.  Young, oh so young.  and Jaz’s rug was pulled out from under her.  She was left asking the same questions.  And she was mad.  Mad at herself and mad at God.  The only place she knew to get answers was from God.

So she went there, angry and questioning.  And God revealed Himself to her.  Three months after her momma died, she became a Christian.  A died in the wool Christian.  And boy did her family need her to be.  It was difficult, the things this death had left in the family.  And they needed a strong woman of God to help them through.

And now she is in Thailand on a missons trip being used of God to give her testimony.  And the trip there was a miracle in itself.  You see, Jaz has signed up for the Navy and the Navy said she couldn’t go to Thailand because it was too close to her ship out date.  Jaz, being Jaz prayed about it and called the Navy telling them she would have to break her contract with the Navy then because she was supposed to go on this missions trip.  A few days went by and the Navy called her back, pushing out her ship pout date so she could go.  And people say God is dead, or irrelevant.  I say no!  God is alive and still pushing to get people’s attention!

So if you are going through something painful and difficult today, you can go to God.  He will always be there for you with answers and understanding and peace to get you through.  After all, it’s His very character, God Is Love.