Read (from the New Living Translation)

John 9:1-3

As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man who had been blind from birth. 

“Rabbi,” his disciples asked him, “why was this man born blind? Was it because of his own sins or his parents’ sins?” 

“It was not because of his sins or his parents’ sins,” Jesus answered. “This happened so the power of God could be seen in him” 

Go Deep

Wally_WBSGbioTo start us off, Wally shares how this question kept him from following God for a long time. He shares how he wrestled with it and the powerful conclusion he came to.

One of the biggest questions that holds people back in their faith is, “If God is good, why do bad things happen to good people?”

Truth be told, this very question kept me estranged from God for many years. What is so interesting about this question is, in addition to the question of suffering, it also includes our sense of justice. Why do bad things happen to good people? In our minds we can almost justify or wrap our heads around bad things happening to bad people. However, the reality is, God loves us all the same and does not make any distinction between good or bad people with regard to both blessing and suffering.

Matthew 5:45 says, “For He gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.” So where does that leave us? The question is still out there, and the truth is I don’t have a definitive answer. While I was wrestling with this question I had a pastor tell me, “People suffer so that God can be glorified.” I took a minute to process this and then exclaimed, “Are you kidding me, what kind of narcissist would intentionally cause people to suffer just so He could receive praise?”

Enter 6 more months of me not following God.

In order for me to move forward with my faith, I had to somehow resolve this question in my head. It is a fact: innocent people suffer and perish. Scripture is full of examples of men and women who suffered unjustly and were innocent of any wrongdoing. Remember, the Bible says good and bad things happen to both good and bad people. Maybe we just take more note when bad things happen to good people.

Even the disciples wrestled with this question when Jesus encountered a blind man. The Bible says in John 9:1-3, “As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man who had been blind from birth.

“Rabbi,” his disciples asked him, “why was this man born blind? Was it because of his own sins or his parents’ sins?”

“It was not because of his sins or his parents’ sins,” Jesus answered. “This happened so the power of God could be seen in him”

And there it was, strait from the mouth of Jesus – the concept I had so badly wanted to debunk was staring me in the face.

So here is where I landed on this question that helped me move on. It was one part semantics. For me, saying this bad thing happened to show the power of God is vastly different from saying this bad thing happened so some all powerful, all knowing being could receive some sort of praise. God revealing His character through tragedy doesn’t feel self serving, but rather serves to help people realize there is a God, He cares about their pain, and He is good.

The second part of solving this equation for me came down to my own arrogance – thinking that the God who made everything I could see somehow owed me an answer. I had to accept that I do not know everything He knows and I cannot see the full scope of the picture He sees.

Do I think God causes people to suffer? Absolutely not. Do I think He uses any an all situations to show people who He is so that they might be drawn to Him? I give that a resounding Yes!

My favorite story in the Bible is the story of Lazarus. Mary and Martha are upset with Jesus because they called Jesus to save Lazarus and, since He did not come immediately, Lazarus died.

This is the story that has the shortest, but I think one of the most powerful verses in the Bible. John 11:35, “Jesus wept.”

What makes these two words so powerful is the fact that is shows the concern Jesus had for these women. Jesus knew the plan. He knew He was going to raise Lazarus from the dead, but He also know that Mary and Martha had to go through something they did not want to walk through. See, they believed Jesus could heal Lazarus so when He did not show up in the way they expected, it crushed them. The importance of Jesus crying is that He felt their pain. He hurt for them, and it is important to note that He was with them.

In the end, we are still talking about Lazarus raising from the dead today and the God that did it. Had Jesus just helped a sick friend, the story would not have the same impact.

Bad things happening to us is just the price tag of living in a fallen world. God redeems suffering so that more people will come to know him.

Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” I used to think this meant I would never have any problems, but I think it is referring to the greater good. The good that might be for someone else that comes from our pain.

That is hard to understand because it is so selfless and altruistic. However, Jesus provided to be the ultimate example of this. He suffered untold pain and, even though he was sinless, His sacrifice was part of the plan and good for everyone.

So, this is how I have come to believe that God is good. Outside circumstances tend to determine our view of God. When things are good, we see God as good. When things are bad, we wonder why He is persecuting us.

The truth is, God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. What changes are the circumstances of our life, not God. So, logic would dictate, if God is the same and He is good when things are good in my life, then He must also be good when the circumstances that surround my life are bad.

This was the biggest turning point in my faith. Learning to see God as good, even in the bad, changed my life and my relationship with Him. If you are wrestling with this issue, I hope that this World’s Biggest Small Group reading can help give you some clarity. If you have already settled this in your life, share your thoughts, because you might be able to help someone else. That is what the World’s Biggest Small Group is all about.

Notes from the Beyond Suffering Bible

Seeing Is Believing – [In John 9,] Jesus demonstrated his power over sickness and disease. We are familiar with the healing power of Jesus, but this was something special. This was not healing a small cut. Rather, this was giving sight to one who had never seen before. Today, we know that this would involve restoring neural pathways in the brain. In Jesus’ day, such healings were unheard of (9:32). This was an amazing miracle, but it also resulted in spiritual vision—faith.

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257 comments
  1. Profile photo of Kdizne
    Kdizne

    OH BOY!!!

    Is the World’s Largest Small Group here for a purpose or is it just me being blinded for my love of the country of Haiti??? 🙂

    If you havent heard, Haiti is about to be hit by Category 4 Hurricane Matthew. Most of the “homes” in Haiti are not built to with stand heavy winds of any kind.

    The word from my ex pat friends on the ground in Haiti is that the Haitian people are not taking getting prepared for the storm seriously. There is much worry that this is going to lead to alot of death and its a given that the land will be devestated just by the storm going over it.

    Thank you in advance for praying for the people of Haiti, and for those organzations and people that are already on the ground in the country as they go through landfall of the storm and deal with the aftermath after he clears out.

    Loving God & Loving Haiti

    Kelly D

    • Mark Maddox

      Sent up prayers to God for all the people of Haiti. Prayers for safety and security. God bless you

    • Tori

      I was just in Haiti one month ago and because I was in the presence of the people and got to know many of them including the girl I sponsor, the news this week hit me hard. Many people there especially in remote areas do not know of the storm coming. I know that efforts have been made to reach these areas by word of mouth as many do not have access to media. It was no coincidence that I was called there at this time. For God to break my heart for the people. I understand what their housing situation is, the terrain, how they live. They are so vulnerable to natural disasters. Pray for these people.

    • Profile photo of VLily
      VLily

      I pray for the people and island of Haiti as well as your friend. That is so scary, yet as the reading say, God is with them. I have faith that He has this situation in His hands.

    • Janice Mellon

      Praying for Haiti!!!!

    • Profile photo of Claudia88

      I just joined the small group today. After this hurricane has devastated Haiti. I also just watched my church online for the first time in a long time. There was a pastor from one of our churches’ partners in Haiti that asked for us to pray for this devastation. Who would have thought that I would be asked to pray for these people in a span of about an hour from two different sources stemming from the Internet when I have been “unplugged” for a while. That shows how God weaves a beautiful tapestry pulling threads from all different directions to display His power and glory. And to show just how “small” our world is. Thank you for leaving your comment.

    • Maria

      Pray for my daughter she has been dealing with transgender issues wants and feels she is a boy and for about a year and half I am broken and shattered to pieces she also has attended to take her life 3 times Has depression and she got worst with medications and side effects she currently taking Sam e and vitamins but it is not working she is sees a psychologist but not Changed she struggles not wanting to do anything including school please pray for her healing.

    • Necole

      This life is all about saving the lost.

      If my suffering will become a testimony and speak to the heart of a lost soul I am an instrument God can use to rescue a heart for all eternity.

      May we all keep our perspective and remember the bigger picture.

      God is good. His plans for us are good. He is in control. You can trust Him. He loves you and needs your help to get the message through to the blinded and lost that there is hope in Him.

      • Melinda

        If my suffering will become a testimony and speak to the heart of a lost soul I am an instrument God can use to rescue a heart for all eternity.——– Great way to put it!!!!

  2. Profile photo of uniquejenique

    Amen and amen. As people we tend to forget that God is above us and so far beyond us. We expect Him to think like us and He doesn’t. This message was very humbling. Thanks, Wally.

    • Sharmika Brookins

      Amen & Amen 🙏🏽

  3. Brenda Scheidt

    This also has puzzled me for some time. I had breast cancer 6 years ago and struggled with this very question, but as I struggled through the treatments, I came to realize that God had not decided I needed to have this disease but he worked through others during this time and brought me closer to Him. I now count it as a blessing because it drew me closer to God and strengthen my ability to have more empathy towards others whether they are going through the same thing or another crisis.

    • Profile photo of Rebie WAY-FM

      Thank you so much for sharing, Brenda!! God never changes – even when circumstances do.

  4. Profile photo of lgulbran09

    God is so big and so strong, we forget to praise him during the rough days and only praise him when we want or something to happen that we want/needed to happen. When my down days come along, I always ask God why, I hate feeling like this, but a quote always comes to my mind, The Lord will never give us an obstacle that we can not over come. He gives us test to come closer to him.

    Lord, thank you for the obstacle you put us through in our everyday life, you test our love for you and you are so strong. Lord, I pray to you this morning to give you thanks, thanks for another breath, and thanks for all the love you show us everyday. Lord, be with us a show us today and walk with us in your life your have for us.
    In Jesus name we pray. Amen

    • Samantha

      Amen

    • BLO

      but the on;y way we can overcome the obsticle is with God

  5. Profile photo of yparrilla84

    This really hit home within me, when you said if God is good during the good times and he doesn’t change, surely he is good during the bad times. He doesn’t change, our circumstances change. This blew my mind because I’ve been struggling with my circumstances and questioning my faith. This is my first time participating in this group and boy is it such a blessing-I needed this word, thank you!

  6. Cat

    I have learned that when bad times come, God is faithful. The situations I have faced seemed horrible at the time, but looking back I can see how God helped my faith to grow. He has carried me through situations, not always quickly, but in a way that helped me to see His work in my life. That is a loving God!

    I’m glad the World’s Largest Small Group is back.

  7. Blaine

    Thanks, Wally and WBSG for helping me think more deeply about this topic. The quote below really spoke to my heart today.

    “For me, saying this bad thing happened to show the power of God is vastly different from saying this bad thing happened so some all powerful, all knowing being could receive some sort of praise. God revealing His character through tragedy doesn’t feel self serving, but rather serves to help people realize there is a God, He cares about their pain, and He is good.”

  8. Profile photo of JessC
    JessC

    He really is a GOOD and just God! While going through some really tough times in my life, I often wondered WHY?!? But I never placed my blame on Him, instead I became closer to him than I have ever been. I really did run to Him when I needed him most and he was there to help me find peace and understanding.

  9. Profile photo of Ann
    Ann

    This was a great way to start my morning. I recently had to walk away from a 10 month relationship and man I love due to his alcoholism. It’s been 10 months of heartache and suffering but I know God has better plans for me. I just need to surrender to Him and stop being my own obstacle.

    • Profile photo of susieqgray

      Prayers going out to you, I am separated from my husband of eight years due to his alcoholism and addiction issues. It has been a very painful experience, and the chaos I’ve been living in these eight years, unthinkable. Through it all, I trust God, whatever his plan is, I pray to have spiritual eyes to see what the next step is. Lord, do not let us take one step to the left or the right without your guidance! Give us courage and strength as you mend the wounds that the addiction of loved ones has cast on our hearts and souls, and by your grace,let us forgive,and heal these men of their addictions so they may rise up and be the men you designed them to be and glorify you! AMEN

      • Profile photo of Melinda

        I am experiencing the same after 29 years of marriage. It is the hardest and most painful thing I have experienced. I pray for both of us and our alcoholic husbands.

        Thank you for sharing.

    • Thia

      Timely for me too, as I am going through a divorce after 21 years from an alcoholic. My youngest is struggling and that makes me struggle more. I know God has a plan in this but at times He’s quiet and it’s hard to see or feel His presence.

  10. Debra

    Wally is absolutely correct. We must give things over to God because when we don’t, we make it worse. I fought with God for years and missed some very important “happy times” because I was so angry with Him over the one thing I wouldn’t let go. Until the night I cried, cried, and cried some more and then gave that one thing over to Him, I didn’t have peace. It definitely brought me closer to Him.

    • Profile photo of Teresa Stephens

      Amen! Funny how He “let’s us” hang onto something. Just that one thing that totally separates us from hearing from Him AND like u said, makes everything worse! Prayers for continued peace and that He will continue to drawer you near!

  11. For me, I have come to my understanding that everything is in God’s time. When I was molested by a pastor in middle school, I questioned God then… Several years later when it affected my relationship with my husband and I went into counseling I still was questioning God about it. Then several years later, little did I know I would have a girl in my Girl Scout troop that would also be molested, although not by a pastor, I was able to talk to her and help her by using my own experience. We have no way of knowing what bad things can be turned to good… Or when… Till we fully trust in God!

  12. Travis

    I’ve been going thru some tough times, but I continue to tell myself that God is good and that all the trials and tribulations are here to draw me closer to Him. And it has! To God be the Glory.

    • Profile photo of cdm6566

      Travis,

      Thank you for sharing your faith. God is good, and you are giving him the Glory as he strengthens you in this tough time – PRAISE our HEAVENLY Father!!. I know that I will not be the only one to lift you up in prayer. God is with you always, Amen.

  13. Jacqueline Haney

    This was a great read! Something I too have learned over my almost two years of being saved is that the acts of humankind often has a negative affect on one another. With God’s non intervention on free will, alot of the bad things that happen to people are the affect of free will, inflected on ones self or others. God is so good that he can take those situations and turn them into a miracle. We have to learn that we will not always understand everything that happens and it’s purpose in our lives but every situation dealt teaches us something. Often times it bonds us stronger to our Lord.

  14. Bernice Smith

    Hi there. Starting reading these last year and it was a blessing to my days! Thank you for the devotions you share at WAYFM .

  15. Brenda Stephens

    This was so interesting to read your take on this Wally. But I have always looked at things we go through out trials are for specific reasons. They are to be used as ministry down the road to help someone else who is going through the same thing. When I was younger my husband and I wanted children we were married 9 years I discovered I was pregnant, 6 wks into that I lost the baby I was devastated, I became pregnant again and I lost that baby. I finally decided to give up and 1 year to the day I lost the last baby I delivered a beautiful baby girl. Why did I loose those two other babies that was not what I needed. God provides for our needs, not our wants. But many years later I could use my experience with the miscarriages to help my niece deal with her miscarriage, and eventually with my daughter with her loss of two. God gives us these things to be used down the road to minister to others. You can’t know how a person feels in a situation until you have walked in that situation, then you will know what to do or say that is ministry.

  16. Profile photo of Suzanne

    So glad you came to the conclusion you did Wally. Yes we live in a fallen world and God is good all the time and is sovereign. All will be restored to what it originally was someday in the future. Thanks for doing these lessons, they mean a lot to me and I am sure to many, many others.

  17. These last few years have been full of “bad” in the eyes of the world. It began when my mother was diagnosed with cancer. This year in particular has been full of suffering and pain. In January my husband’s aunt passed away. In February, just when my mother was on the uphill swing, she took a fall and subsequently had two heart attacks and passed away. In June a man who was very much like a father to me passed away. Later in June my aunt passed away and in July my mother-in-law passed away one week after we sold our home and moved in to help care for her. Many wonder how we function. I have said from the beginning, that I make it with the help of Jesus. I also have the blessed assurance that I will see everyone of those loved ones again in Heaven. I know there is a purpose for all these events. For me the purpose is to draw nearer to God and I pray his light shines brighter through the brokenness of me. I have not always been strong and steady through this process but I have never lost sight of Jesus.

    I am so excited for this study. I am so looking forward to drawing closer to Jesus through this process.

    • Janice Mellon

      You have been through so much!!
      May our Beautiful Father wrap His Loving Arms around you and protect you from the violent storms of life!
      💗💗💗

  18. Profile photo of Asher
    Asher

    Why do some people suffer more than others? I would always ponder that question when I saw people’s lives going so differently. A youth pastor at ,y church helped me realize that God sees a much bigger picture than we do, and suffering, and why some people seem to suffer more than others, is simply the way He will lead us to Him. I’ve discovered through experience that the thing that gets me through tough times is having faith that God will use it for greater good, even when we don’t see His bigger picture.
    Today’s devotion was a much-needed reminder that God will use my failures for good and it was eye-opening to see this truth through the examples in the Binle Wally chose. Thank you, Wally!

  19. Profile photo of cdm6566

    Before I join the “World’s Biggest Small Group” I read in Philippians 1:29 – “For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for Him,…” (NIV).

    The commentary says goes along with what Wally is saying about suffering; 1)it takes our eyes off earthly comforts; 2)it weeds out superficial believers; 3)it strengthens the faith of those who endure; 4)it serves as an example to others who may follow us…” (Life Application Study Bible).

    God does not cause all things, but He does cause good to come out of all things – even when we do not see it at the time.

    God Bless His servants. God be with you all.

    • Profile photo of Alwright2

      Wow, awesome! Definitely put me in perspective and gets me ready to answer my sons questions about his father and our now blended family.

    • Colleenmk

      Thank you CDM. Very enlightening!! I am struggling with the loss of my 24 year old son 6 months ago and hope to gain insight into suffering through this group (my first time with the world’s biggest small group). I wrote down some of your comments to be able to reread them later.

  20. KRT

    This made me think about my own life. I have a son on the autism spectrum. I have learned a lot from him. In the early years of his diagnosis I was tormented by the diagnosis. My mother even made a comment about why was this happening to me. She said “she is a good person.” “Why did my girls have to suffer so much?” (My sister died at age 32 of brain cancer). As I grow in my walk with God, autism becomes smaller, it is not the huge, overwhelming monster it used to be. It is not good, but my son is. I love him with all that I am and more. I have taken what I have learned being his mother and used that in my life’s work. I work with special needs kids and now am able to help them because of my son and of coarse the gifts God has given me. Thank you God for a new perspective. God is good!

  21. Patti

    Thank you for this! As a trauma nurse and someone who has suffered my own tragedies I can certainly say I have seen beauty made from ashes. It still doesn’t take the pain away but it certainly gives us hope

  22. Profile photo of jackhlong

    Awesome truth. If God is the same all the time, then He is good in the good times and in the bad. This question comes up a lot in church ministry and also in regular “marketplace” life. Thanks for sharing. Looking forward to this group.

  23. Mark Maddox

    Wally, I listen to your program every morning on my way to work. I love the program and I love the testimony you just shared. Keep up the good work my brother in Christ!

  24. Profile photo of Tonyaosburn

    I grew up thinking if I was going through trials and tribulations that I had done something wrong to upset God. I recently read a book ( in a pit with a lion on a snowy day) it made me realize my problems aren’t because I did or didn’t do something but it’s because our God knows what he’s doing. My pain and suffering will end and I will have received a message or learned a lesson that will help others. I lost a child when he was 6 months old… I cried and blamed God…that was 7 years ago… I now know many people who have lost children and speak with them and we help each other through the doubts and fears.

  25. Profile photo of Katrina

    Having this small group begin today has truly been a blessing. I have faced multiple struggles in my life and with my family and through each circumstance God has always been there to carry me. I have learned to praise him through the good times and through the bad times. I know that others are watching me to see how I react in these situations. I want Jesus’ light to shine through me to show that no matter what God is a good God. I am on the verge of losing everything. I barely have any money. My job is in jeopardy. I’ve had to give up my home and have to go live with family. Not three months ago I didn’t have a care in the world and all was butterflies and rainbows, but I have been humbled. A situation can change in the blink of an eye. I believe I would be considered a good person and I don’t know why these things have happened to me, but no matter what I know God will be glorified. I always pray for him to use me and this is a way for that to happen. I will rejoice in my suffering because I know God has a greater plan for me.

  26. Pat 29485

    Great lesson. Thank you. The most Godly person I know, my mom, suffered numerous health issues but her faith grew and grew and she was an amazing example to us all. Our family’s faith and walk with God would not be as strong without her example in her suffering. We serve an Awesome God. Know he is with you in the storm and we serve our time of troubles now on earth so we can receive the blessings of Heaven. Continue to pray for those that won’t turn from sin and will be sentenced to hell because this suffering on earth is the best they will ever have.

  27. Lisa

    Great study. I was able to share something like this with my husband’s co-worker two weeks ago. Their office is in chaos and she was afraid my husband would lose his job. I told her I wasn’t. I truly believe God gave him the job and if he lost it, it would be because God had a different plan. She said she wish she had my faith. I told her it wasn’t my faith, it was the One who my faith was in. We had a long discussion about this. Please join me in prayer for this sweet lady to come to know Him.

  28. Profile photo of CharityJones

    Great post Wally! Like you I live my life out loud and don’t hide my flaws sins or short comings. So I know that can sometimes be difficult. I just want to say that I appreciate you and that you share your life so openly. I am often approached on this very question. You explained your heart on the matter very well. Thank you for sharing.

  29. Please send these to my email to follow , thank you

      • Profile photo of Greg
        Greg

        Hey Rebie,

        I’m signed up (joined last year) but I didn’t get an email this morning. Checked spam folders and searched all folders just to be sure.

        Is there a way to confirm my email address is properly registered?

        Thx

  30. Abbie

    I can absolutely relate to what Wally was saying. I spent a lot of years apart from God and I’m just now starting to repair my relationship and examine why I was apart from him but I think at least part of the reason is that I felt like if God loved me he wouldn’t have allowed the bad things in my life to happen. When I was in high school my youth group became a place I never wanted to be because I felt excluded and like an outsider. Because of that experience I have been away from God since then and I am now realizing that even though I felt uncomfortable at my church it wasn’t because God didn’t love me it was because we are all sinners and even though we were in a church doesn’t mean that everyone is perfect. Now I am experienceing another hard time. I lost my job and I have a toddler. My income was the bulk of the money for our home and my marriage is becoming troubled partially because of this incident and partially because we are being forced to face issues we didn’t have to before. The difference for me this time is that I’m clinging to God and I know that He has a plan and that it’s perfect. I just have to have the faith and strength to see it and work towards it.

    • Kay

      I LOVE your “real relationship” with God! When I can’t see how something could POSSIBLY turn out for good, I’ll shake my finger at Him and say, “When I get there and you show me what this was all for, it had BETTER be GOOD!” :O) And I know it will be.

  31. Profile photo of Jennifer Wilson

    Jeremy Camp used this SAME verse (John 9) to help me understand a difficulty that I was having when him and I spoke.

    He asked me my name and I had to tell him like I do to everyone: “I’m sorry, I have a speech problem and that’s the hardest thing for me to say, so forgive me” and Jeremy said to me: “Wny are you so sad and frustrated when you say that ?”
    I said: “because I hate EVERYTHING about not being able to talk normal and be like everyone else”
    He said to me: “NO, you are seeing it ALL wrong…you have this problem BECAUSE He loves you SO much, just like with Moses, who had a speech impediment and look at how much God loved Moses – He just wants you to see his glory from it as it says in John 9 about a boy being blind and who sinned – Neither, it’s so the power of God could be seen in him – So you should consider this a blessing from God because He wants YOU to specifically to see His glory, that’s a WONDERFUL thing that HE cares SO much about you like that”.

    I actually walked out of that room standing 10 feet tall and so Thankful to God for giving this to me. That verse was a life changer to me.

    Ironically I DO talk SO much for someone who has a speech problem and I even facilitate a Financial Peace University class and I’ve seen first hand the Glory of God in this when I’ve asked him to speak FOR ME when I’m afraid to myself.

    It absolutely has drawn me SO much closer to him instead of being SO angry with him for giving me this problem. So I get this now.

    It’s so hard to see God in the bad, I know, I’m there alot…but I STILL turn “TO” Him and not “away” from him during it, even if sometimes I’m yelling at him (just like a real relationship) which is all HE wants. He wants us to have a “REAL” relationship with him, which includes, yelling, screaming, and crying just as long as we rely on Him, so when he gets us to the other side, we can see his goodness.

    • Profile photo of David Keough

      Far to often people lose perspective when they have what they think are sufficient means. Its the continuing juxtaposition of those with little and those with much and the effect that it has on their ability to see.

      When we suffer, we tend to see more clearly than those who are comfortable… at least when it comes to a few categories that truly matter.

    • Kay

      I LOVE your “real relationship” with God! When I can’t see how something could POSSIBLY turn out for good, I’ll shake my finger at Him and say, “When I get there and you show me what this was all for, it had BETTER be GOOD!” :O) And I know it will be.

  32. Profile photo of Scottc
    Scottc

    Wally, i was always taught that im the beginning with adam and eve everything was perfect. No suffering or death. Then they sinned and caused the world God had made to become distorted. The first sin brought evil, suffering, and death into the world and it was never originaly designed to have that aspect thus why they had to leave the garden of eden. Its sin mine yours everyones that continues to affect the world and suffering is a result of that evil. Jesus came to save us from our sin but didn’t remove the remaiming affects. As long as the world sins it will suffer such is the nature of the fallen man. But praise God he gave us a redeemer and we can turn to him for forgiveness.
    A brother in Christ Scott

  33. Bonita Kapla

    I too was far from God for most of my adult life because of this very reason. In my teen years there was much legalistic controversy with the pastor of the church I was raised in, causing my parents to change churches-not denominations tho. I just quit going! Then within a little over 2 yrs. a favorite uncle, his yougest son-a favorite cousin, a young nephew and a niece, only 6 yrs. younger and more like a kid sister, all died. I was thrown into a tailspin and blamed God; causing me to run from Him for 35 yrs. After I had made a mess of my life and tried everything MY WAY! and it didn’t work; I was ready for a change and finally open my mind and my heart to the possibility of God changing me and a life with Jesus Christ. Being touched by the Holy Spirit, my eyes were opened and I knew without a doubt, the Bible was God’s word and it was truth! Satan causes bad things, but God allows them in order for us to learn to trust and belive on Him more. Since being in recovery and a Christ follower now for almost 12 years, a favorite sister-in-law died a long agonizing death. But the grace that this Godly woman showed, encouraged me all the more in my faith. If I can be a fraction of a Christ follower that she was, I will be doing good!

  34. Shawna England

    I have been struggling with this very thing lately as I have a special needs daughter and I often wonder why she must deal with troubling issues on a daily basis. On the same hand I feel if I did not get to be her mother, I’m not sure I’d have such a strong relationship with God and rely on Him so heavily at times. Would I love to take all her pain and struggles away-absolutely, but I’m not sure I would want anything else changed because of all the goodness that has come from it. She saved me. God saved me.

    • Profile photo of NoahDee2150

      I too struggle with this very thing. I have an adopted daughter that I love with every ounce of my being. EVERY DAY is a battle, a struggle, conversations about good and bad choices and consequences to your actions. Many days I go to bed in tears. BUT, God gave me this child – his plan, not mine. He made me wait and wait for her so there are times when I wonder if he placed her with the right parents. Are we good enough for her? Yes, we are and He will see us through this difficult chapter in our lives. I try to remind myself every day of that and every night when I kiss her goodnight and watch her sleep I thank God for allowing me to be her mommy. Prayers and hugs to you from another ‘special needs’ mama.

  35. Profile photo of kapurcell

    Great reminder that God never changes and is ALWAYS faithful!

  36. Carly Herin

    I heard a speaker say the other day, “We often look to our circumstances to define God rather than let God define our circumstances.” It’s a slight shift in words that makes all the difference! I pray that we will earnestly look to and trust our All-Powerful, All-Knowing, Faithful, Loving , Friend with our pain and suffering.

  37. Profile photo of Oldenburglj

    The extent of God’s Grace is truly mind boggling! It has never hit home for me before today that when good things happen to bad people, that’s God too. That the Lord truly would and does bless all his children equally. I guess I had thought of it as a) the ‘bad’ people got lucky, or b) as an extension of the bad things happening to ‘good’ people. I had seen a furtherance of the injustice, rather than an example of God’s unconditional Love.

    Thank you Lord, for your love and for helping me to know more of You.

  38. Profile photo of Laura
    Laura

    Thank you. This really applies to me today. This is a great reminder that God is still here even though I feel alone. It also reminds me that I am not the only person who suffers and to remember that God is in control.

  39. Profile photo of David Keough

    Some initial thoughts – *not to take away from anything Wally has expressed*

    There is something powerful in perspective.

    When the Bible speaks of the just, the innocent, the righteous…. I have to wonder if well meaning people have stretched these terms beyond what they could be applied to today.

    I think our initial framework of perspective plays a HUGE roll in how we can understand this issue.
    The overarching Question of “Why do bad things happen to good people” can be misleading. What do we mean by bad things, what do we mean by good people? Are they subjective evaluations based on our personal feelings? More plainly, are things bad because we dislike them or the outcome that they bring, do they make us uncomfortable or sad? Perhaps pain or heartache are considered bad. Do we consider people good because of what we see of their outward actions? What is the litmus for being good? Overall our societies around the world have stopped worshiping God and have been worshiping man, television, ourselves or really anything that contains ‘just’ enough truth to keep us occupied without actually touching on Walking with God, knowing Christ or hearing the Holy Spirit… where does that leave us? With a complicated perspective that many seek to justify.

    We live in a world that is governed by certain rules. Gravity for instance, if I lay down in a nice grassy field and hold a bowling ball over my head and let go… its not gravity that hurt me. Its a result from a simple chain of events. This doesn’t work well once we add a few billion people into the equation, but the concept remains… in general, we reap what we sow. Some categorical things that we call bad are indeed our own fault and exist as consequences. This still leaves that area that leaves us frustrated and weeping. Jesus wept. I don’t think he wept for the same reason we generally do… I can easily recall multiple times that because of my lack of understanding, immaturity, arrogance, pride, and likely a few paragraphs more of character flaws… that I found myself angry, frustrated, and heartbroken… why? My perspective was very much lacking.

    We live in this world and are bombarded by images, sounds, and other messages that seek to ‘inform’ us what life is about. They almost all seem to place mankind, pleasure, comfort and the desire of the moment as the purpose of existence. This IS in stark contrast to knowing and walking with Christ. There are so many today that take the name Christian and have this idea that having a title and hopping through a couple of hoops will save them… if we are being honest… we recognize that this just leads to death. The title is immaterial. The relationship is real. This all leads back to perspective…

    How we evaluate situations… do we remember that WE are not all powerful? That we exist for a purpose that has little to do with being comfortable? If we do… when ‘bad’ things happen, we might do a few things, some of which are contradictory… When tragedy strikes we need to respond with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control… these ought to sound familiar… at the same time, be wary that our personal feelings and the spirit within us be taken into account with how we choose to see things.

    Wally expressed it well… That God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. Our perspective changes. I find that certain songs speak volumes to the issue. There may be an incredible abuse of music in today’s world… but some songs still touch the right resonance to express something true.

    Laura Story – Blessings
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JKPeoPiK9XE

    “What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise”
    “The pain reminds this heart that this is not our home”
    “What if my greatest disappointments or the aching of this life is the revealing of a greater thirst this world cant satisfy”

    —- Having said all this —-

    The ache and pain of loss can take us to dark places, of sorrow, of pain, and hopefully mourning… and we ought not mourn alone. I’m reminded of Job and while those who came along side him meant well, they may very well have erred when they opened their mouth to offer advice… sometimes just weeping together is enough.

    Perspective again… when we bind our hope on things of this world… we are going to be let down… We ought to know that God is at once, all powerfully and still Abba, Father… Where in all of creation can we seek comfort and peace than at the foot of the Cross… in the arms of love, holding us still, holding us near, where He has called us His own.

  40. Mary Wikle

    I still struggle with what seems like a lack of mercy at times from God. Yet I know God is merciful. I have been through what seems like never ending trials, especially this year. Watching my mom suffer from dementia has been extremely difficult and I often wonder where God is in all this. I just keep asking God to be there with my mom and our family as we walk this road.

  41. Kathryn Stewart

    This is very enlightening Wally, thank you for sharing your personal story of faith. This reminds me of the words to the song, “King of the World”.

  42. Profile photo of SunflowerGirl

    My thanks to a co-worker who told me she was doing the World’s Biggest Small Group. And thank you, Wally.
    Jeremiah 29:11

  43. Samantha

    This point brought it all home to me, “God revealing His character through tragedy doesn’t feel self serving, but rather serves to help people realize there is a God, He cares about their pain, and He is good.” I honestly never thought to explain it this way. This makes more sense to me than the other explanations I have heard in my life.

    Thanks Wally for being obedient and thank you Jesus for giving him this for me.

  44. Gina Mitchell

    I had to come to this conclusion in seeing loved ones die, Knowing I had prayed with everything in me that God would heal them. God did heal them & I know today they are perfect & whole in His sight, and it took them dying for me to see this. I pray this helps those who are going through the same thing. Have a blessed day !!

  45. Profile photo of Dlavens1

    Wow, I got it now! Yes, Jesus is “the same yesterday, today and forever” no matter the circumstance!

  46. Profile photo of Kelly
    Kelly

    I love the point about Lazarus. That really struck home with me – that even though he knows the plan and the ultimate good to come, he weeps with them. Thank you for sharing!

  47. Profile photo of In His Hands

    I have been suffering for a long time, but I have looked at it as punishment. If God is good, if God is good to me and if God is who He says He is, then He does not punish. This helped me see that!

    • Profile photo of Rebie WAY-FM

      He’s the one you can count on in the middle of the suffering. That’s so powerful. Thank you for sharing what God is showing you!!

  48. Lysa Robb

    When things do not go as I planned; I realize that it is because it is not His plan. I didn’t always think this way; in the past I use to question Him a lot when something I prayed about didn’t materialize (a job, a situation). But, one time I was patient and prayed for God’s will and something unexpected came along in the job field and I realized, I had not gotten all the jobs I applied for (both my husband and I were layed off at the same time for 18 months) because He was waiting for my job, that I loved, to become available again! From that day on, I began praying for His will, not mine. Yeah, sometimes it’s hard, like recently when my son who is in the AirForce and has been waiting 3 years to apply for a flying position (all he has wanted since 13 years old) and after going through hoops was told that since he is celiac he cannot ever get a flying position in the AirForce. And, with that, he is now having a Med review board done to see if they will allow him to re-enlist, he planned to put in at least 20 years for his country:( This news was VERY disheartening, but I told him (while crying all day) that God has a plan, and we just need to go through this season to see what it is.

  49. Profile photo of Kari
    Kari

    Wow, talk about starting hard right out of the gate (LOVE IT!!! It is actually a topic that I really need right now. Yes, God is always good!!) This is one of those topics I could go on and on and on about – so I will keep this short and sweet 🙂

    Being a Hospice worker for my 16th year this is a question that I see asked usually on a daily basis by people who are in their midst of their own personal “hell” and I have seen even the strongest of believers catapult into their own scenario of Job per say – especially when it is not even close to being amongst the realm of “fair” as their health is being stolen from them. I often find myself praying for these individuals silently as they are talking and expressing their grief because I struggle to find the words, if there are any, to produce comfort for them. My prayer is usually quite simplistic: for them to find the goodness of God in their situation.

    I, myself, didn’t let Christ in my life until almost three years ago and it has only been through the path He has led me down that I have been able to readjust my eyes to only know as well as believe God as good. I can clearly see that once I am able to step out of any of my own struggles I can look back and see where I was carried by a Lord who loves me beyond my own understanding. I find myself now grasping desperately for Him in the times of darkness rather than shaking my fist at Him and running away.

    Kari

    • Faith Barnett

      This is great! Thanks Wally for sharing. I notice every time I praise God through a storm in my life, I draw closer to Him. I learn to depend on Him more and more to a point I now understand the statement “Pray without ceasing”. The analogy of God being good all the time and if He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow explains it very well. If He is good all the time and we consider Him good when things are great in our lives, then common sense is He is also good during the bad times, we just cannot see the bigger picture that He can see so must continue to trust and praise Him and He will always reward us with getting closer to Him which to me is one of the most important goal in life. Not to mention the testimony to those who are watching us trust and praise Him through our storms and come out victorious.

  50. Tiffany

    I have often said that I find comfort in bad things that are around me in acknowledging everything that happens has a purpose. We may not know that purpose because God has not chosen to show us the full effect of what happens.

  51. Profile photo of Jill
    Jill

    As humans we rely on pur own strength and abilities. It is hard to learn to rely on God’s strength. We must lay everything at His feet and trust Him. He wants it all! If we begin to trust Him with the small things it will become easier to hand Him the big things. .

  52. Profile photo of Spills64

    Reminds me of Steven Curtis Chapman Lyrics to “God is God”
    “God is God and I am not
    I can only see a part of the picture He’s painting
    God is God and I am man
    So I’ll never understand it all
    For only God is God”
    Read more: Steven Curtis Chapman – God Is God Lyrics | MetroLyrics
    https://youtu.be/alYxWu554ac

    But all the passages referenced ultimately have healing. How do you deal with the problem of suffering and bad thingsm happening to loved ones and friends and in the news that don’t have a happy ending or in your own life when there isn’t a “healing?” I get that I don’t know, won’t know, shouldn’t know all the answers, but I am also not getting much comfort from this study or these passages which I am very familiar with. I try to use what I have been through and what I am going through to help others, but that somehow doesn’t make me feel better about my quality of life (physically).

    • Kay

      Dear Spills64,

      Laura Story has a book & DVDs called “When God Doesn’t Fix It” that might be a blessing to you. Not long after they were married, her husband developed a brain tumor; he did survive, barely, but continues to have several disabilities, including vision loss, memory lapses, etc.

      I understand the gut-wrenching disappointment when your life doesn’t turn out like you were expecting. But no matter how crushing it feels, God won’t let it break you, like Matthew West says in his song, “Strong Enough”.

      Lifting up prayers for you.

      • Profile photo of Spills64

        Kay,
        Thank you for your prayers which are always more than welcome and appreciated. I’ve read very similar books and bible studies. There are days and times I feel God’s warmth and blessings (which I always try to count). But most days are a struggle and I just try to remember I wasn’t meant to bear the struggles alone. I’m also blessed to have survived my two separate battles with breast cancer so I can now actively help spread the word for early detection and raise money so nobody should fail to get necessary mammograms, other diagnostic procedures and life saving treatment. I hope some day for a cure and to be active beyond my local tri-county community. So there you have it, lol, my soap box for the day! Fitting for October, but year round also!!! M

  53. Profile photo of Big Country

    This was a very powerful message. This past year or so has been very tough for me and my family. We always tend to think, others suffer, and other people go through bad times, so I won’t. Or if I go through rough times, I will be old. Wrong. At age 21, I went from exercise buff, running 5k’s and playing basketball, to struggling to walk. I can walk really well, and if you saw me, I look normal, but I have a condition in my back only seen in 50-60 year olds or people that had an injury. I am in neither category. I can’t run or play basketball, lift weights above 30-40 pounds, and operating a vacuum cleaner is difficult. I started having back pain when I was only 15 years old, but the exercise was wiped out last year when I was 21. Recently this year, I’ve had to watch my own mother suffer again. Her health already hasn’t been that great, but she was in the hospital for 40 days with pancreatitis. This was caused due to a bad gall bladder and this was just removed a month ago as she had to get healthy first before having it removed. So, her quality of life hasn’t been there since March. Some things God has taught me through her and mine suffering. We tend to change God, but really he doesn’t change and if we look, his love is even more present when we are suffering. We may think why us, but why not? These times are great opportunities to grow in our relationship with Christ. He uses these opportunities to get our full attention and service. In 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 Paul talks about his suffering given to him that allowed him to be even a more powerful messenger to spread the gospel of Christ. It says, (7) even though I have received such wonderful revelations from God. So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keeps me from becoming proud. (8) Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. (9) Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. (10) That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
    Those verses mean a lot to me through my suffering. Am I still struggling? Yes, but with answers seen through the bible, the struggles become easier especially when trusting and relying on God. I believe that God used my back issues to get my attention and focus to where it needs to be. Before this my focus was basketball, then worshiping God later. Now, my focus is Christ, but using basketball as a tool through coaching to reach the gospel to others. Sorry this post is so long, but I wanted to share what I have gone through, learned, and continue to learn.

    • Profile photo of Spills64

      So young, yet so wise! Many blessings and I pray you and your mom stay as healthy as possible!

  54. Profile photo of Aaron R.

    I am doing this for the first time (WBSG and posting) and it could not come at a better time for me. Thank you Jesus for your sovereignty. I sometimes forget that everything is for the glory of God, even what appear to be sin. HE is the creator of everything and the master of the universe. It is not for me to know the why in a particular situation, but the what. What am I to learn, or what is the Lord teaching me. I look forward to the next 30 days of this study.

    • Profile photo of Rebie WAY-FM

      So glad you’re part of the group! Thank you for sharing that.

  55. Profile photo of Nikki Everett

    As a 26, almost 27 year old woman going through one of the most tragic situations I’ve been through, divorce from my husband, him abandoning my daughter, he tricked me into giving him my son while he has DV and child cruelty charges pending against him, I have learned to be more patient with God’s timing. Through court, lawyers, my daughter’s dramatic change to life, having to move a state away for safety and a new beginning, it is so hard to understand why bad things happen to good people, but I have put my trust fully into God and everything has been working out so far. May not be as fast as I would like it to be, but we are with my sister now and I am working a small part time job and she’s in a great Christian school. We hardly get to see my son because of the distance between the two states but I believe in my heart God is going to work everything out according to HIS will and not my own. Praise You, Jesus. Thank you.

    • Profile photo of Rebie WAY-FM

      Saying a prayer for you and your family, Nikki! So glad you’re part of this study. God is with you in the midst of this really hard time.

  56. Donna

    Good words from Wally!

    Another thing to remember is that, in the eyes of God, NONE of us are “good”. All of us have sinned, and even the smallest sin, compared to God’s perfection, creates a separation between us and Him. Our question shouldn’t be “Why me?”, but “Why NOT me?”

  57. Profile photo of Brian Cole

    Wonderful way to start the week Wally. Thank you and God Bless

  58. Profile photo of Sherry
    Sherry

    Super excited to get started with this group. I am one that is terribly inconsistent in my journey with Christ. Not that I’ve never stopped believing in him, I just can’t seem to find the motivation to attend church. Perhaps I can find it through this walk.
    It is never easy trying to figure out God’s plan for us let alone for others. As a mom, nothing hurt worse than watching your child go through something and knowing you have no control. And as a mom of teens, making a statement like, “I don’t know, but I know God does and this problem will soon pass into a memory.” Both of my sons have been baptized but have fallen into a path without Christ. They struggle with seeing all the worst in the world and because of it, there must be no God, because how could he not intervene? Yes, it is truly tough living in a world of loss and even worse intolerance and prejudice. Through it all I know God has a plan and it is not my job to figure it out. I believe we are here to love one another through the pain and chaos of life. It’s when we lose that basic foundation, we become lost too.

    • Profile photo of Rebie WAY-FM

      Wow, so glad you’re part of this group, Sherry! Your sons are not alone in asking these hard questions. but today I’m praying that, like Wally, they come to see that God is good and holy and the one thing we can count on in spite of life circumstances. Thanks for sharing and thanks for being a part of this. 🙂

    • Profile photo of Patty luvs Jesus

      I stopped going to church for a few years. Even though I was reading His word, my walk was stagnate. I am now back in the body. What I’ve found is that we all need each other. To cry to laugh to encourage to stay in the race till we see Him faces to face. With your sons, keep praying for people who love and have a personal relationship with Christ to cross your sons path. Ask the Lord to bring His word to their remembrance and a life transforming experience with the All Powerful God. Keep praying Jesus is faithful!

  59. Profile photo of daniellemk

    A major turning point in my faith walk was when I learned while during turmoil and discouragement in my life to stop and ask “God, what do you want me to learn during this time of grief?” When I ask that question while I am struggling, I hear Him speak the answer…”learn to be patient, learn to trust, learn to understand and be compassionate for others even when I don’t agree with them, learn, learn learn.” I’ve realized that grief is a learn period, and when I turn to God for that spiritual guidance on what I need to learn, my grieving period is reduced significantly.

    • Profile photo of Patty luvs Jesus

      Yes. Our Father is always teaching. When we are comforted by Him we are able to comfort and encourage others. The scars we have are how God has healed. In some cases still healing when the wound opens again. He is the balm of Gilead

  60. Mike B

    I can vouch for that! I raised 3 girls. One molested by a neighbor at 5 and I caught him (no didn’t kill him) then went through their drug abuse, abusive relationships, suicide attempts and more. If you had told me then that God had a plan I might have given you some free dental work. Twenty-five years later I was counseling women in prison and teaching a Bible study to sex offenders. Ain’t God good!!

    • Profile photo of WAY-FM
      WAY-FM

      WOW. Thanks for being so honest and vulnerable. This month is going to be a month of “getting real.”

  61. Adjoa

    Honestly speaking there are times I almost gave up on God altogether because it seemed like the not so Christians individuals were enjoying life more than I was until finally God directed me to Jonah. Its still not easy a times but I am learning to not question God….He’s awesome and mighty always and always

    • Profile photo of WAY-FM
      WAY-FM

      Thanks for writing and being honest, and participating in the World’s Biggest Small Group.

  62. Profile photo of Patty luvs Jesus

    I always refer to the same passage which is the rain falls on the good and bad. The difference between those who have a personal relationship with Christ and those who do not is the person who knows Messiah will run to Him during difficult times and will find comfort, peace and strength. For His ways are higher than ours. Our Abba loves us and is the shade at our right hand. He will never leave or forsake us. I lean on His word because He keeps His promises. He is in the storm with me and will see me through, increasing my faith. This way just like Job I can say Blessed be the Name of the Lord in good or bad. He is still on the throne!

  63. Charmell Carr

    I know God is good in the good and bad but when those bad things hit it feels like a kick in the gut. Like not being able to get above poverty level no matter what I do, or my son getting beat up almost to death, or my daughter being diagnosed with epilepsy. It’s tough being a single mom but in these last 15 years God has blessed me a million different ways, making it easier to go to Him when these hits happen and stay in His embrace. Mercifully the joy returns in the midst of it all. It kinda just sneaks up on me and my worries become less important because I know God’s got this.

  64. Profile photo of cameran_smith

    I had tears in my eyes as I read Wally’s contribution.
    Thank you, Wally, for the transparency and depth in which you shared.

    In a recent conversation with someone, that very issue of good things happening to good people came up. I didn’t have an answer, except that it’s the reason why faith is so important. If tragedy and pain didn’t exist, then there would be no need for compassion-and compassion is an essential part of the believer’s lifestyle. Therefore, the hurt around us makes our call to act all the more urgent and profound, an urgency we would not experience if suffering never occurred. So while God may not cause the circumstances, there is still purpose behind them: To push the believers to outreach and encourage those who are suffering and hurting.

  65. Profile photo of Samantha

    A few years ago…amidst some of my own deepest suffering…I came across a profound quote: “Suffering is a great teacher. Because you never know what you might become once you work through it.” I believe Wally’s message today is essentially saying the same thing: God is trying to teach us something or show us something great during our suffering. And not in the sense that He’s trying to teach us a lesson to punish us, but rather to change our hearts and so that we will draw closer to Him. It’s, honestly, been a hard pill for me to swallow… How does a loving God allow such suffering? To allow others to witness His love and glory! I lost my faith at one point during some of my greatest suffering. I actually told an Army Chaplain “There is not God. He doesn’t exist.” Less than a year later, however, I found my strongest faith! God wasn’t allowing me to suffer for His own praise. He was trying to guide me through my suffering so that I would realize there is a God, that He cares about my pain, and He is good…just like Wally said. And you know what?! My circumstances didn’t change much over the following few years…in fact at some times the suffering and pain seemed unbearable…but I knew that if I held tight to the Lord that He would guide me through anything life threw at me. My suffering lessened because of my newly-found faith in God and His love for me.

    Draw near to God in your time of suffering. He is our anchor in the storms.

  66. Profile photo of Rebie WAY-FM

    Reading through your comments and feeling pretty in awe of God today. Also, saying a prayer for a lot of you and the situations you’ve shared.

    Thank you for being a part of this and having such open conversation about what God is teaching you!

  67. Profile photo of Alwright2

    Great message! Sometimes I think that God tests our love through trials and suffering. He always has a bigger purpose than what our small minds think; Romans 12:2 talks about ” God’s good, pleasing, and perfect will.”

    When I was younger, and still sometimes now, I suffer. I think it’s because I turned from God at times, I had doubts/I have bitterness, so he was and is testing me. He brought me pain so my life would change for the better to bring me closer to him. It worked.

    He is almighty! PTL!!
    -Amanda

  68. Profile photo of Stephanie H

    In bad times, I tend to spend more time with God. Reading my bible searching for an answer to my situation. I know God is in my storm but I find it hard to be still and listen to him. God is good all the time, even in those moments of heartbreak and loss. I am grateful that his love is unchanging and neverending.

  69. Profile photo of destindolfin1

    I lost my father 5 weeks ago, and I asked myself “Why did You take him?” I still have no answer for that, but I do know that I wanted to pull even closer to God afterwards. Perhaps this is what He wanted. I still hurt, but knowing I am not alone makes me feel better.

  70. Profile photo of Theresa

    Very nicely put. It is very easy to struggle with this issue and very hard to answer people when they ask that question.

  71. Robin Shedrick

    Your message was eye opening and quite helpful 🙂 Thank you for sharing your story, because I feel like I have a better understanding of the same question you addressed today. I can’t wait to share it with others.

  72. Profile photo of Greg
    Greg

    This is always a tough one to deal with. I’ve struggled with it myself. The best answer I’ve ever heard to the question “Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people?” was from Greg Laurie. He had recently lost his son in a tragic car accident – leaving his daughter-in-law and grandchild without a husband and father.

    His response? Paraphrased: “I don’t know. But, since the day sin entered the world it’s broken. It’s not like God intended. Sin and death have affected everything. Why should we expect anything different from a broken world?”

    I would add to his comment that the only thing that overcomes all this brokenness is God’s grace. Grace can be defined as getting what you need, not what you deserve. In a broken, sinful world, we deserve death and suffering. God offers to rescue humanity from itself through his grace. As others have said, when comparing me, you or anyone else to God, our “good” might as well be “bad” – there is no comparison.

    Do I like it? No. Do I want people to suffer? No. Do I understand it? No. I believe God only shares the part of His plan that we can understand. If He were to flood us with his plan, our finite minds would (this is for Wally) LITERALLY explode.

    So, ultimately, our question “Why would God allow bad things to happen to good people?” assumes we are good. Jesus answered it best in Mark 10:18

    “18“Why do you call me good?” Jesus asked. “Only God is truly good.”

    We aren’t good…nobody is. We live in a broken world far from what God intended. It’s only his grace that can overcome any of this.

    (sorry to be long winded)

  73. Profile photo of Karenwhite717

    This is such an important topic because it’s the question that I get asked by those who don’t have a relationship with Jesus all the time….how can you believe in a God that would allow pain and suffering? My 12 year old daughter asked me over the summer why God would allow people to be hurt by other people…..tough questions. Although I’m satisfied that I don’t understand God’s ways and I can live in peace with that because I believe God is a loving and trustworthy God, I understand how others struggle with the concept of an all powerful and all knowing God and the fact that bad things happen in our world. I’m grateful for tough questions like these though because it helps me to get really solid in what I believe, and why I believe it. In my own life my biggest lessons and those times I drew closest to God have been in those hard times, and although they were tough, I’m grateful for them. Good start to small group!

  74. Profile photo of Joy Noel

    Great topic! For my husband this is a real obstacle in his search to know Truths. I believe some drawbacks and challenges in life our from God, who knows ahead of time the spiritual growth process and faith experience one will need to overcome. Then there’s all the other horrific events that take place in individuals lives and my perspective is…we are not living in the streets of gold yet. We are in this sinful world where bad things do happen to good people all the time.

    • Profile photo of WAY-FM
      WAY-FM

      Thanks for writing. We will pray for your husband!

  75. Aliyah Leffall

    I didn’t really understand this question until earlier this year. Because early in my faith, I didn’t have an answer to this question like most people wouldn’t but because I didn’t have an answer I was afraid that if someone asked me that and I didn’t have an answer that I would feel like I failed as a Christian. But I also had to acknowledge that I didn’t know everything. That there are some things only God knows. I don’t remember if it was something you said Wally or something I heard before that. But I eventually came to the same conclusion you did Wally that God is good both in the good and bad and that he cares for us and loves us the same as he always did. And that the person who changes in those good and bad moments is us. Like you said Wally we definitely let our circumstances dictate how we view God and how he loves us. And I learned this from reading a book called Reframe that God isn’t a genie who magically appears just because we said to. And suffering I believe God uses to like you also said, Wally, to draw us closer to him and that we can’t do this life on our own, but that we need him not only in those moments but every day of our lives.

  76. Profile photo of Stephannie

    This subject has always been so difficult for me, I must say that in more recent years, I have just excepted the fact that God is sovereign. My faith has just allowed me to be OK with that as an answer. But the reality is, I would love a deeper understanding of why God, especially in the Old Testament, allowed calamity. In some cases He brought calamity because of peoples disobedience. So honestly I’m torn between the idea that, #1 God doesn’t bring the bad he only works through the bad, and#2 the fact that God DOES bring the bad, so that in the bad we will cry out to Him! All I get out of it, and maybe it should be enough, is that no matter how it happens in it, He’s still good!! Thanks way fm for this study and I can’t wait to see where it takes me in my walk! I am so grateful I found you guys!!

  77. Profile photo of nick.wellenbrock@gmail.com

    Thank you Wally for sharing. Amazing look at God and how he is always in control. His thoughts are not our thoughts so we need to put trust in him and his plan.

  78. Barry

    Glad I joined the WBSG this time and today’s message from Wally really helped to answer one of the most difficult questions we can ask, or be asked by others.

    My wife lost her 23 year old daughter 4 years ago, after battling various illnesses for 20 years, nearly all of her life. In the end, of course this question was raised. But, after the grief, prayer and support of friends and family, we were able to see God’s power as a result. We realized, even though she was gone, she was no longer sick or suffering, or in pain. We had prayed for her pain and sickness to go away…and it did! She is now in the presence of the almighty God.

    I also came to realize that’s it’s not always about the “here,” but the “hereafter” when all of our suffering will end. And, if everything was good all the time, would we think we needed God? We’d likely think we could handle anything, because everything would be good. It’s through our trials and suffering that we depend on God. Otherwise, many would forget about God if there were no problems.

    Also, because of wife’s loss, she is now a stronger person, has a stronger faith and is able to help many others through their suffering.

    God sees all and knows all…we need to trust that He will always lead us, comfort us and make us stronger. And, by trusting and believing, someday everything will be known by all and we will realize that’s why He is God and we aren’t.

    God bless you all and bless this study.

  79. Profile photo of Mary Anne Erickson

    So glad that God uses all things for good … even when it doesn’t make sense to me now … and may never in this life. Also, glad that because of His Faithfulness at work in my life … today I can TRUST HIM even when it doesn’t make sense to me!

    Thank you WBSG for raising this and all of the questions that will help me dig deeper and keep me mindful!
    Blessings to all!

  80. Profile photo of Timmy B.

    I also think people have to get out of the mentality that God is a genie, only here to serve their purpose. When we go to God with our personal demands and agenda, of course we are going to be disappointed because he didn’t honor what we wanted Him to do. So, in order for us to truly experience the true love and power of God, we have to approach God with open hearts, in faith, with no visible agenda. I have been looking at Ephesians 3:18 this weekend and it hits home here especially. “And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is.” God’s love is endless, through the good or the bad. It is not just there at our convenience and our good times, but it is there for comfort and reassurance through the rough times.

  81. Robin

    God is faithful. This reading came exactly as I needed it. I have Turner’s Syndrome. Some days I can accept it as part of God’s plan for me and other days…it’s hard. Today is a hard day. This scripture uplifted me and caused my to reflect on how great God has been through each moment whether good or bad.

  82. Profile photo of Raylene Paddock

    I feel that God works through people either it be a good or bad situation. It is hard to watch someone suffer with illness/disease like I watched my Grandfather. It was hard knowing that he loved the Lord and yet he suffered. But I learned something through my Grandfather, during that whole time he suffered, he praised God daily. The praises of God was always on his lips. He never lost sight on the end, being with God and my Grandmother and all those who he had lost in his life.

  83. Profile photo of TristenPaige

    This is something I am struggling with understanding so bad right now. There’s a line in a song by Casting Crowns that says “I was sure by now God you would have reached down and wiped our tears away stepped in and saved the day”. I am trying to draw near to God but the harder things get and the longer things go on I feel I am afraid I will start losing my faith. It scares me. I have struggled with an eating disorder for over two years. It’s doing a lot of harm and I’m ready to get rid of it but I’m struggling. Also, my boyfriend of 8 years is fighting a very deadly drug addiction. He is an amazing person and believes in the Lord. He recently went through a rehab program but the devil is really attacking and he is becoming depressed and struggling to keep fighting. We have became even more involved with church than ever before and I know God makes good things out of our struggles but I just don’t understand why we are faced with difficulties to this extreme. I keep praying and searching for answers in the Lord but I’m lost and trying not to lose my hope.

    • Cody Deno

      Drug addiction is such a terrible thing for anyone to go through. I’m sorry that your boyfriend has to go through that. I will be praying for him, and also for you and the struggles you face with your eating disorder.

      Never lose hope.
      God bless you and your boyfriend.

  84. I struggle with why more people, especially children, are not healed when prayed for today. Seems every time i turn around theres another child sick with cancer. This has affected my faith with doubt as to fid i read the scripture correctly when it says ask and it shall ge given to you. Jesus died for our healing. Healing is the childrens bread. Where are we or i going wrong? I know prayers are going up but???

    • Cody Deno

      I struggle with this too. At times I question why prayers go unanswered, especially prayers for the children and the innocent. Even prayers for myself, for me to be cured of Muscular Dystrophy, which have gone unanswered. I try not to think about it too much, though, or it gets me down. I think there are things we won’t ever understand.

      You’re not doing anything wrong. Don’t lose hope.
      I will be praying for you.

  85. Profile photo of Teresa Stephens

    wow, really good stuff today! Thanks WAY-FM and thanks Wally for sharing. I know I’ve struggled with the same question, often feeling like I was on the losing end somehow. I mean I didn’t deserve “all I’ve endured” right? This past weekend, after the most tumultuous season of my 54 years, I read and studied and gave “hearing from God” my top priority! I heard loud and clear to LET GO of all the hurt, anger, bitterness, attempts to “control”, hopelessness, broken dreams and broken heart that you’ve been holding onto forever! And don’t pick it back up tomorrow! I know that in order not to pick it up again and again (to examine why?) will take practice and I have to want it! I may never understand His thoughts and His ways because they aren’t like mine! But He is good and I can trust Him to stay with me and lead me right to Him because He already did it! The Word is living water, but it can only quench my thirst by dipping my hand into the water and bringing it to my parched lips! (Ann Voskamp) So just in time World’s Biggest Small starts up and will give me daily “living water”! Thanks again!

    • Cody Deno

      I agree Teresa. I love when the World’s Biggest Small Group starts.

      I’ll be praying for you. For God to help you let go of all those bad things and not pick them back up and not go back to those things.

    • Profile photo of WAY-FM
      WAY-FM

      Thanks for your encouragment today! Praying for you!

  86. Profile photo of Jstnthrgal

    I found this very interesting today. I had not thought of God letting bad things happen in the aspect of being praised. I had thought about the bad times/things making us appreciate the good times/things more.

    I think the what I struggle with the most is keeping faith when I feel like my prayers are not answered. My husband lost his job 3 months after we moved closer to it. He was out of work for 7 months before taking a job that paid a little more than half of what the one he last paid, but hey it was much more than the nothing he had been making for 7 months. Then they downsized that position, instead of a full time employee after only 4 1/2 months he is now only working two days a week. I keep praying that he will find full time employment and that the bills will be paid. So far we have been able to pay the essential bills, and for that I have to thank God. I do my best to keep my faith and keep praying that we can keep our heads above water and that soon someone will hire him for a salary that will pay all the bills.

    Susie

    • Cody Deno

      That’s all anyone can do Susie, and it sounds like you’re doing a good job at that. Just keep your faith and keep on praying. God is with you!

      I’ll be praying for you.

    • Profile photo of WAY-FM
      WAY-FM

      Thanks for writing. We (WAY-FM) are praying for you!

  87. Cody Deno

    I have Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. It is a terrible disease that makes all your muscles weak, and prevents your body from making muscles stronger from exercise. There is no cure for this disease yet, and there many different types of Muscular Dystrophy.

    I used to be able to walk, but not any more; I have been wheelchair bound for 12+ years. I used to be able to lift my arms and move them wherever I wanted, but now I cannot. It has also made my lungs weaker. It affects all the muscles in my body.

    When I became wheelchair bound around the age of 10, I got very upset, sad & angry. I asked God,”Why me?!?!” For a couple years, I wrestled with these feelings of sadness and anger towards God. Then I started going to youth group at my church in the 7th grade and learned more about God. That year I went through Confirmation classes and got baptized again; I became a devoted Christian that year and I haven’t looked back.

    With God’s help, I overcame those dark times, and with his help, I overcome the struggles that I face every day. Through the good and the bad, God is with me. Forever and into eternity, God is with me!

  88. Profile photo of DebJeff3500

    Thank you! I just recently allowed myself to love again and be loved back after my divorce 5 years ago. Everything was going perfect for 7 mos. and I honestly was madly in love with him. Then out of nowhere, completely unexpected, found out he cheated on me. I have forgiven both of them, however, right now he doesn’t want to face me cause he’s so upset with himself for hurting me. We still talk everyday and I’m having a hard time trying to hear God answer me if I should continue to be there for him or walk away. I don’t know if it’s my heart because I still love him the same or if it’s God telling me to stand behind him while he’s working on him.

    • Profile photo of WAY-FM
      WAY-FM

      Thanks for writing today. We (WAY-FM) are praying with you about this.

  89. cheryl fowler

    wow well said

  90. Gayle

    Wow! just what I needed to hear today!

  91. Profile photo of Jo
    Jo

    I lost my 27 yr old daughter one year ago, I cannot find any peace with “all things work together for the glory of God” . I love God and always will but how can her death be for the glory of God.

  92. Profile photo of BeckieLynn

    “This is the story that has the shortest, but I think one of the most powerful verses in the Bible. John 11:35, “Jesus wept.”

    What makes these two words so powerful is the fact that is shows the concern Jesus had for these women. Jesus knew the plan. He knew He was going to raise Lazarus from the dead, but He also know that Mary and Martha had to go through something they did not want to walk through. See, they believed Jesus could heal Lazarus so when He did not show up in the way they expected, it crushed them. The importance of Jesus crying is that He felt their pain. He hurt for them, and it is important to note that He was with them.”

    It’s so hard to think that any good could ever come from our suffering, but God has a plan we can’t see. And Jesus is with us!

    Thank you Wally for this! It’s what I needed to hear today!

  93. Profile photo of Ashley
    Ashley

    This is a great reminder. I believed if there wasn’t bad then how would we know what is good. God works in mysterious ways and I wonder when bad comes around it could be when we aren’t as close to him as before and we are wondering down a wrong path? I went a similar process Wally went through trying to find my way back to my faith. It was awesome hearing that you aren’t the only one that had the same thought process answering this question.

  94. Profile photo of Ken Ward

    This was a powerful truth. I had a friend who just last week lost his 4 year old child to a drowning accident. This devotion helps me to understand that God can use the unfortunate things to bring His children closer to Him. My friend and his wife are grieving. They know God didn’t take their baby. They know that God is as saddened as they are at this accident. Fortunately, they know that He is their with them in this sad time.

  95. Pat

    Loved being part of the group, first time! REALLY ENJOYED THE LESSON.

  96. Profile photo of Dandelion13

    I have been struggling for awhile. I know that God loves me, yet lately I feel that He hates me. It is a daily battle for me. I cannot thank you enough for this group.

  97. Profile photo of Deb
    Deb

    Thanks Wally! It hit home!

  98. Profile photo of gail
    gail

    Wally’s story brought to mind a woman I used to work with. She is a kind, caring person, who never hesitated to help anyone.
    She had a sudden onset of a serious medical condition that causes her to be unable to breath, and it comes on without warning. When she was able to come back to work, we had a conversation about how this would affect her life. She looked at me with such fear and asked “why me”? In reality her question was: she is faithful to God, so why this would happen to her? This lesson explains it fully.

  99. Jonathan Greene

    By the time I was 24 I had lost my father, mother, and fiance. I was diagnosed with a brain tumor and had just married a woman that would prove to be the most abusive person I have ever known in my life. For so many years I had been saved and had received the baptism of the Holy Ghost but for so many years I question God. I got mad at God saying and screaming at sometimes, this is not fair! Why would you do this to me? Why won’t you just let me die? I had been an off and on drug addict because I hated my life and just wanted to get away from it all. I had countless number of wrecks . I actually laid beside my fiance’s grave and stuck a 38 special in my mouth and tried my best to pull the trigger. God just wouldn’t let me go. I am 32 years old now and I am happier and healthier than I have ever been! After a divorce and losing two businesses I am now richer than ever. Money has nothing to do with being rich. Take it from a person who has had money and lost money. Money can’t buy peace,joy,love,happiness,and health but my God gives it freely! I wouldn’t change one single moment of what happened to me in my past because it has made me who I am in the present.

  100. Vanessa Laski

    I understand what you said about how god uses our suffering for I always believe in him but though it was okay to believe by myself and not go church or read the Bible but I have special needs child that 12 so it’s been pretty hard for on me and on my marriage a couples months ago my spouse asked me for divorce and I hit rock bottom I start pray more and more and got my answer that needed god in my life so I started looking for a church and finally found it and some peace there too. I wish my spouse and I where on better term but I feel like this all happens for me to get closer to god and he will carry me through this no matter the outcome.

  101. Profile photo of WhidbeyGirl

    I didn’t want to join, but everytime I heard the ad I kept getting pulled toward this. I am at this time going through the motions (church twice a week, tithe & give offering every pay period, have Christian radio on in my car, at work when I can, play Christian music when I run, sponsor for Christian music here in Dallas, etc) because I’m tired of being knocked down and getting back up – I do, but still tired. Just suffered my 3rd divorce, yes 3rd, I know horrible. When I married the last time I was certain it was it for life, he is a God fearing man who knows his Bible inside out. But his cultural views of how a wife is to act and be treated is not the way I was raised and not what I believe the Bible says on how a woman should be treated. The emotional/psychological abuse I endured is something I would NEVER let my daughter endure – NEVER. I begged and pleaded with God for things to change, for me to finally have a marriage that worked. I knew I am a daughter of God, why was I not rescued? Why did I have to build walls around myself so I no longer felt anything when I was being told how worthless I was, what a terrible woman I was? Why was I met with complete silence. I know how awesome God is, I’ve experienced how awesome God is (I should have died in a car accident back in 96). I guess I’m just dry inside and trying to find the water again.

    • Profile photo of murgy2
      murgy2

      Don’t give up. The water for your well is coming. Be patient…

      Blessings

  102. Profile photo of murgy2
    murgy2

    I’m so happy to be part of the world’s biggest small group! I love the way Wally walked us through that verse with his own question of how that all fit together in our lives like his.

    I also pray for the innocents in Haiti. They have had so much death and destruction over the years and I pray that Jesus will save them from this horrible storm named Matthew. I pray for the people of Haiti that they might find shelter and strong walls to hide from the storm until it passes and that there will be no loss of life.

    God Bless Y’all!

  103. Profile photo of Brandy
    Brandy

    I have struggled with this as my family was put through a trial due to acts my oldest did towards my 2 youngest. Our family of 6 became broken and bruised and confused. I often have thoughts of anger in regards to how/why God would let us be so hurt after all of our dedication to the church and Him. How could he allow our son to do these things. And now I. Need help getting over it all. I am living in a spiritual and emotional funk just going through the Christian motions. Hoping to come out of it with this study.

  104. Bethany

    It took me a long, long time to come to this realization as well. What finally made me realize this is when my Christian mentor died after a long, painful battle with cancer. I couldn’t understand how God could allow such a horrible thing to happen to such a Godly, loving woman. It tore me up for quite a while until her husband reminded me that even through this dark time, God is still good. He never changes and His love for us remains the same. He still blesses and still uses all things for His ultimate good. While it was devastating losing her, there have been so many ways God has used that to show how good He is. So many people that she witnessed to even when she was in so much pain have come to know Jesus because they wanted what she had. They wanted that peace that surpassed all understanding because she had such a peace even through her journey. Even now, I continue to remember that during even the roughest of battles and storms that God is good, He still blesses, and He uses all things for His ultimate glory. What a great way to start this small group. Blessings to all!! 🙂 🙂

  105. Profile photo of tcreech

    I am excited to be a part of this group. It is my first time joining the World’s Biggest small group and can’t wait to see how it goes.

  106. Profile photo of chauser

    This too is an issue I have wrestled with as I have watched my dear mom suffer physically in pain as long as I can remember. She is a woman of God who has also wrestled with this as well; however, if one met her you would not know the physical pain she suffers because she refuses to be a victim of it. I have been a strong believer for years but have to admit that I have been in the past angry and frustrated with God over this particular situation. I have begged Him to relieve some of it for her but instead there are times her pain increases. After her seventh surgery this year, I have come to the conclusion much like Wally that God’s ways are not my ways, that on this side of heaven I cannot see the big picture, that God DEARLY loves my mom, more than I do, and that He sees her pain. I picture my mom as completely healed one day and that she will be credited for her utmost obedience and love for her Savior in the midst of her earthly pain.

  107. Profile photo of Ana
    Ana

    Great start, the way Wally explained it was very simple easy to understand.

  108. Nicholas Johnson

    God really does do amazing things through the most terrible circumstances. I have been going through a lot for the last few seasons of my life. At different times, I was injured and beaten; lost my home, career, marriage, and was separated from my beloved son for periods of time, but through it all God has used these events to somehow restore my faith in his power and goodness. It seems counterintuitive, but as you pointed out so well today, God understands our brokenness and shows up at those low points in incredible ways. You will know it was God at work when that one thing happens that changes everything for the better. And when it doesn’t, when the time is not right yet, and we suffer, as you said, he even grieves with us. He does that because he knows. He knew what the world was like before the fall, just how much was lost when we rebelled. Can you imagine how much that hurt God when we turned away from him? And yet, he stopped at nothing to bring us back to Him. He gave his son over to death to secure that possibility. The depth of all that, the implications are truly awe inspiring. There is nothing that we can go through that God does not completely understand. If there is a heaven, a possibility of life with God after this one, then losing a few things, even sometimes big things, in order to find our way to Him, and everlasting peace, makes sense.

  109. Profile photo of Tryp
    Tryp

    God is more interested in one’s character than one’s comfort for comfort will not bring one a strong character a strong character will bring One comfort.

  110. Profile photo of jmgold
    jmgold

    Thank you for this bible study. I think we all suffer in this fallen world to some degree. Six years ago my husband suffered through cancer, I suffer now through anxiety and today I learned that my sister in law is suffering through a cancer diagnosis as well. I pray this study brings comfort and help to myself and my family as we journey through some earthly suffering. I am already feeling hopeful that I can be helped and I can share with others what I learn to help them through life’s challenges, thus using this suffering to glorify God.

  111. Eric

    This message of God is only half true. Let me ask all you readers out there help me answer these questions. I am not a religious person but I do believe in God because I too witnessed and experienced a few miracle during my lifetime. However, a few weeks ago I experienced a family issue that turned my life upside down. Now I am falling far away from God not because He didn’t help me when I pray for Him but because I saw how the bad people prospered when my family suffered. I started to ponder these questions:
    1. God loves both evil and good the same but the evil will soon be punish eventually, but why let evil lives longer than the good? Look at all the evil around you and you will notice that bad people get to live longer, being prosper, and happy. While, the good people get punished, get diseases, sickness, disability, and eventually died very young.
    2. During the period when Jesus existed. He healed the sickness because He was there. But now, where is He? Who is going to heal the sickness? Those that can’t afford a living, those whose are not financially stable.
    3. Would you of all people be happy, rich, have money to make donation to charities, BUT be evil? OR Do you prefer to be sad, getting sickness, disable, financially unstable, getting punish for an unknown reason BUT a true believer in GOD?

    The more I wanted to find the answer to these questions the more I am falling far away from GOD.

  112. Allison Staples

    Thank you so much for this. This is something I have often struggled with. This reading really put it into perspective. God bless

  113. Profile photo of pmccoy68

    This is so true yet so hard for us, as Christians, to grasp. The fact is, even though we are Christian’s, we are also human and when we see loved ones hurting, it’s hard for us. When my mom died, I wasn’t thinking “How can I show God’s great power in this situation?” I was hurting but I knew God had a plan and His plans are always good even in the hurt. Thank you for this reminder today.

  114. Profile photo of Calli
    Calli

    I didn’t struggle with this concept as a child but after my mom (a ‘good person’) was killed in 2009 by a drunk driver while on her way home from work I had many people (believers and non-believers) ask me how I made it, how was I not mad at God? I certainly went through dark days because of her sudden death that was just a month before I graduated college and 3 months before I got married.
    One thing I heard in a grief group, that really gave me peace, was that I could ask God those “why” questions. He is a big God and He can handle me questioning what His purpose or plan was. I had grown up under the understanding that you don’t question adults or God. While I still believe that to an extent it was nice knowing God can handle my questions (my broken heart) and He wouldn’t get mad at me. With that, I also had to remember that I wasn’t promised an answer. God has been gracious enough to me to reveal some of those answers since her death but ultimately I was able to make it through and didn’t take drastic measures on my own life because I had a God that loved me IN and THROUGH the hardest and darkest time in my life. There was no question that He was there for me. He is the God that gives peace that surpasses all understanding and He certainly did that for me.

    • Profile photo of Norissa de Leon

      I suffered in poverty growing even today my family back home in the Philippines still do but God blessed me abundantly now here in the America. Every time I looked back I see all the blessings everyday. I have my two boys a job and most importantly I’m saved. Please pray for my family in the Philippines. God Bless

  115. Joyce

    This was a moving and profound lesson.

  116. VICKI

    I have been struggling with this since April when my father unexpectedly passed – he was one of the most loving people I knew and his faith was strong and it had grown through the years and I had got to witness that. I could not understand how God could let someone like that die, when he showed compassion and love for others on the daily. Thank you for sharing, this it is the best and closest thing I’ve heard in 6 months that has helped explain, I’ve not turned my back on him, just questioned him and I’ve been trying to understand why…

  117. Profile photo of CarrieAnn71272

    Beautiful and Breathtaking. I suffer daily from chronic pain after 17 surgeries and now fibromyalgia. I use to wonder why God wouldn’t heal me…now I wonder who is God gonna heal because of my sufferings.

  118. Nancy

    I still struggle with this. I was beaten and abused as a child, molested, raped, etc.
    yet I was able to turn my life to God and use my pain to help others. Then I became involved in my church and was a leader of some sort helping others for 12 years. it was good until some people became more important than God (in my opinion) and I left no longer feeling loved and cared for but Judged as many others within my church also felt. Now I struggle looking to where God is leading me.

  119. Janice Mellon

    I realize that it is more common than not ~ but I personally don’t ever remember blaming God when something bad happened in my life…
    My thoughts on why bad things happen to us when I know The Lord COULD protect us from harm:
    First of all, everyone knows there is an evil, POWERFUL force in this world …until something bad happens!! And then we often hear, “Why did ‘God’ let this happen?” More times than not, there isn’t ANY mention of The Devil!!! NONE!! We know he’s out there – but he very seldom gets the blame in the end!! And that confuses me…?
    Even as Christians, we often are not “walking” with God…
    We get caught up in our own world & days can go by – maybe even weeks, without a thought or a mention of His name!
    What I’ve come to realize – and please feel free to correct me if you feel I’m wrong – but The Lord is waiting to be “invited” into our world DAILY – or better yet – minute by minute!! He is the epitome of a Gentleman and He will NOT just barge into our world like an annoying neighbor uninvited!! Picture this: our home has a door – but the door knob is ONLY on our side ~ and the Lord is waiting for us to open it and invite Him in!! But on a regular basis, that door often remains closed!!!!
    Just because we are Christians doesn’t mean He is going to take advantage of the freedom of choice that He “GIFTED” us.
    No, we are given that choice and He weeps when we don’t include Him in our world and in our plans COMPLETELY! But at the same time, as I mentioned before, The Lord is a gentleman and He will only enter our lives when invited!!
    We need to become completely dependent on Him and independent of the world!!! That’s difficult to do because we, as humans, are groomed to be independent creatures from a very early age!! We must work diligently on becoming completely dependent on God!!!

  120. Profile photo of Terri Womack

    If you have done the bible study, “Experiencing God”, you remember Henry Blakaby making the point that when Martha told Jesus “if you had been there my brother would not have died”, Jesus was making the point that Martha already knew he could heal the sick…she didn’t know he could raise the dead! Maybe we have to wait or something happens so that we can experience some aspect of God that we’ve never experienced before. That’s pretty amazing…

  121. Paula

    Well said Wally. I too, have wrestled with some of these same thoughts. Job was very hard for me to understand until I began to grow in my faith. Thank you for spelling it out and making it so easy to understand. God bless all of you and all that you do. I listen to WayFM everyday on my 30 minute drive to and from work.

  122. Sasunday

    I am going through some horribly rough times right now. I have been praying with the belief that God will get me through it knowing that he will always take care of me. But, I want to add to my prayers that He also somehow uses me and this horrible situation that I am in to bless someone else in some way.
    Wally, thank you for your insight.

  123. Ryan Peters

    This is powerful. We must also remember that not one person is exempt from pain or suffering. God uses moments like this to speak to you, too help grow and mold you. The saying “The night is darker before dawn” is true. Things will get darker before they get better.

    So one thing that I’ve been taught so far by my wonderful pastors, is this. When things start to get tough, don’t ask God to take it away, because he never gives us anything we can’t handle. But instead ask this. “God let it get darker!” Which will in turn mature you and bring you more in tune with his spirit.

  124. Profile photo of tigrl08

    This is so perfect. I work with people who have a lifetime of suffering. Not only will I grow from this but I can also use it to help the ladies I work with. God is so
    Good.

  125. Kathy Teer

    This is good!! The first scripture I read after asking the Lord into my heart was 1 Peter 5:10. Soon after, I realized that the things I experience, good and bad, could be used to help others, and I believe this is one way that God uses me. I am an open book and am not afraid to share what I have been through. People often ask me how I can maintain such a positive attitude through everything. My comment … but God!!

  126. Profile photo of Ara082480

    How can I say and feel that I love God with all my heart and know that he is the only way, my father and my everything? But I can’t forgive the people that continue to hurt me? I feel like I am constantly forgiving them because I know that if God forgives me I need to forgive.But I am tired as a human of been hurt over and over by the same people and now I became angry at them and is just killing my relation with God.I know that is not what God wants, but Im tired and weak. Is very hard especially when is my own family. I am blind right now. I don’t understand. I want to love like Jesus and have no anger, but is just there in my soul. I felt like they take my kindness for weakness and that is what makes me so upset. I dont like to be angry, when I do I become a monster. I love when I am able to enjoy Gods grace, when I am able to enjoy every second of life that God created. When I can help others and I am able to feel there pain it makes me pray stronger for them. When I was able to praise God even when I was going trhough

    • Profile photo of Ara082480

      The storm. I want to go back to that. I miss God even dough I know he is here next to me. I need a new heart and soul 🙁

  127. Profile photo of Sandra Claus

    Thank you for sharing your stories. It is hard for me to realize that I am not alone.
    Praying for Haiti and other peoples involved. 🙏

  128. Profile photo of dbh17
    dbh17

    I’ve often wondered why bad things happen to “good” people. I consider myself to be a good person, but yet things happen to me that cause my friends to refer to me as having a black cloud over my head ,or at least following me around. Usually the more I try to do the right thing, the more wrong things go. I’ve even been called unlucky. I don’t believe in being “good enough” to receive Gods love, but yet I still wonder why negative things happen to me. Is it so that these things don’t happen to someone else that maybe can’t handle or sustain these things? I have to admit that it sometimes shakes my faith. I look forward to any comments. Thanks.

  129. Joni DeBord

    I totally agree! God is good all the time! All the time God is good!When I spend time in God’s word, I begin to learn about WHO GOD IS. He reveals His character to us in the Bible. That truth is what I must cling to when my emotions are raging and life around me seems to be spinning like a tornado all around. God is all that he says he is. Period.
    Thank you for insight to Roman’s 8:28. I’ve never heard it from that viewpoint before. 🙂

  130. Profile photo of Jo Ann
    Jo Ann

    The early church must have wondered why they were being persecuted. Even in their lifetimes, they probably didn’t see the answer. For us, looking back, we see that had the Christians not been persecuted, they would have surely stayed in Jerusalem; the message of Jesus and His plan for our salvation would never have spread around the world.

    I was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocitic Leukemia when I was nine years old. The doctors gave us little hope.

    It was then that my mother began to teach me Romans 8:28. “And we KNOW that ALL things work TOGETHER FOR GOOD to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.” Does that mean that ALL things are good? Of course not. Each small event in our lives is a puzzle piece, and without the “bad pieces,” the puzzle would never be complete.

    I have been in remission for 46 years. God has allowed my husband and me to adopt two beautiful Deaf children, one from Peru and one from China. They have each received Jesus as their Savior. The puzzle pieces keep coming, some good, some bad; but God gets ALL THE GLORY!

  131. Profile photo of Robin W

    Thank you. This has been something I have struggled with for many years. I can’t say I understand it fully, but it’s the first time it has been explained in a way that makes sense to me. I can now read these scriptures with less prejudice.

  132. Profile photo of Susan
    Susan

    Thanks for paragraph on semantics…I thought it was well worded. He shows His power through bad, but it is not self-serving to Him just to garner praise.

  133. Profile photo of Cali Flower

    Currently, suffering is happening in my world. And I’ve been struggling with how do I “cope” with all that is happening and every single day I say (multiple times) “God is good”.. and I stop and then I say it again. It’s so hard to figure out how to handle all of the emotions that I’m feeling, and I always say I’m sure God’s tired of hearing from me.. but I keep reaching out to him. His plan, not mine. God is good.

  134. Kathleen Kauffman

    I have come a long way after being hospitalized in 2004 when taken to the hospital. They could not understand what I was trying to say. I felt misunderstood in that I was trying to find a job when police seemed to be right behind me lurking and trying to find something wrong with me. My neighbor called the police. She had no idea what I was thinking or what I was feeling. I had running thoughts. There was no way I could express the pain and anguish I was feeling as they stopped me from taking a storage box into my apartment where I thought it would be safer from the street.
    The box had pictures full of my friend Kelly Fager as the was involved in a triple homicide back on New Years in 1987. Later I was found to have PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) with panic attacks lurking at every bend of my life. The police or my neighbor had no idea what I was going through that day until just recently. I simply prayed the prayer, “Forgive them for they know not what they do.” They had no idea I was an innocent bystander just trying to make it in this world. I had been given a black eye from police as they pointed their finger my direction and I told them not to point “that thing” at me. I myself swung at their finger and in defense they slapped my giving me a black eye. I had no idea what was going on. I was scared no doubt and was taken to the hospital. Why I had running thoughts I had no idea or why I was put in that situation, but the forgive thems were there. And, today, I am able to count my blessing more and realize I have a future with Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I am not in control over every situation but God is and I have often given everything to God out of result of that experience. Thinking you have control when you don’t is a scary feeling. I must always go to God knowing that through his son Jesus Christ I am free from condemnation. I have learned a lot on how to take care of myself and the people around me, not being so selfish in my ways, to not think just of my own problems but to realize some people have it worse than I do. I feel tremendously blessed by the people and organizations that have helped me through my times of distress. I am eternally grateful for the life I’ve been given to see the light that is truly possible to see through the situation. I have recently committed myself to the hospital. It was one of the healthiest things I could have done for myself. I was put on a new medication when the old meds weren’t working, and I was sent to outpatient where I got tools on how to better take care of myself and manage my symptoms. I am able to help take care of others as well as take care of myself. One of the biggest things I learned was that people are concerned about my emotional health just as much as my physical where I didn’t think there was any concern. Your emotional health is part of every day functioning and without it you can’t much do much for yourself. Thank God I have people who understand now and care about me!

  135. Christina

    I have asked this question many times. Why does God allow bad things to happen? I am a strong believer and have been proven He is with me, however my faith gets tested a lot. A little girl was sexually assisted and beaten to death (current news). I have a hard time understanding how God allows this to happen just so her mother will call into Him.

  136. Loran Farrow

    I was blessed by hearing your perspective on this issue. I do agree that it helps to hear other’s journey and to see things from their point of view.

    I’ve never had the problem of wondering why bad things happen to ‘good’ people because I was raised with the understanding of the great controversy–the war between good and evil, God and Satan. I’ve come to see that it’s easy for people to blame or praise God, particularly when they’re unbelievers, but they refuse to acknowledge a living evil entity of Satan and to accept that he is responsible for the suffering in this world. There is a war or struggle going on between heaven and the forces of evil.

    Truth is, we are all sinners and therefore all equally responsible for the ill effects of sin in this world. I think it’s easy to blame Adam and Eve or Satan, or any number of reasons, things, but when we accept the responsibility for it ourselves, we can then realize the need for our own salvation and that only by choosing to accept Jesus in our lives can we have redemption, peace, eternal life.

    Yes, bad things may still happen, but we can fully understand why they are happening and understand that Jesus WILL save us. It might not be today, but it will be for eternity.

  137. Kenneth

    To make a long story short. I’ve 50 yrs old and on disability. Been on disability for 13 yrs now. I have a multitude of health issues with a lot of severe pain. But I’m starting to learn more and more that my pain and suffering might not necessarily for me but for others to see God through me and how I respond to God.

  138. Profile photo of MichelleK

    Little behind, but love this post. And have always loved the story of Lazarus. It brings me to tears every time.

    • Profile photo of ali
      ali

      Thank you for this study. I am only on day one and I am understanding why a group like this is so important. Thank you for the example of Lazarus.

  139. Profile photo of Missy P

    Sorry for the late check in. I watched my God-fearing parents suffer with Cancer and heart disease. They were devoted Christians, had a passion for Christ. I was angry at God for a while after my young mother passed away. After being consumed with anger and disappointment, I realized that this was not the person I wanted to be or even liked. I learned to change that anger into something positive and a renewed me. Now, I am at peace, but to get there I had to surrender fully to God. When you let go and let God take the burdens off your shoulder, you gain peace and contentment, knowing that God is well able. I hope this story can help someone else who is dealing with something similar.

  140. Hi Wally and Co. =)

    I listen to you every morning on my way to work and this morning heard about the “World’s Largest Small Group”, (which I thought was very clever, btw…) and when I heard what the topic was, I knew I had to connect with you in some way. There is so much to my story that is still unfolding, and my life-long rock-solid faith has been tested in every which way possible. If there is anything I find just beginning to emerge from my time of tremendous suffering, it’s the realization that “the church”….hasn’t a clue how to address those who love and serve Jesus, but whose suffering isn’t immediately erased with a trip to the alter or with the laying on of hands. My love for God is real. My faith and trying to hang on to belief in a good God is still real….but my suffering is also painfully real. In all my years of serving Jesus, no one ever told me this could happen….yet it has, and the loneliness is at times unbearable, because the Body of Christ on the earth just doesn’t know what to do with people like me….who have clearly lost so much, and are trying desperately to find hope in an uncertain future. So….I guess I just want to say, “Thank you!” for seeing me and those like me. It doesn’t “fix” anything, but that’s not the point of healing, I’m coming to realize. It’s a process….sometimes a very long process, but it can also be a sacred journey with Jesus and with one another if we can become comfortable with walking alongside those who suffer, instead of being so hell-bent on immediate healing. (Sigh…) There is so much more I’d like to say, but I’ll end with just thanking you once again for following through with an idea that must have come from the very heart of God, through yours, and out to those of us who so desperately need this kind of understanding. So thankful to have found this “small group!” Bless you all….so very very much!

  141. Jaime

    Ya know when you were talking about your devotion being the first and being so good I thought you were just blowing smoke– dude– you totally nailed it !!! I appreciate your honesty and insight!!! There is so much to be learned from suffering and who God is in our suffering remembering He isn’t the source of our suffering is the reminder we all need!

    Thank you for sharing!!

  142. Profile photo of carto877

    Wow that was amazing to read. What an eye opening experience.

  143. Profile photo of SmdC
    SmdC

    I have struggled with this as well and even now am going through a season of my life where I have been asking God why everything had to happen like it has happened. I was forced to resign from a job where I had been for over 10 years shortly after getting remarried a little over the years ago. Unbeknownst to me, I had married someone with an addiction problem who also was abusive at times. Because of this person, I lost my house and have had multiple bills go into collections. My son and I are living separately with friends, and I am still struggling to obtain full-time employment. I don’t know what God’says plan is, but I have put my trust in Him. Perhaps it is to witness to my teenage son, who was saved as a child but has been influenced by others and now has doubts. Or it could be to teach me how to glorify Him more through my suffering…who knows? It is so hard for me NOT to question “Why?” but I tell myself that I should be asking “Why NOT me?”

  144. Carolyn Barnes

    We live in a fallen world. After Adam and Eve sinned, then sickness, disease, evil things entered the world. Just think, there were no thorns or thistles, fleas ticks mosquitoes, or other miserable biting bugs. All these ‘bad’ things came about.
    God can be glorified in everything we do and go through. The worst is when children suffer. For those who don’t believe, how can you not. There has to be more than just this life. Else those who never got to live their life or those who have suffered all their life would be in vain. My mom has been disabled most of her adult life because of rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes. She knows pain. She’s always had a great attitude and tells everyone she meetshow good GOD is! And one day she will be able to RUN down the streets of gold.
    Didn’t mean to write such a lengthy post but I feel like people just don’t get it. Things that happen to us is a condition of living in this world and God uses them for his glory with or without our help.
    God bless

  145. Rebecca Clark

    Thank you for sharing, Wally!

    As a Sunday School teacher, I am asked this question quite often. And to be honest, I’ve struggled with this as well. My husband has epilepsy and because of the severity of his seizures, he is unable to work. So, the struggles we as a family face each and every day are just heartbreaking and overwhelming at times. Praise be to God because I know that whatever He has in store us is for His glory and His alone.

  146. Jill Haffley

    It is puzzling to wonder the whys of bad things happening to good people. My life changed in an instant when I found out I was getting a divorce. Things got worse and I found myself deep in a season I did not want to be in. I didn’t want to feel what I knew I was headed for and that’s when I began making decisions that we’re not good for me. I knew this was not a surprise to God, but I didn’t understand it. I still don’t, but it has been an amazing spiritual journey for me at the same time. And going through today’s study, I realized that I don’t have to know what’s next if I trust in God. That’s an amazing revelation to me. Even though I was raised in the church and I have book knowledge of the Bible, I guess I never learned from experiences and this time I was forced to learn. Even though it has been incredibly painful, I know He’s there and it’s not Him who changes, it’s me. Learning to trust and surrender has been hard, but I’m learning and I’m realizing that He’s right there and He has a plan He’s working out in my life. Just like Mary and Martha, I am learning that powerful lesson. And my “Lazarus moment” is coming.

  147. Profile photo of Angie7309

    We have someone to take our concerns and trouble to. Jesus who feels our pain and can help us through it. Knowing who he is, is the key. We are call to share that through our lives.

  148. Profile photo of Ntxsunrise

    This is so good. This is a stumbling block that each of us has wrestled with. When my son was hospitalized at nine months and left disabled as a result of his illness, I often wondered what the purpose of all of it was for. Not that the bad thing happened, I didn’t ever blame God for it. I just wondered what good could come from all of that. 16 years later I see a glimpse of how God used this bad thing for good. Not 100% there, but as time passes I get snapshots of His vision.

    Learning to be his faithful servant,
    Dawn

  149. Profile photo of melissa10614875

    i suffer many birth defects as well as Asperger’s Syndrome and a genetic disease called “Velo-Cardio-Facial-Syndrome” or also called “DiGeorge Syndrome” I also suffer Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as well as Major Depressive Disorder, Panic Attacks, Anxiety Disorders and Social Phobia and Social Disorders. I suffer Chronic Pain too. I am so glad that this was created. I am glad God is pointing me in the right direction because i feel lost and not many people understand me. Except my parents.

  150. Profile photo of melissa10614875

    I am so impressed with this story of Lazaurus. i feel as if Christ is speaking to me through Wally. Thank you Wally for this passage. The Resurrection of Lazurus was one of the best miracles that Jesus Preformed. Raising someone from the dead…how powerful!This shows me through my struggles with my various disabilities and illnesses, i know that Jesus Christ can give me the peace of mine that Jesus Is here with me every step of the way. Very inspiring story. Very encouraging. Thank you Wally!

  151. Amber

    Wally, thank you for sharing this. Recently, there was a baby in my extended family who passed away from SIDS at just 4 months old. According to the autopsy report, the baby just stopped breathing overnight. There was no warning, no health issues, etc. A young mother just woke up one morning to find her baby dead in his crib. My family is really struggling with this and asking lots of questions. I plan to share this with them in hopes that it will give them some peace. Thank you again for sharing your story and these scriptures. I hope everyone realizes that by sharing our stories, we can help others who are struggling.

  152. Wendy Newell

    Thank you for this.

  153. Jessica

    I think that every committed follower of Jesus will say Mary’s famous words; “let it be done unto me”. But when push comes to shove, and you have followed Jesus and answered the calling on your life and given everything to Him, and then your children suffer incredible pain, your view changes. It’s easy to promise and commit when you haven’t been raked to the other side of the fence yet. It’s also easy to say “I’m willing to suffer”. But what about when it’s your babies who will suffer? Then what? Saying that God is good all the time burns the heart of someone who has watched their child suffer incredibly for an extended period of time.

  154. Profile photo of ammercer1

    Wally,
    I attended a 4 year liberal arts college, and because it was a Christian college, we had to take New Testament and Old Testament classes, ethics, theology and so forth as part of our curriculum. During one of my “testament” classes (it’s been too long ago to remember now which one it was), the priest who was teaching the class said something I have never forgotten since then. He told us that God doesn’t cause bad things to happen. They just happen. God is the one who is there to help comfort us and help us pick up the pieces and go on. As a Christian and a nurse for the past 23 years, it has really helped me to understand and be able to share that with my patients, especially those with terminal illnesses.

  155. Profile photo of Melinda

    I am trying to catch up. Reading this today was good timing. This past year and a half have been rough. 1st health issues and then separation from my husband of 29 years. Living with his alcoholism has been difficult on our relationship but an affair has destroyed our marriage and family.

    It has been a rough year but my relationship with God is stronger than it has ever been. It has been amazing and I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for that change in my life. I am thankful for my faith. God has a plan and this reading reminds me that I am a good person and bad things happen to good people. I didn’t do something bad for this to happen to me.

    I am blessed to have been introduced to the radio station and this group.❤

  156. Profile photo of bridget0394

    Thanks Wally! I needed this. My best friend lost her baby during labor, because of a knot in the umbilical cord that cut off her air supply. Then she miscarried her next baby. Now she just received a report from her OB/GYN that her baby due in a few months will have Down Syndrome. So much to handle! Praise God that her & her husband are still positive & hopeful, happy to have this baby. I say MY GOD IS BIGGER THAN SOME DR’S DIAGNOSIS. Either way… God does give these special gifts to special parents. Praying for no heart defects which is common with Down Syndrome.

  157. Profile photo of skyla
    skyla

    Thank you so much for this, I have been dealing with a real struggle having to do with this because my grandma recently passed away due to pancrettic cancer. I didnt understand why a woman that was so strong in her faith and didnt even drink would get that cancer…. I know that God is there and it helps knowing that He cares that such a bad thing happened to a loved one. Yall are just a great blessing, thank you for everything you do.

  158. Profile photo of krowan1913

    I know I am late, but excited to share. Thanks for this topic.

  159. Myfaithwillstand

    I am so glad to read this because just a little over a year ago we lost our daughter..I question why this had to happen to us and why her..what did we do. Could I have done something different..but reading this made me see that even though bad things have happened to us we can find joy in the fact that God’s love for us is always constant. It’s hard to see the good when my emotions get the best of me and fail to see what good he has done. Thank you for sharing.

  160. Profile photo of Myfaithwillstand1622

    I struggle with believing ever since we lost our daughter. Its hard to know that good things happen to good people. A question thst is unanswered for many. As i walk through my grief i realize the more i lean on the God the more i can think clearly and know thst he walks with me daily. Thank you for sharing.

    • Darla Wegner

      I cant imagine what a loss you’ve been through. I work as a funeral director and I see it so much. I cant feel what you’ve been through but I can grasp a glimpse…. He is always with you and so is that baby girl. They aren’t gone from our hearts and spirit. I believe we all have someone who is our guardian angel. Someone made especially for us along with God to keep us watched and protected from the world we live in. Praying for you and blessed peaceful days sweetheart.

  161. Kimberly

    My mom passed away in Jan 2016. The guilt I have for not doing more or taking the oxygen off kills me. It won’t go away. Please pray.

  162. Darla Wegner

    I couldn’t agree more with this message. I’ve always believed in God and knew he was here for me but I never went any further in practicing my faith and building a relationship with God…. Over the course of these two months, I’ve had some crazy bad luck. One thing after another. I couldn’t understand it. I figured I hadn’t been as good of a human being as I should have and was being punished… Truth is, my relationship with God and doing his works, or again, practicing my faith, (such as reading my bible daily like I should) wasn’t as strong. He wasn’t punishing me for anything. He is nothing but love and merciful. These trying events popping up around me, drew me in closer to God. I have a new vision on everything now. Everything seems different. I still get discouraged just a tad, but I bounce right back. Prayer, scripture reading, and giving all my love and praise to God. I know its just a bad few days, its not forever. But God IS using me for SOMETHING and I just remind myself, its a purpose in fulfilling his will.

  163. Profile photo of Estella_Mendez

    Thank you for this devotional I know many things will cone our way but with God everything is possible

  164. Profile photo of Theresa Ortega

    Seeing all of the violence and devastation all over the world would be overwhelming if not for God and knowing that this is not the plan for His children but as you said the price tag for living in a fallen world. Knowing that this is only temporary and that we will not stay forever in this place is the assurance that following after Jesus provides.

  165. Share-joy

    So needed this TODAY! I’m facing something still so stigmatized around me: Divorce! 29 years later. Worse there’s no easy explanation, no one had an affair, so it appears. Bottom-line, no matter how hard people try to work on themselves, their relationship..sometimes it just fails. We fail. So hard not to be swept away with shame. Raised that divorce was not an option and NEVER expected it to go this way. 1st year with family truly seeing the end and choosing to do holidays separately. My heart is broken. But I will choose God! I know He can restore the broken-hearted! I believe He will all of us. Believing even if not in my life time that He will use this to bring glory as we continue to choose HIM! Thank you!

  166. Carol Douglas

    Hello biggest small group…. I read this today and can’t agree more.God is always the same now and forever even when bad things happen.

  167. Matt

    I tell you what this is really hard to read when you are going through a dark time. Loss of a job…crap. Finding a new one doing what you really love…yea!!! Having to take a major pay cut and not being able to make ends meet…crap. Not just his situation but many more make me feel like this is a very tough time in my life right now, and it just seems the hits keep on coming. I know in my head that God is good all the time and that He will provide but it is VERY hard to see that though the fog right now.
    Believe me I know there are many out there who are worse off than me and that there are bigger problems in the world, but God made me a provider spirit and it weighs heavy on me when I see that I can’t meet needs and wants. I will have to read this again and again to let it really sink into me.

  168. Yolander Jackson

    At times it is hard for me to believe what is happening in my life is for a reason and a purpose.When I get myself together,on my kneels,asking him to see me thru this and to learn something.I may not know what it is that I am suppose to learn. Trusting that the bad and sad times will pass.I had breast cancer in 2004.I did not ask why.Cries and prayed.Had 16 chemotherapy treatments and 33 radiation treatments.GOD gave me a testimony.

  169. Amy Mo

    In 2014 I lost my oldest brother to a brutal battle with colon cancer. During that time our father had his own battle with lung cancer and the following year I watch dad fade away right before my eyes. I questioned my faith and stepped away from it. I saw what it did to me and how stepping away from Jesus turned me into an angry, insecure, cynical person. I did things out of character and feel ashamed of myself. I was…still am hurting. But I know that He has never left me and has always been there. At my brother’s funeral He was there. When I helped change my father’s diaper He was there (that was really tough) and I know that as I write this He is with me. I’m not perfect and will continue to make mistakes but I take comfort in knowing that He loves me unconditionally. During all this heartache…the light of hope is still there and I see it.

  170. When bad things happen to me I remember that just because this is the situation now but it will not remain this way because Jesus takes our negatives and changes them to positives

  171. Chowchowma

    Amen Wally!

  172. nancy

    I rely on the knowledge that He sees the future. All of it. when something happens that appears bad I am content to wait on Him. Too many times in my life I thought I was in a ‘bad place’ when it became apparant that it was simply a growing place and all eventually became clear. Sickness is a part of being human. I must accept that for myself as well as others.

  173. HEY! WALLY,
    I AM SO GRATEFUL FOR READING TODAY’S READING, BECAUSE IT OPENED MY EYES ON WHAT JESUS WAS WANTING TO BE A SHOW-OFF,BUT HE IS A GOOD GOD AND ISN’T A BAD GOD BUT A GREAT GOD! AND IT MADE ME KNOW WHAT IT REALLY MEANT TO BE!

  174. Kathleen Kauffman

    I definitely can relate! I think Jesus was a narcissist and still is, thinking “why do we have to praise this person? Is he really God?” I do not capitalize “he” because the bible says “God is not a man,…” see Numbers 23:19. I am so proud of myself! I mean everyone telling us to think positive and that we as Christians are always right with all the answers. So where does humility come into play? How can I be a positive witness to those who seem to have it all together and to those who don’t know God. I need to have it together or I am not a positive witness. So, is God revealed to others in my unemployment and inability to pay bill. I am told I should be able to pay my bills, to hold down a job, to submit therefore,… I am not Christian enough if I don’t. How can I know God? Well, 1) I have more time than you to spend time with God. I have all the time in the world, but no money to invest in the things that are important. Like we know “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” see Acts 20:35 So it’s not necessarily God and others around us, to see God’s blessings through others, but what about me? When does God get glorified through me. This is my ongoing prayer – that God would be glorified because He is not glorified through me necessarily. This is a part of my unbelief. It forces me to pray for answers that aren’t evident to me. I have to rely on answers that don’t make sense. I don’t have it all together, but when will I appear that way? I want to be able to ignore my problems by giving them to God and doing that which needs done so I can help others. I don’t want to say “ignore,” but I have found that many people want to fix my problems for me when I tell them of my problems. So I ask that I not tell so many people because nine times out of 10, I am just talking. I am not looking for a solution.

  175. Sheri George

    Thank you, Wally. I needed to hear that! God Bless!

  176. Jeff Hushfield

    God is sovereign. I believe that everything happens for a reason.

  177. Johnny

    Thank you so much Wally this hit me in the face cause I to have been suffering with why do people ( myself included) suffer what did we do, I read the passages but today it hit in the face with your explanation

  178. Mariela Caballero

    Thank you for sharing. This really enlightened my understanding.

  179. Matthew Detrick

    Profound post. My parents raised my brother in I in a Baptist Church in Wheaton, IL. They did the best they could with what they had. My issue with Baptist doctrine was it seeming like I was supposed to feel shame or guilt if I wasn’t perfect. To me, shame and guilt are useless emotions that lead to things like drug abuse, stuffing emotions, etc. (I only say those things because that is how it manifested in my life) I rebelled for a long time because of the exact reasons outlined in this post.

    A few years ago, I decided to get baptized at Parkview Christian Church in Orland Park, IL. Twice actually.

    I realized God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit are all good and even beyond good or bad, they simply are… I get that today. While I don’t identify with religion, I consider myself Christian in the spiritual sense.

    I live every day modeling Christ to the best of my ability today. Yes, I fall short every day and every day I pray to God recognizing that it’s not my will but his will that will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

  180. Hailey

    I absolutely love this study! Really helps me understand the true meanings behind these various scriptures!!

  181. Linda

    Thank you. This has helped me. And i know a few people who it might help also.

  182. Leigh Anne Stockman

    I have recently moved to the Nashville area with my boyfriend and his children. Needless to say, it wasn’t a smooth move. We have gone through one of the biggest “storms” in our relationship and have been beaten to the point of losing our faith. It seemed like nothing we did was right, and every time we turned around, something else went wrong. Within the first week of moving, both of our cars broke down within days of each other, one not fixable. We purchased a “new to us” car and not even four days after that, it broke down. Six days later, my car was totaled after my boyfriend hit a deer on the way home from work. Two weeks after that, he was admitted into the hospital almost in renal failure. We can’t seem to catch a break. In all honesty, my faith became paper thin because I had been praying and it just seemed like GOD wasn’t listening. I know Satan doesn’t want us to succeed and I am not giving up. We are going to start looking for a home church. We aren’t bad people. We do not like upsetting or hurting anyone. We would rather suffer than hurt anyone. Why was this happening to us? What did we do to deserve this? All of these things needed to happen in order for us to come back to GOD. We wandered from Him because we were trying to please others instead of pleasing Him. His children do no believe and make fun of our faith. I know that GOD brought us together and my boyfriend said I helped him want to go back to church. After all that we have been through, and still going through, nothing has broken our relationship with each other. We know we just need to mend our relationship with Our Father.
    Please pray over us so that our faith will be strengthened and our relationship with Jesus will be restored even stronger. We were going to church before we left but stopped. Satan took his opportunity but I am shutting the door!!! I have recently started looking up inspirational quotes, verses, whatever it takes to restore my faith because I CAN NOT DO THIS WITHOUT GOD!!

  183. Barbara Allison

    This is one topic that I have battled with for years. I am constantly reminding myself that people cause the bad things that happen on this earth. We destroy the environment and cause floods, climate change, catastrophes. We abuse and hurt each other. We turn to drugs, alcohol, pornography, etc. and don’t recognize the damage we do to ourselves and others. We put money and status above family. We disregard the commandments, and then wonder why things are a mess. We cause the evil in the world-not God. And He is there with us through it all. We just have to remember that.

  184. Emily

    I never struggled with this. My thought when I first came across this question was that I’m not such a good person, so… I hate it, though, when you have innocent intentions on something and people just take it the wrong way or it doesn’t work out the way you want it too.

  185. Zak

    I struggle with this constantly. I feel like I am stuck in this rut and no matter how much I pray nothing is changing. Have I been forgotten about because of my sins? I just don’t know what to do… I feel selfish knowing that there’s so many other people out there with far worse things going on, I’m just super lost.