Caravan Sonnet: When The Worst Happens, It Challenges Your Faith To The Core

11/12/18

When The Worst Happens, It Challenges Your Faith To The Core

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Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people? It’s a question that has echoed down the centuries, all the
way from Thomas Aquinas more than 1,500 years ago. Great scholars have tried to answer that question, as
well as scripture itself. But when suffering happens, it can be so terrible that we don’t understand what we’ve done
to deserve it. It can challenge our faith to the core.

Perhaps the first thing to realize about suffering is that it isn’t necessarily related to anything that you might have
done in your personal life. Bad things can happen at random, simply because the world has fallen from grace.
The second thing to understand is that God knows that there is suffering in the world. It’s part of the plan.

When you feel that your faith is challenged, remember the following:

When Bad Things Happen, You Become A Better Minister
Why might God allow suffering in the here and now? One of the reasons could be because personal growth
leads to improvements in your ministry. Imagine if you were to go through life without ever suffering.
Without suffering, you would never be forced to contemplate the most unpleasant aspects of existence.
You would hop from one life event to another, without having a deep understanding of what others might
be going through with injury, sickness, relationship breakdown, and death. There is no substitute for this deep
empathy, and so when you have it, not only do you grow on a personal level, but your ministry improves too.

People with the greatest faith and impact on others are often those who exist in an environment of constant
suffering. Mother Teresa, for instance, worked every day to bring health and healing to suffering children in
her care and continued to persevere in doing God’s work even when some of those children died. There
are countless other examples of missionaries and doctors doing the same in war-torn and disease-ridden
parts of the world in the past and right now. Suffering forged their faith and made them more effective in their work.

When Bad Things Happen, It’s Often In Service Of Ultimate Good
Human beings have developed systems to turn bad situations into good ones. For instance,
Slack Davis Sanger LLP and other legal services help people to get restitution after they’ve been hurt.
It’s a way of repaying somebody for the suffering that they have endured. God, isn’t so much interested in material
repayment, but spiritual compensation.

Think about the story of Joseph in Genesis. Joseph endured terrible suffering during his life, but at the end of it,
he saw that it was all part of God’s plan for lasting good.Terrible things do sometimes happen, but it’s important
for people of faith to remember that there’s always a reason, even if it can’t be perceived. God isn’t behaving
maliciously towards you - it’s a process that he just knows that you have to go through to become the person
he wants you to be.

When Bad Things Happen, Remember This Isn’t The Final Life You Have
Life is suffering. At least for a lot of the time. But it’s important to remember that God promises that this isn’t the
only life. Even when the worst happens, God says that people who put their faith in Him will be saved and
have another life. Even in the darkest times, that’s something to hold on to. It might seem like the end, but it isn’t.
You can make new relationships, you will have a new body even if you’re ill today, and when you die,
you will go and be with God without suffering.

When Bad Things Happen, Think About Jesus’s Suffering
The Bible says that Jesus lived a life without doing anything wrong at all. The Bible also says that all people
have done things that are wrong. Because of this, some scholars argue that Jesus suffered more than
anybody because he was punished for living a perfect life. He also had to bear the wrongdoing of others,
which is why people of faith are so interested in his character.

Suffering is a tricky subject, and one of the main objections people have to faith. But when you understand
it at a deeper level, it can start to make sense. Because suffering is so real and difficult to deal with, it can
appear mysterious. Ultimately, it’s not all that hard to understand, especially if your faith is genuine. Yes,
it can be challenging, but that’s the only way you grow.

*This is a contributed post*

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