2 Thessalonians 1:3-6
3 Dear brothers and sisters, we always thank God for you, as is right, for we are thankful that your faith is flourishing and you are all growing in love for each other. 4 We proudly tell God’s other churches about your endurance and faithfulness in all the persecutions and hardships you are suffering. 5 But God will use this persecution to show his justice. For he will make you worthy of his Kingdom, for which you are suffering, 6 and in his justice he will punish those who persecute you.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Why do bad things happen to good people, those serving the Lord?  This is the questions so many people ask today.  Many outside of Christ say, “If there is a God why would He let this terrible thing happen?”  This often will keep them from coming to believe that God loves and cares of them.  Because there is sin our world, there is suffering, sickness and death for all people, those who love God and those who do not.  Pain and suffering come from three areas in this world. One is because there is sin and all of us will eventually die because of it.  Sin is evil and goes against God’s will.  Man has free will and many choose to do evil and many others suffer because of their evil choice.  The second circumstance that brings suffering is our own choices.  If we choose to smoke, we will eventually suffer.  If we choose to jump off a cliff, we will suffer.  These are very obvious choices that will lead to our suffering.  Others are not so obvious, but all of the choices we make in life have consequences either good or bad.  The third circumstance in life that brings suffering is our decision to serve Christ.  And that is what the Thessaloninas were suffering.  Paul had to leave Thessalonica very quickly because of persecution and so the believers he left behind also suffered greatly for their decision to serve Christ.  Many in this country do not suffer much because of their decision to serve the Lord.  But many around the world everyday are killed because they serve Him.

Whatever your reason for suffering, God is not indifferent, uncaring, unjust or powerless to protect you.  Bad things happen and we may never know the reason why.  The consequences of sin (not our sin, but sin in the world) and our bad decisions are usually the reason for our suffering.  It is important to remember that even though we suffer, God is still in control and can use our suffering for our good, for those who love Him.  Your focus should remain on His Word and His love even though you do not understand the “why” of your pain.  Know that He is always with you and will never leave you, no matter what you are feeling or experiencing.  Just because you cannot understand or do not know the reason for the things that have happened does not mean that God is not with you.  Read the Psalms and see what others have suffered through and see how God worked in their lives.  And then trust that He will give you peace of mind and heart during your time of pain.

Have a God Day!