OceanSide church of Christ
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WHY BAD THINGS HAPPEN TO GOOD PEOPLE
Reasons #8 and #9
Victor M. Eskew
A. How many of us say we love God, His wonderful message, and His kingdom?
B. Question: Would you be willing to suffer intense anguish if you knew that God, His message, and His kingdom would prosper by your agony?
C. This can be one of the reasons that we might have to suffer.
I. WE SUFFER TO SPREAD GOD’S PERSON, MESSAGE, AND KINGDOM
A. Who was Daniel?
1. He was one Hebrew youth who was taken captive and brought to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzer (Dan. 1:1, 6).
2. He became a very prominent wise man in the Babylonian kingdom (Dan. 1:19; 2:48; 6:1-2).
B. Did a bad thing happen to this good young man? Yes, ultimately he was cast in the lion’s den (Dan. 6:16-17).
C. We know the outcome also. In fact, there were many positives to this story.
1. Daniel was spared (Dan. 6:21-22).
2. Daniel’s enemies were destroyed (Dan. 6:24).
3. Daniel prospered (Dan. 6:28).
4. Darius acknowledged the power of God, and commanded his kingdom to tremble before the God of Daniel. This decree also greatly expanded the freedom of the Jews to worship their God (Dan. 6:25-26).
Then king Darius wrote unto all the people, nations, and languages that dwell in all the earth; Peace be multiplied unto you, I make a decree that in every dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel: for he is the living God, and steadfast forever, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed, and his dominion shall be even unto the end.
a. This is not a Jew addressing the people about God; it is a Gentile.
b. His message went “unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth” and to “every dominion” of Darius’ kingdom.
D. We may be called upon to suffer for our faith in time to come.
1. Woman’s rights, homosexual rights, and Islam are calling upon our government to make decrees that go against the law of God.
2. If we stay faithful like Daniel, the cause of Christianity may be spread in our nation as well.
E. Bad things sometimes happen so God’s kingdom can spread (See Acts 8:1, 4).
…And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles….Therefore they that were scattered abroad went everywhere preaching the word.
II. WE SUFFER TO MAKE US RELY UPON GOD MORE
A. As human beings, we need to rely upon God in every facet of our lives.
1. When things are going well, it is easy to drift from God and fail to depend upon Him as much.
2. Sometimes we need suffering to bring us close to God.
3. A prime example of this is found in a man named David.
B. While Saul was king, some wonderful things happened to the young shepherd lad named David.
1. He was anointed to be king by the prophet Samuel (I Sam. 16:13).
2. He became Saul’s armourbearer and the one to play upon the harp for Saul when he was overtaken by an evil spirit (I Sam. 16:14-23).
3. He defeated the giant enemy of the Israelites, Goliath, and became a champion in Israel (I Sam. 17).
4. He became a very close friend of Jonathan, Saul’s son (I Sam. 18:1).
5. Saul made David a captain over a thousand men (I Sam. 18:13).
C. David, however, was ultimately forced to flee into the wilderness and to run for his life because of king Saul (I Sam. 20:42-27:4). While in the wilderness, David learned to draw close to God and to seek His guidance.
1. In I Samuel 23:2, 4, David inquired of the Lord regarding the need to fight the Philistines.
2. Twice David spared the life of Saul for he was the Lord’s anointed (I Sam. 24:10; 26:9-11).
3. David wrote several psalms during this turbulent time of his life. Eight psalms refer to David’s wilderness affliction in their titles.
a. Psalm 18, 34, 52, 54, 56, 57, 63, and 142
b. Psalm 18
1) David was afflicted (Ps. 18:4-5).
The sorrows of death compassed me, and the floods of ungodly men made me afraid. The sorrows of hell compassed me about: the snares of death prevented me.
2) In his distress, David called upon the Lord (Ps. 18:6).
3) He attributed his deliverance to God.
a) He delivered me from my strong enemy… (Ps. 18:6).
b) He brought me forth also into a large place; he delivered me… (Ps. 18:19).
c) Thou hast delivered me from the strivings of the people… (Ps. 18:43).
d) He delivereth me from mine enemies: yea, thou liftest me up above those that rise up against me: thou hast delivered me from the violent man (Ps. 18:48).
e) Great deliverance giveth he to his king… (Ps. 18:50).
4) He learned several things about God.
a) The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower (Ps. 18:2)
b) As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the Lord is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust him. For who is God save the Lord? Or who is a rock save our God? It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect (Ps. 18:30-32).
c) The Lord liveth; and blessed be my rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted. It is God that avengeth me, and subdueth the people under me (Ps. 18:46-47).
5) What David would continue to do.
a) I will love thee, O Lord… (Ps. 18:1).
b) …in whom I will trust… (Ps. 18:2).
c) I will call upon thee… (Ps. 18:3).
d) Therefore will I give thanks… (Ps. 18:49).
e) …and sing praises unto they name (Ps. 18:49).
A. In this lesson, we have seen that our suffering brings benefits both to deity and man.
1. Sometimes our suffering spreads the message of God to others.
2. Sometimes our suffering brings us to a greater dependence upon God which might be needed later in our life.
B. The key: Endure all suffering, even when we do not personally benefit therefrom. Our suffering could be yielding fruit in places of which we are not aware.