Thursday, August 2, 2012

Why Do Bad Things Happen To Good People?



Bad Things, Good People
If God is completely in control, why do our lives sometimes not turn out as planned? If God is love, why do we experience so much difficulty? All of us eventually have to answer these questions in some form or another. In my own walk with God, I have discovered a truth, a promise, that really helps me when I’m struggling. It is found throughout Scripture, but a certain section of David’s story prominently displays it.
Forced to leave Israel because of King Saul’s deadly rampage against him, David and his men had been serving a Philistine lord named Achish. Achish loved David and was led to believe that David had fully defected to him, heart and soul. But the princes of the Philistines, for good reason, did not trust David. They had no intention of letting a Hebrew fight with them against Israel. So right before the big battle, David and his men were sent home.
When they arrived at their city of Ziklag, they found it completely ravaged. The Amalekites had attacked while David and his men were away, carrying off their families and their possessions and setting the city on fire.
Consider the situation for a moment. In a short period of time, David and his men were stripped of everything they valued. They were warriors who were not allowed to fight. Their enemies had stolen their families and destroyed their homes. Their heartache is tangible in 1 Samuel 30:4: “David and the people who were with him lifted up their voices and wept, until they had no more power to weep.”

DIFFICULTY AND PROMISE

But that is not the conclusion to the story. This horrific situation in David’s life ended up being the very thing that ushered him into God’s promise. He and his men went after the Amalekites, defeated them and recovered more than the enemy had stolen from them. David used the spoils of war to fund his campaign to become the king of Hebron, and seven years later, he basicallywalked into Jerusalem and became king of the entire nation of Israel.
In the darkest, deepest shadow of night, God always has a plan. If we choose Him instead of fear, anger or bitterness, He will unfold the rest of the story to us, and we will realize that if it had not been for the difficulty, we never would have walked into the promise.
David’s conflict with the Amalekites is a striking illustration of Paul’s simple statement in 2 Corinthians 12:10: “When I am weak, then I am strong.” Do you hear what Paul is saying? “God is coming. We may be at the end of our rope. We may be desperate. We may have nothing left — but God is coming. We are about to witness something incredible.”

GOD IS COMING

How does this realization of God and His purposes become an active part of our lives? In the aftermath of the Amalekites’ attack, when he was at his lowest point, David chose to strengthenhimself in God. He knew that we don’t inquire of the Lord when our faith is weak. We can’t strengthen ourselves in somebody who seems small to us; in order to strengthen ourselves in God, we have to know who He is. We have to know how He can help us and remind ourselves of His nature and character. Then, when our faith in Him is restored, we can ask Him what He wants to do.  
If we can remember the principle of strengthening first and asking second, we will save ourselves a lot of heartache, and we will be able to recognize what is real, despite the pain and the enemy’s taunting. Everything God does is glorious. Everything God does reflects who He is. Everything God does is in alignment with the truth of His names. This means His plans are good even when we can’t see that goodness. This means there is a plan, even when it seems like there isn’t a plan.
Everything we do in the Kingdom of God is instigated by faith and fulfilled by faith. Nothing happens in the Kingdom without faith. When life doesn’t turn out the way we planned, we need to do what David did and strengthen ourselves in God until our faith in Him is restored and we can see His face clearly.
Then we need to prepare for breakthrough — because God is coming, and we are about to witness something incredible. Several people have recently asked me to teach on what I call the Law of Geographic Anointing. Simply put, this law is all about the heart of God, His extravagant affection for us and how He intends to use us on the earth. Though not clearly stated, this law can be seen in every story in Scripture.
The Law of Geographic Anointing reveals that God has a plan and a purpose for each of us. He chose the times and places we would live, and He arranged a myriad of details concerning us (Acts 17:26–28).
The moment we begin to peel back the layers of geographic anointing, we come face to face with a powerful but childlike realization: I must be important to God for Him to be so intentional about the details of my life. The more we understand His ways, His plans for us and His purposes on the earth, the more we understand the position we hold in His heart and are drawn to love Him passionately in return.

MATCHING YOUR THOUGHTS TO GOD’S THOUGHTS

God loves us more than we could ever comprehend. His affection for us is greater than anything we could ever hope for. The Law of Geographic Anointing is one of many principles and laws in Scripture that boldly declare that truth. But when it comes down to it, many of us have a hard time balancing what God says about us and what we believe about ourselves.
I spent two years in such a state of heaviness that all I could do was sit in my office. I dreaded the phone calls asking me to come and speak. Whenever I stood behind a pulpit, the Holy Spirit would come upon me and anoint me in incredible ways. Amazing things would happen. But when I walked away from the pulpit, the anointing would lift, and I would spiral back into my abysmal office sitting, unable to do anything productive and wincing every time the phone rang.
In that time of darkness, the Lord dealt with me concerning this whole issue of how I thought about myself. He told me, “I want you to start praying and writing down what I say in Scripture.”
This instruction is so simple and its effects are so profound. I have come to understand that all the promises written in His Word personally apply to me. They are equally applicable to you. The Law of Geographic Anointing is working in your life as much as it worked in Abraham’s life or Moses’ life. Why? Because He has excellent plans for you, just as He had for them; you are important to Him, and in the same breath, you play an important role in His plans.

REMEMBERING HIS WORD

If you are unsure of who you are and where God is leading you, do what God told me to do—pray His Word and write down His Word.
Sit with your Father and go through Scripture. Write down the verses that jump out at you and ask Him why your heart stirs as you read them—what He is saying to you through them. We cannot come in contact with God’s living Word and fail to experience some sort of change.
This incredible God we serve designed you for this day, for this era of enigma; He designed you to be a solution in a time of quandary and to have faith when others are struggling. You are where you are for a reason, and whether or not your emotions agree with this, God is with you.
He will do everything He promised. He will bring you into the land of your anointing, and someday when you look back on your life, you will find that every step of the road was saturated with His faithfulness.
For the Lord God is a sun and shield;

The Lord will give grace and glory;

No good thing will He withhold

From those who walk uprightly.
— Psalm 84:11

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