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God is Still Good When Things are Bad

crescent moon against black sky


Have you ever asked God, "Why are things going so bad?"  or  "Why aren't You taking this difficult situation away?"  It's okay, you can admit it.  When there is a lack of understanding of why God isn't coming to your aid, in your timing, doubts may arise in your mind where you wonder whether God is still good or whether He cares.  

It can be hard to recognize God's goodness in the midst of hardship or heartache when our focus is solely on the problem, not on the Problem Solver.

The following points should remind us that indeed God IS still good when things are bad.

If Everything Good Comes From God, Where Does Bad?

The key to understanding the answer to this question, is to understand the Sovereignty of God.  As Believers, we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior. As Lord, God is sovereign over ALL creation and over ALL circumstances.  He has full control and authority.  

God being sovereign over ALL creation and over ALL circumstances means that nothing that happens, happens without His express permission.  Furthermore, the very nature of God's sovereignty is evidenced by His goodness.  

With that understanding we can know that even though God allows bad things to happen, He is still good and has a Divine purpose for that situation.  God uses bad things for good.

The popular story of Joseph in the Bible adds more clarity to this Truth...

Joseph's brothers were jealous of the attention he received by their father.  One day they threw him into a cistern, made it appear that he had been killed and sold him to traders.  Joseph was later brought to Egypt where he was sold to Potiphar.  The Lord showed him favor and Joseph was treated well by his captor and made his assistant. Potiphar's wife tried to seduce Joseph, but when he refused, she framed him and he was placed in prison.  Through a series of events, Joseph interpreted dreams for the King and as a result, he was appointed as second in command and ultimately was used by God to save His people from famine.    When he was reunited with the brothers that left him for dead, he said these famous words of the Bible...

As for you, you meant evil against me, 
but God meant it for good, to bring it about 
that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.
Genesis 50:20

Our human minds cannot comprehend why suffering in this world happens the way it does, but what we can know for sure is that a good God has allowed it and that He ultimately means it for good.  We may not see the fruition of that goodness, but that does not in any way detract from the goodness of God.  God brings good things out of bad.

“For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” 
But we have the mind of Christ.
1 Corinthians 2:16

We simply hold onto the Truth that God is ALWAYS good, and ask the Lord to renew our minds to remember and meditate upon that goodness.

Why Does God Allow Bad Things to Happen?

As stated earlier, we do not know the mind of God or what His specific purposes are for suffering, persecution, and oppression, but we can look to the Bible and see stories of how the Lord redeemed those very types of circumstances in the life of the early Christians and the purpose of those "bad" things.

The Psalms offer great testimonies of how the Lord allowed suffering and how He used those situations according to His good purposes, sometimes not in their lifetimes, but long after they were gone.

Or what about the Israelites who were left to wander in the desert for 40 years and were ultimately under the oppressive hand of Pharoah?

How about the Apostle Paul who was called to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles, but it seemed at every turn, something attempted to block his progress.

Each one of these examples can be applied to our own lives.

The Psalmists show us the human side of asking the "why?" questions, but then we see praises offered to the Lord before an answer was even evident.  Despite the fact that they were in the midst of hardship, they trusted in the goodness of the God of their forefathers and didn't lose sight of that.  

We too can look to the God of the Bible for encouragement to understand why something might be happening in our lives or even look to the life of a fellow Christian or remember a past experience of our own. God's faithfulness will be evident in all of those experiences.  We can trust that God will still be faithful in our present suffering.   The "bad" situation then becomes a faith building exercise as we remember His past faithfulness and look forward to His continued faithfulness.

In the case of the Israelites, their hardship was a consequence of their own sin.  They were experiencing hardship because they were a stiff-necked people, but they were God's people and despite their sin, the Lord was constantly with them and providing for them, ultimately bringing the Israelites to the land He had promised them, a land flowing with milk and honey.  

When we find ourselves suffering due to our own sin, it is important to course correct by confessing our sins, repenting and trusting God to carry us through, asking Him to teach us through the suffering.  As a result, our walk of obedience will be renewed.

And then we come to the Apostle Paul who never seemed to complain.  He could've easily said.  "Really God??  I thought you wanted me to go preach over here and now I'm in prison?!"  But instead of blaming God, He trusted God to do what He said He would accomplish through Paul and indeed that is exactly what happened. The Gospel continued to go out no matter what bad thing happened to Paul.  Paul didn't see them as bad things, but as opportunities to see God work in amazing ways.

If you are finding roadblocks as a wife, as a parent or in your ministry work, trust that your good Father has a perfect plan and wait expectantly to see Him act.  But you must be patient.  God works within His own perfect timeline.  God's goodness is not determined by how quickly He answers our prayers.

God allows bad things to happen, but His goodness brings redemption to all those circumstances whether it be in our lifetime, after we die or when all is revealed in Heaven.  God's goodness is not constrained by time.

The Lord is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made.
Psalm 145:9

Will God Turn MY Bad Situation Into Something Good?

There are times when we will experience the Lord turning a bad situation into something good.  In hindsight, we will be able to see the good in the bad.

A loss of a job or career that puts you on a new path that you pursue and find great fulfillment in.  

The failure of a marriage that you fought desperately to save, which ultimately leads you to a spouse who loves the Lord and loves you as Christ calls him to.

The death of a loved one that develops in you a compassion for others where the Lord uses you mightily to minister to them.

An addiction of a family member or friend that causes them to hit rock bottom where they cry out to Jesus and are saved.

These are just a few familiar examples to show how God can turn our bad situations into something good.  But you get the drift, although hardships are about our personal growth and God showing His goodness to us, sometimes a hardship we are going through has less to do about lessons in our own life and more to do with how God is going to use us in another person's life.

We can know that the Lord is Good, that His plans and purposes for our lives, even in bad situations, are saturated in His goodness and mercy.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, 
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Psalm 23:6

Oh, how abundant is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you and worked for those who take refuge in you, in the sight of the children of mankind! 
Psalm 31:19

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  1. Thank you so much for this post about struggles and that our Lord still is in control. The whole post is such an great lesson for me and an encouragement.

    1. Hello Aritha, You are very welcome!

      Praising God that you found such encouragement here. :-)


  2. Oh, dear friend! This post! It was SO needed and appreciated by me this morning. SO much truth throughout, but this hit me with such force, "sometimes a hardship we are going through has less to do about lessons in our own life and more to do with how God is going to use us in another person's life." This is so true! I tried to apply the truths you presented here to my own current situation, as I have just this morning been pleading with God to take care of. I am so tired. May the Lord bless you richly as you continue to speak His Word here. You are such a precious blessing in my life.

    1. Hi Cheryl, Praising God that you found encouragement through this post. I continue to pray for you and all that concerns you, trusting that the Lord will accomplish all of it.

      Sweet friend, may you feel God's comfort, refreshing and His profound peace.

      Thank you for your faithful visits. They means so much!

  3. This is not a "popular " position you have taken, but nonetheless true and biblical. Even if the only good to come out of a trial is an awareness of what's in my own heart, I want to trust him for this.

    1. Hi Michele, Indeed! In fact, I almost wondered if I should even write it, but then I remembered that I answer to the Lord God and nobody else, and that His Truth is still the Truth whether people like it or not.

      Thanks for sharing that perspective Michele.


      Thanks for stopping by. :-)

  4. Thank you for the reminder that God is still in control. Indeed, His mercy and goodness is there in thee midst of the bad. This is such a needed reminder this year. I agree with Michele, thee thought that God's goodness may not be the goodness I want is a difficult pill to swallow. Yet, I too want to trust Him in the midst of all of this.

    1. Hello, You are very welcome!

      Indeed! When we trust the Lord, everything falls into place, even when things are going bad, for He is our comfort and strength.

      Thank you so much for visiting.

  5. Having the mind of Christ. I like that. We are blessed.

    1. Hi Peabea, Indeed we are!

      Thanks so much for stopping by. :-)

  6. Such good advice here! Thank you for writing this so thoughtfully and not just slapping a smiley face on difficult circumstances.

    Thanks so much for joining the Grace at Home party at Imparting Grace. I'm featuring you this week!

    1. Hi Richella, Thank you so much for your kind words. I appreciate them so much.

      You are very welcome! And thank you for featuring my post!


  7. Joseph's testimony of God's bigger plan in Genesis 50 has long been one of my favorite verses. We are so short-sighted to the larger picture that God knows about. Thanks for reminding me of this today. I don't have to understand why everything turns out the way it does; I just need to trust the God who DOES.

    1. Hi Lisa, Thanks for sharing that!

      You are very welcome!

      I like what you said there! Thanks for adding to the conversation, and thanks so much for stopping by. :-)


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