This is a bit tough and personal to write about as over the last four years my family and myself personally have gone through quite a “crucible of brokenness.” It was one of those events you couldn’t believe actually happened to you but in fact it did. The particulars aren’t important for our but if we had not of endured what we had at the time, the fruit of adversity would have never ripened.
I want to press into the issue of how pain or brokenness becomes the sculptures tool in the hands of God to bring about significance in life. Our series in is not meant to simply explain of “why bad things happen to good people,” although while reading it some insight may occur. At least in my own journey I’m quite clear about why some things happened! We’re going to go off the beaten path a bit though. I think it’s important that we understand the reasons behind why things happen to us in life not only practically but spiritually as well.
So the questions is: Why do adverse or bad things happen to us in life? To answer this though requires you to buy into spiritual principles that are not part of our regular discussion in society. So I’m not going to try and bridge the gap between all points from A-Z to explain our journey. I’ll present what the Bible teaches and you can make your own decision. We hear often its from our own poor choices and the choices of others that land on us, but there’s a major third component we miss in the western church and we’ll going to start there because it pre-existed even before creation.
First, we need to appreciate that despite the fact we are living in a physical world, behind the scenes and transversely penetrating into our lives, as well as the world around us, is the realm of the Spirit. We are taught clearly in the Scripture that we are not only “physical men and women” but part of us is spirit in essence combined with God’s creation of us physically. This creation of us as physical and spiritual is clear in Genesis 2: 7.
“Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.”
God made us physical, than breathed the “Breathe of Life” in us establishing the spiritual.
Jesus makes clear as well Matthew 10: 28 when He said:
“Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”
So it’s pretty clear we are at a minimum a combination of our physical body and soul or spirit as well, both created by God at the beginning.
But God made other beings as part of the establishment of the universe, He made beings we understand as “Angels.” We don’t talk about them much in church these days, I’m not sure that’s wise. Hebrews helps us to understand God’s creation of these beings in Chapter 2: 7 where man is created a little lower than angels (the inference being both are created beings) and in Psalm 148:1-6 which lists the elements of creation itself including angels as well. Let’s not get sidetracked though as the existence of these beings is clearly taught from cover to cover in the Scriptures. Genesis 3:24 through Revelation 22.
It’s the ministry or actions of these spirit beings I want to discuss today as they relate to you and I in our journey here in life. One of my friends regularly says “He doesn’t look for angels or demons hiding behind corners to explain everything in life” Neither do I, an awful lot of the consequence in life revolves around the decisions I make and the decision to submit my life to the will of God as I exercise free will. However in life that free will takes place in the context of a larger spiritual activity taking place that involves the concurrent actions of spiritual beings moving through our journey here in life physically and in response to power and activity that is taking place in the spiritual realm of the Kingdom of God.
Ok that’s a big sentence, let’s scale it down to this: “As you and I live, with or without God saved or not we are consistently under the effects of a war that is taking place in the spiritual realm with direct consequence in our life. This spiritual war is confirmed in Ephesians 6:11-16 in the context of you exercising faith; a disturbing personal example is used in Luke 22:31 between Peter and Jesus when Jesus bluntly tells Peter “Simon, Simon, behold Satan has demanded to sift you like wheat; but I have prayed for you your faith may not fail;” and in a geopolitical context as revealed in Daniel chapters 11 and 12. These angelic beings who are either in submission to the God’s will or in open rebellion to Him are very real, have structure, hierarchy and purpose that is either in one of two camps; directly opposed to the will of God and intent on corrupting His image, His creation(s) His will and His work or executing His wishes.
So the first answer to our question of why adversity, pain, tragedy, and brokenness occurs in life is that its roots are often the result of this war taking place. That would be angels in rebellion to God, referred to as demons, hard at work in the lives of women and men to accomplish misery in the practical sense and the eternal spiritual death of humans whom God has created.
On the practical I can think of no better place in scripture than the story of the Garasene demoniac who’s story is told In Luke 8; Matthew 8 and Mark 5. It’s disturbing and reports the life of a man at the time (an unbeliever), being pummeled spiritually, emotionally and physically (it’s two men in Matthew) who’s life is brutally marginalized by the presence by evil angels, he’s separated from God and mankind, isolated and in misery. Intellectually this type of demonic influence takes place as well as Paul refers to people at one time in the church (possibly presently) playing at being Christians being teachers of the “doctrine of demons,” “The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons,” (1 Tim 4). Its part of a concerted effort on evils part to cloud the mind of men with the type of wisdom that promotes friction and human selfishness which always produces misery.
“Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic.” James tells us (James 3: 15).
It seems pretty clear there’s a lot of effort on the part of the forces of darkness to confound and directly hurt mankind in the process. The question we take on next week is this:
“If this is truly the case that this battle is taking place, where is the human being in the midst of expressing free will choices here on earth in our journey of life?”
That’s pretty much a ten thousand dollar question there and we’ll take it on but I don’t want to leave anyone in Christ in a lurch. Jesus taught if you’re in Him you have the Holy Spirit, a direct part of the Creators image spiritually within you living. You as a Christian cannot be demon possessed. How absurd it is for professing Christians to imply this! You may engage in stupid decisions that have consequences the result being an “evil outcome.” Look at David’s life after the covenant promise from God’s to him in 2nd Samuel 7, it was catastrophic! But that has nothing to do with salvation, that was the result of stupid decisions when he knew better! A life circumstance by the way I can relate to and say: “Me Too!”
Principle one: Why do bad things happen in life? Because evil relishes in it, enjoys it, and has a purpose to separate you from God by doing it. Do you appreciate the nature of the battle taking place for the hearts and minds of men and women? Contemplate this during this week, ask if necessary for God to give you clarity on the issue and be prepared for His answer!