“Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?” (rf. Job 2:10)
“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”(rf. Rom. 8:28)
How easy it is for us to pursue a life of comfort and bliss! Indeed, it is the very goal for which are designed, according to the teachings of our culture and society. We are to avoid pain and suffering at all costs, seeking only to drive down roads that assure us of personal victory, freedom, and absolute well-being.
It is then no secret that we are so caught off-guard when sudden tragedy and loss takes us unawares. Most of us live within a theological construct that does not provide for God to allow (or even direct) negative things to enter our lives. Much akin to the “Health, Wealth and Prosperity Gospel” is the belief system that many professing evangelical Christians have today that affirms God as never letting anything bad to happen to His children. Should something amiss occur, according to this faith understanding, the event or episode cannot be attributed to God in any way. It must be either our fault as human beings or originate as the work of our enemy, Satan along with his minions. Yet, this is a very dangerous and unbiblical perspective for God’s people to uphold, namely, because it undermines the doctrine of God’s unswerving sovereignty over His creation, including mankind.
The Scriptures make it clear that God is so in control over all things that, as it states, He “caus(es) well-being and creat(es) calamity;(He is) the Lord who does all these” (rf. Is. 45:7). Notice what the passage does not say. God is not the author or originator of evil. Let’s make that abundantly clear. We look at disaster and tragedy as evil because, as sinners, we tend to view anything negative as evil, even opinions opposite those of our own. However, everything that God purposes, accomplishes, or allows to occur is righteous. It cannot be otherwise because of His holy character. Therefore, the Apostle Paul is absolutely correct in Romans 8:28 when he states, “all things”, in terms of good and bad as we perceive them. Job also had this understanding, by faith, in his ability to accept both good and “adversity” at the hands of the Lord. Job knew the Lord was behind the actions taken in his life because he believed in His absolute sovereignty, yet trusted implicitly in His great love for him.
So should we do the same. Job was undeterred in his faith, so that by the end of the book by his name, this sovereign Lord rewarded Job’s trust in God. The Apostle Paul knew the same sovereign God in the Person of Jesus Christ, believing in Him completely to provide for Paul throughout the highs and lows of his life. In their faith in this God of the Scripture, they are our examples. As we go forward with the challenges of life, may we likewise know that this God who loves us immeasurably will be with us in “all things” good and bad, as He “creates peace and…calamity”. He has promised never to leave His children even until He takes us home to be with Him forever. We can trust Him to keep His word, living in the assurance that whatever may come, He will be with us to see us through it until the end.