Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People? Part 2
Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People? Part 2
In part one of this teaching, we discussed the fact that the number one rule of the character of the Creator is that He is benevolent. He is good and good all the time. We explained how there is no want within Him and He, therefore, has no need to receive anything as He is completely whole within Himself. It is this wholeness that creates in Him the benevolent characteristic to begin with. We learned that the entire reason He created humans was to give to them the overflowing blessings of His good nature and we talked about the dangers of asking “Why?” and how it can lead people to doubt the very existence of God without their even knowing it. Finally, we unraveled the real reason why we simply cannot judge a matter as good or evil because we cannot know all the information behind such decisions as we do not have the eternal perspective from which He operates. In this part, we are going to continue exploring those concepts but will drill deeper into both the mechanics of why God allows events we see as negative and, more importantly, how we navigate such events so as to come out on the other side in a more elevated and intimate position with our heavenly Father.
THE TWO JURISDICTIONS
It is important for us to realize that ever since the fall, there now exists two worlds of jurisdiction: the jurisdiction of HaSatan (Hebrew for “the adversary”), and the jurisdiction of His Majesty, Yahweh. Although Yahweh is the ultimate owner of all His creation, He has temporarily allowed Satan to maintain the position of “god of this world” until such time that it will be taken back at Messiah’s return. The reason He allows this is out of His own law and order. It was Yahweh who gave Adam and Eve dominion over this world and the ability to rule and reign under their Father’s studious eye. The serpentine creature had no authority at that time and he knew it. This is why he had to use trickery to deceive the first couple so that they would unknowingly hand the jurisdictional keys of the world over to him. So for now, the adversary, the devil, lurks around like a lion seeking whoever he may devour, exhibiting his control over every human that knowingly or unknowingly has bent the knee to follow his lead. At that moment in the Garden, the war over the souls of men began.
Where the jurisdiction of the enemy lies within the realm of mankind who has chosen to reject the love of the Creator, the jurisdiction of Yahweh begins with those who accept it. Where the jurisdiction of HaSatan is called “death,” the jurisdiction of God is called “life.” This is why the scriptures say that whosoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved and shall cross over from death to life. It is a real jurisdictional change.
The importance of this jurisdictional understanding is critical to understanding what’s happening behind the events that occur in the timeline of mankind. The jurisdiction we’re in determines the purpose and ultimate result of all such events. With this in mind, let’s unpack each jurisdiction. By the end, I believe we will have mastered this all-important question.
THE JURISDICTION OF HASATAN
Let me start this section with an example. If you had a brand new 1969 Roadrunner like my dad used to have and you had the ability to put it inside a vacuum where it would not be subject to moisture, oxygen, or any of the other elements, it would maintain its showroom appearance. But the moment it is unveiled to the elements of nature, it will immediately begin the process of decay. It does not mean that the car is evil but that it is simply inside a jurisdictional realm that, ever since the fall, causes things to go from a state of perfection to a state of chaos and decay. It’s the second law of thermodynamics. In the same way, because we humans do not live in the heavenly realm, but instead live in the decaying earthly realm, we are subject to physical death in all its forms. Like water spiraling down a drain, so are the physical lives of mere men.
Now that we understand the simple concept that we live in a decaying world that ends in physical death, we can see that sickness and disease are part of that cycle. It was the man who chose to hand over the keys of life to HaSatan and so, until the fullness of time, we are inside that earthly jurisdiction where all mankind is affected by the power of the first couple’s sin.
But physical decay is not the largest problem we have. The larger systemic problem is that of the “principalities and powers of this present darkness.” Because they have jurisdictional control over this world, they have the ability to influence man to such a degree that he ends up carrying out the will of the enemy, which is to destroy all that the Creator made and to remove His image from the earth. For the believer, HaSatan’s goal is to simply prevent us from reaching our full potential in Him, as one who begins to hit his full potential is a great threat to his demonic agenda.
THE JURISDICTION OF THE CREATOR
Once someone has surrendered his life to Yahweh through faith in His Son, he comes under the jurisdiction of a new King and new rules. And while he still lives inside this fallen and decaying world, he now has a new Judge to go to with appeals. It is this position that he is allowed to cite and why he can rely on laws and principles that are above reason, above the jurisdictional rules of decay that affect this fallen world. If a man is not within the jurisdiction of God’s household he has no way to appeal the events that happen in his life and must comply with the rules that HaSatan enforces on his subjects. All of this is a real legal process, which is why HaSatan had to go before the court of Yahweh to ask permission to afflict Job. Job was not in his jurisdiction (as we will discuss shortly). For now, it is only important that we understand that the only appeal process an unbeliever has is appealing for salvation from HaSatan’s worldly government and surrendering his life to the new constitution of the kingdom of God. This immediately transfers his jurisdiction to one that is above the earth-cursed system and into the eternal kingdom system of Yahweh Himself.
I began this series in Part 1 by stating that the Creator’s original intent is only good and benevolence to mankind is His only desire. Because man has taken away His jurisdiction and chosen a new lord and king, Yahweh is restricted in His rights for all those who do not claim Him to be the one true God. His original intent for those not in His kingdom is to use the negative events of their lives to create a need in them that will bring them back across the boundary line into His world where He can then begin the process of elevating them to their full potential. For the believer, His original intent is to simply use every event that happens in their life as a springboard to bring them into deeper intimacy and fellowship with Him, thus allowing their soul to grow closer to its full potential.
ONLY TWO REASONS
Once we understand that God is a benevolent God and that everything that comes from Him is always good, we immediately begin to operate above reason in the realm of the spirit of faith to which a believer is called. Once that happens we can begin to evaluate “bad” events that happen from that new perspective and use the following formula so we can navigate it properly.
There are only two reasons why things we consider “bad” happen in the life of a believer. Both are used to arrive at the same result. The first reason is that there was some sort of jurisdictional breech through the breaking of God’s commandments. Although our salvation might not be available to the enemy, the second we break a commandment, he has the legal right to attack us in that area. God said that He set before us “life and death, blessings and cursings…so choose life” (Deut. 30:19). Therefore, when we sin, whether knowingly or unknowingly, we are, in effect, doing the same thing Adam and Eve did in the Garden. We are handing the enemy the key to that particular area of our lives and he is allowed to wreak havoc until we make full repentance. So the negative event could be happening as the consequence for our sin or even for being associated with those who are in sin.
For example, if a man decides to commit adultery, he should not be surprised if extremely negative events begin to unfold in his life. That jurisdictional breech carries serious consequences. Most of us understand the cause and effect of the choices we make. However, fewer of us understand the cause and effect of sin “associations.” For instance, in the bible, when Korah and the 250 elders decided to rebel against Moses and challenge his authority, Korah did not realize that he put his own children at risk. This severe jurisdictional breech carried a judgment that caused every member of his household to perish that day. His children did nothing and may not have even been old enough to understand what their father had done, but because he was the head of the house, when he handed the key over to the enemy by aligning with evil, he unintentionally removed the covering for his entire family. The story of Noah’s son Ham is the same. The curse from his sin was cast not just on Ham but on all of his seed. It is critical that we comprehend that if we choose to align with someone by associating with them, we are putting ourselves in a position to be either blessed or cursed, depending on the disposition of that person’s own alignment. Electricity does not discriminate. It will run through the body and electrocute every person connected to the associated source. So be careful who you lock arms with.
If the believer does not have sin in his life and is not under the biblical consequence for sin, then the negative event that happens falls under the second category. This means that God is allowing the event to take place because, in His eternal omniscience, He has calculated that this option is the absolute best option for everyone involved and He sees that the individual has greater potential inside them that cannot be reached any other way. In other words, the Father’s goal, in either case, is to elevate the person above reason and to bring them into a closer and more intimate relationship with Him. He’s trying to prepare His children for eternity. He understands that it’s only through suffering that we truly learn obedience and that obedience leads to greater blessing and promotion. While we view things from a finite, earthly perspective that begs for comfort, security, and perfect rhythm, the Creator views things from eternity and is orchestrating things in our lives to mature us into as much of our full potential as possible. What happens on this earth is the only chance we get to elevate the soul. The scriptures say that “it is appointed to man once to die, and then the judgment” (Heb. 9:27). In other words, God understands that the short seventy-something years that man is here on Earth (on average) is the only time available to get us to where we need to be until the resurrection of the Just at His return. So He’s playing for eternity and sometimes getting us to where we need to be is painful from our human perception.
WHY THE PAIN?
How often do people think of God when everything is going well for them? The more people are fat and happy the less they encounter God. That’s just the way it is. But now that we understand that the Creator’s goal is to get people to draw closer to Him for the sole purpose of blessing them and preparing them for eternity, it’s quite easy to see why He allows calamity in the first place. The second catastrophe hits our lives, it creates a giant need. This need is what actually facilitates the transaction of faith that reconnects us with our Creator on a deeper level. Without the need, there is no connection. People tend to connect only to things that they need and God knows this about His creation.
Let me illustrate this concept by telling an ancient Jewish parable. There was a pot maker who made clay pots for his town. One day he took his son with him to work and his son witnessed something that perplexed him. He saw his father taking large clumps of clay and making very nice, smooth round balls out of them. The son believed that this was the finished product and was quite happy about how they looked.
But then he saw his father take a knife-like object and begin to cut a large hole in the top of the perfect clay ball. With frustration in his voice, he asked his father, “Abba, why are you cutting holes in the clay balls? They were so perfect just as they were!” The father smiled and tenderly responded to his inquisitive son, “Son, my intended purpose is not to make round clay balls, but to make clay bowls. If I don’t cut some of the clay out there won’t be room to make the ball into a bowl.”
The Father is still speaking to us in the same way as the father in this parable. We ask “Why do bad things happen to good people?” just like the boy asked his father why he was cutting the holes in the clay balls. The answer is the same in both. The very “cut” is what creates the void which becomes the need that only He can fill. When we cannot fix something, we are in need of someone else to assist us in the solution. This, in turn, creates a deeper relationship with the One who is able to help us. In other words, when we encounter trauma in our lives, it creates the “hole” that then has the potential to receive more light than it ever did before. This elevates us to a new level in our spiritual journey and gets us one step closer to reaching our full potential in Him.
THE STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN
I like to look at life as a giant staircase to heaven. Picture a giant staircase where each step is 20 feet tall. You’re walking along enjoying life until one day you run into the proverbial “brick wall.” In reality, that brick wall is not a wall at all, but simply the riser to the next step. The “brick wall” (the “bad” thing) is telling you that He desires you to come to the next level. You can no longer look forward because the circumstance (the “brick wall”) is all you can see. So you look up. Then you realize that the next level is 20 feet higher and there is no way for you to reach it on your own. So, in effect, the seemingly negative situation has created the opportunity and the need all at the same time. Once the need is there, the soul enters the interview process where it has the chance to be elevated to the next level. If we choose to rise above reason and admit the situation is too overwhelming and there is no way to go any further, then we call upon the Creator for assistance out of desperate, pure faith. At that moment, Light emanates from His benevolent essence, fills the cavern the situation created in the soul, and immediately moves us above the situation into God’s eternal perspective. This lands our feet solidly on the next level. So the object of scorn that interrupted our life has become an object of salvation that has elevated us to new heights. And this is the story of Joseph. This is the story of David and Goliath. Without Goliath, David doesn’t become king. This is the story of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Gideon, Joshua, Moses, Yeshua, Paul, and every other bible character. Their pain truly did become their gain.
And it is our story today.
Believe it or not, we’re not finished yet. But this is a good place to end Part 2 of this series. We covered the jurisdictions of both Yahweh and the adversary and how they each affect both believers and unbelievers. We also discussed at length the two main categories that all calamities can be filed into. We took the time to uncover the mechanics of why God “cuts” into our clay and that His sole intent is to bring us to a higher place, to get us ready for eternity.
In the final part of this series, I will go into the diagram of this process and explain from A to Z how it works in real-time. I’ll also provide you with a seven-step cheat sheet on how to navigate these “interviews” for promotion in your own life. Until then, may you be blessed and found in His favor!
Jim’s life’s desire is to help believers everywhere draw closer to the Father by understanding the truth of the scriptures from their original cultural context (a Hebraic perspective) and to apply them in faith for today.