God is so good at turning the negatives into positives that people have created theologies that say that God sent the negatives in the first place.

Steve Backlund

I absolutely love this quote from Mr. Backlund. I don’t know of a better way to say what he said.

But What About Bad Stuff?

Bad stuff. It happens.

Jesus even talked to us about the bad stuff that happens in our lives.

I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace andconfidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]

John 16:33 Amplified

Make sure you note that Jesus is not ignorant of troubles in this life, but He offers the truth of triumph! The truth of triumph is not a distant hope, though there is the hope of perfected triumph. We have this truth for here and now. He HAS overcome.

But What About Sickness?

This is a big question. Does God send sickness?

Walking down the street, Jesus saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked, “Rabbi, who sinned: this man or his parents, causing him to be born blind?”

Jesus said, “You’re asking the wrong question. You’re looking for someone to blame. There is no such cause-effect here. Look instead for what God can do. We need to be energetically at work for the One who sent me here, working while the sun shines. When night falls, the workday is over. For as long as I am in the world, there is plenty of light. I am the world’s Light.”

John 9:1-3 Message

This is so easy to read and miss a major paradigm shift for the culture of the day. Most people believed that illness was the direct consequence of sin. However, Jesus shifted this concept of understanding in the people of that day by healing a blind man who had been sick since birth. He declared this sickness was not related to the blind man or his father, but was for His Glory. This shifted the paradigm of punishment related to sin.

Jesus shows us that God doesn’t send sickness, He heals the sick.

But What About Death?

Death. The ultimate “bad” thing.

It was a really bad day for those who followed Jesus on the day of his death. It was really bad for everything, but for now let’s focus on the disciples. Some were there, some were hiding,  but all knew.

Devastating loss. Shock. Confusion. Fear.

Imagine the relief, awe, and astonishment they felt when he was resurrected! Paul would later let us know that not only did Jesus overcome death but he gave us the victory as well!

Death swallowed by triumphant Life!
Who got the last word, oh, Death?
Oh, Death, who’s afraid of you now?
It was sin that made death so frightening and law-code guilt that gave sin its leverage, its destructive power. But now in a single victorious stroke of Life, all three—sin, guilt, death—are gone, the gift of our Master, Jesus Christ. Thank God!

1 Corinthians 15:55-57 Message

So, look at the instance of death. God used the death of His Son to rescue all mankind and give us the same power!

But What Do We Do Now?

Now comes the tricky part. We must rest in and resolve ourselves to God’s goodness. We have to stop thinking of God’s goodness as an aspect of His nature instead of the totality of His nature.

As bad as you are, you wouldn’t think of such a thing. You’re at least decent to your own children. So don’t you think the God who conceived you in love will be even better?

Matthew 7:11 Message

Like David, we must remind ourselves that God is good. Especially, when bad stuff happens. Like Paul, we must remind ourselves that all things work together for good for us. Especially, when bad stuff happens.

God is good. He does good. He wants good for us. He works good for us.