When Bad Things Happen

And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation.” Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved. – Acts 2:40-47 NKJV.

When bad things happen in my life my response, since I have been a Christian has always been to turn to God. Do I blame God for the bad things that have happened? No. Do I ask Him to help me? Yes. Does He always help me the way that I want Him to help me? No. However, He does always bring good out of the bad as His Word promises in Romans 8:28. I may not immediately be able to see it, but eventually I know that I will and I have every time something bad has happened. Is that the only way that God helps when the bad things happen? No. He is able to hold me together and give me peace in spite of the turmoil and the anguish that may be spinning around me. Philippians 4:6-7 is not just words on a paper because prayer really does make a difference. Sometimes God does move in answer to those prayers to change things supernaturally. I would like for Him to do that every time but even when He doesn’t I trust Him to know better than I do what is best for my life (Isaiah 55:8-9; Jeremiah 29:11).

Before I was a Christian, I did not turn to God when bad things happened. I ponder sometimes what a great difference it would have made in my life if as a teenager I had been walking with my Lord and had called out to Him when I was hurting and alone. Oh, life during those days would have been so much better, more full, more exciting, more everything….

Why do people turn away from God or blame God when bad things happen? Acts 2:42 explains why the early church did not do that, “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.” This verse says much about what we need as Christians today. When our world comes crashing in and everything is going wrong, what do we do? Where do we turn? We should follow the example of the early church and continue on. They “continued steadfastly.” This seems to indicate that there was at least some opposition to their doing what the remainder of the verse states.

When all seems lost, continue on. Continue on in the “apostles’ doctrine” which was and is the Word of God. Continue on reading, studying and meditating upon the Word of God. Continue on memorizing and embedding the Word of God in your hearts.

When all seems lost, continue on. Continue on in fellowship with other Christians. Continue on provoking and encouraging others to love and good works and assembling with other believers (Hebrews 10:24-25). Continue on and stand firm with your labor for the Lord because we know that it is never in vain (1 Corinthians 15:58). Continue on in that fellowship of obedience to the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20). Continue on and you too will have “gladness…of heart!”

(How should Christians respond when bad things happen? We should follow the example of the early church.)

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