After discovering the Creator’s motive for allowing traumatic experiences into our lives and realizing the importance of legal jurisdiction in this matter, we can now move toward the finish line. In this final part, we’ll diagram all we’ve discussed so far and then move quickly into the seven steps that we must all take when we face negative situations in order to ascend the stairway of heaven. Finally, I will end the series with the most powerful allegory I have ever heard on the subject, a story that illustrates how we need to view the events of our lives and finally answers the title question of the series. So let’s dive right in and discover how to swim through the underwater caverns in our lives and arrive on the other side unscathed.
DIAGRAMMING THE PROCESS
Let’s begin by putting all we’ve discussed thus far into a bullet-pointed diagram:
- They are under the jurisdiction of the serpent the devil and not only do they receive the general decay and curses that are the result of the fall, they also receive curses from their individual sins and hardships that occur because they have no protection from a benevolent King.
- The Creator’s desire is to bring them to repentance so that He may give them every spiritual blessing. He does this by trying to take advantage of the traumatic circumstances in any way possible (other believers, preachers, televangelists…) to cause them to call upon His name.
- They are under the jurisdiction of Yahweh through King Yeshua (Jesus). They receive the same general decay because they live in the same earth-cursed system awaiting new life when their Messiah returns. The difference is that they are part of an eternal kingdom that allows them an appeals process for everything that happens to them. So they have the right to appeal for healing, deliverance, miracles, etc. They may not be granted what they appeal for since God knows all and has a plan that is greater than their physical comfort. Nevertheless, the appeals court is always open to them. They can also receive hardships and curses as a consequence of their sin, whether intentional or unintentional, but they cannot be demonized, or randomly attacked, without those attackers first getting permission from the King who has jurisdiction over them. Satan needs no such permission for those under his authority.
- Whether the hardship is caused from sin or a situation like the one Job faced, the Father’s motive is the same: to elevate the soul to a new level of spirituality that He may bestow more of His love and essence into that person. Where there is sin, there is grace to overcome it and grow stronger. This is where the Roman church asked Paul if they should, by that formula, continue to sin so they could receive more grace. He quickly replied, “May it never be!” (Romans 6:2). When we sin, we are bringing the calamity on ourselves. On the other hand, when God decides to “allow” a rock to hit our life’s window it’s because He sees more potential in us and desires us to climb another stair. In this case, it’s simply our interview for a promotion. When we sin, we are bringing more hardship than was otherwise intended.
WHAT SHOULD WE DO?
Now that we know the mechanics of “Why ‘bad’ things happen to ‘good’ people,” we can create the formula for how to navigate life’s pitfalls. And when you learn to follow it properly and consistently, you will find gold at the bottom of the pit. So here are the steps to successfully climbing the stairway to Heaven, so to speak:
- The Calamity happens and you don’t know what to do. You’re in shock.
- If you choose to question God’s goodness by staying in the realm of reason, it will lead to doubt, anger, and descent.
- If you believe that God is good all the time and everything that happens to you must be approved by Him then you have taken the first step to rising above reason and moving into the realm of faith where divine assistance lies.
- Once you have recognized His sovereignty and admit that you cannot solve this situation on your own you are allowed into His eternal courts to plead your case and ask for divine assistance.
- CRITICAL STEP: Once you are before His court, you must never assume which category you fall into. Most everyone assumes that they are not in sin and that the calamity was just a random act put into their life. Remember, it can be because of known or UNKNOWN sin or because Satan has asked to sift them, something God granted because He knows it can lead to them being elevated. If the event is a result of unknown sin, it means that the person has been deceived somewhere down the line. It is more than possible that they may receive a consequence for an action that happened decades before, a result the human mind will not connect to the original sin. This means he must plead before the court for forgiveness of any unknown sin and ask the Judge to open his eyes to anything he cannot currently see that has caused such a hardship. Many times we’re out of covenant in a particular area of our lives and don’t even know that we’re unprotected in that area and are receiving consequences for sin without knowing it.
- After the person takes the humble position that he might have brought this upon himself, he must ask for forgiveness for being in unknown sin and ask the Father to reveal it so it will not repeat itself. Then he can move into actually rising above the situation and into faith. It is from this position that ascent of the soul begins. This happens by believing with our full hearts that God has allowed the situation for a reason and He desires to use it to increase our faith and raise us up to Him.
- From here, we simply request divine assistance and the wisdom (James 1) to navigate the riser on this step so as to pass the test and be promoted to a newer level with Him.
WRAPPING IT ALL TOGETHER
When all is said and done, we will either be promoted and elevated like Joseph was or we will descend into the destiny of the Pharaoh that just could not understand the point of the plagues. One humbled himself before his God and recognized that it was the Creator that caused the calamity for a greater good and so was raised up to a higher place while the other chose to fight the plagues and refused to believe that they were coming into his life because of his own actions, ultimately ending in his death. We will all be faced with traumatic experiences in our lives and will need to make similar decisions as those made by most of the characters in His Holy Word.
Unfortunately, when something bad happens to us or to someone we know, we are usually too quick to judge whether it’s “good” or “bad.” It is IMPOSSIBLE for the believer to know whether the situation is good or bad because we don’t know the end of the story. For Joseph, being thrown into prison was the best thing that ever happened to him and was the instrument that led to his royal promotion. But I’m sure when he was sitting in it that he didn’t think it was quite so divine. So I will sum up all we’ve explored with what is, in my opinion, one of the most powerful allegories I have ever heard.
THE BLESSING IN DISGUISE
Once upon a time, an old man and his son lived on a farm. They were quite poor, but the old man did his best to make ends meet. One day, his only horse escaped from the small barn and ran off through the woods. When the townspeople found out what had happened they told the old man, “We are sorry for this terrible thing that has happened to you. Your only horse has been gone for over a week and you will likely not survive without him.”
The old man replied, “Don’t be sorry, for whether it is good or bad I do not know. Only say what happened: that I lost my only horse.”
Two weeks later his horse came back with a beautiful white mare with whom he could mate. When the townspeople heard the great news, they exclaimed, “Hooray! This is great news! The old man’s horse came back and brought another horse with it! He will certainly be able to increase his wealth and live far more comfortably!”
The old man again tried to tell them, “Do not say whether this is a good thing or a bad thing. Only say the truth of what we know for sure: the horse came back and brought a new one with it.
The next month, the man’s son was riding the beautiful white mare when she got spooked by a snake and threw the boy off the horse, causing him a severely broken leg. The boy would now limp for the rest of his life. When the townspeople heard this they came to the old man and said, “We are so sorry for this bad news. We heard that your son is now permanently injured from his accident.”
“Friends, please stop saying that this is good or bad,” the old man said. “We do not know if it is a good or bad thing. We only know what we know, and that is that my son broke his leg.” The townspeople went back to town bewildered at the old man’s stubbornness and wondering why he wouldn’t make any judgments about these situations in his life.
Finally, a few months later, their country went to war and all the young men of the town were drafted…except the son of the old man. He was not allowed to be drafted due to his injury and so his life was spared.
In the end, as you can see, the old man was right. All that time, the townspeople thought that all the things that happened to him were good or bad when, in reality, there was a greater story being told that was above all the individual stories. In the same way, our heavenly Father allows “events” to happen in our lives and if we are wise we will not get caught up in immediately judging the situation as either bad or good, but only that it is happening. After all, if everything that happens to a believer is allowed by God and He is good to His children all the time and His only motive is to elevate us spiritually, then EVERYTHING that happens to us is good. The “bad” events of our lives are only blessings in disguise. Was the old man’s son lucky that he didn’t have to go to war because he had a broken leg? Maybe? Maybe not?
Paul said it this way in Romans 8:28: “All things work together for good for those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose.” The key word there is “All.“
Now we can truly understand why James tells us in his book to “consider it pure joy my brethren when you face trials of many kinds, because the testing of your faith produces endurance. And when endurance is complete, you will be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (Jam. 1:2-4).
Brethren, welcome the cuts and holes being drilled into your lump of clay. Praise Him for His blessings in disguise even before you see the blessing. Praise Him from the mountain top experience and praise Him from the depths of prison. In EVERYTHING give Him praise. All He’s doing is trying to elevate and promote you to new heights with Him.
So why do bad things happen to good people? Very simple. If “good people” are God’s people and “bad things” are blessings in disguise, then the real question that’s been cloaked this entire time is really, “Why do blessings happen to good people?” Well….because they’re God’s people. 😉
May we all come through the fire purified and found in His image when He comes.