#15 – When Bad Things Happen

A reflection on Christian faith during suffering


Welcome to Napkin Theology.

Today on Napkin Theology, let’s discuss a difficult topic that needs an honest conversation and that is the topic of Christian suffering. How do we respond when bad things happen? Well, I suggest there’s a continuum of responses. That response begins with asking a question: How could a good God let something like this happen? But at the other end of the continuum is a statement: God is good and He let this happen. Now at the beginning of this process when we ask, “How could God be good and let this happen?” or, “How could a good god let this happen?” there’s often so much pain there, so much frustration, doubt, so much sense of loss or injustice that the question itself has tremendous gravity almost like a planet that’s keeping a satellite in orbit. And so the first response is a kind of orbit but the good news is one does not have to necessarily be stuck in that orbit. That in time, as a person continues dealing with this question, they can eventually break free and develop movement forward with a hope of eventually getting to this resolution of being able to say God is good and He let that happen. But what’s interesting about this part is that while here we have an orbit and here we’re breaking free, something different happens when we meet this resolution and we develop what is essentially an elliptical orbit. Now, remember that an ellipses has to foci, and so in the same way, the believer is able to keep in front of their minds that God is good and He let this happen but they are also concerned with those who are along the path and they’re working out, reaching back to those people helping them continue on in this continuum of faith. And so in this process, we see the working out of Romans 8:28. Here we are able to see how God works all things together for the good of those who love him and are called according to His purpose in other words this verse is not just about the benefit of individual Christians but about the benefits of the community of faith.

We hope you have enjoyed this episode of Napkin Theology, where we help you better understand and communicate your faith using simply a napkin and a pen. And be sure to check out Napkin Theology’s home at NapkinVideo.com.

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