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Sierra Pines Church

12 Ways to Turn Your Pain into Praise

Sapphires from Psalms

Better Than Jewels

When Bad Things Happen to Good People

We believe in a God who takes personal interest in us and that He intervenes in our lives, right? But since He has the power to intervene, why does He allow bad things to happen?

We’ve all wondered that haven’t we? Why is there so much suffering?  More specifically we ask why is this bad thing happening to me, or to my loved one when we didn’t do anything to deserve this?  We wonder about the gentle church secretary, who never looked at cigarette, now has emphysema from living in LA for years. The senior pastor who played hand ball on his lunch hour and had the heart of a 20-year-old but dies from prostate cancer.  The baby who never did anything wrong who is born with life-threatening heart problems. Sometimes we want to say, “Lord, you said you wouldn’t give me more than I can handle. Well I think you better take inventory.”

You gotta hear me on this?  God does intervene, and He does love you perfectly.  He is all-knowing and all-powerful.  So if bad things are happening to you that are not of you making—IT’S BECAUSE GOD TRUSTS YOU WITH THEM.

He trusts that the situation will make you BETTER not BITTER.  He trusts that you will remain faithful.  He trusts that you will use it to bring others to Him. You may not trust you.  Your palms are sweaty and your heart is pounding.  You’re convinced you don’t have what it takes to get through this. But the Creator of the Universe is persuaded otherwise. And Hebrews tells us that our “trials will produce a harvest of righteous and peace for those who have been trained by it.” One thing is for sure, Lord will help us get through those trials. So ask Him for the help.

Hebrews 4:15-16 urges, “We don’t have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He’s been through weakness and testing, experienced it all—all but the sin.  16 So let’s walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help.”

Then is Psalm 37:23-25 from the NLT we read, “The steps of the godly are directed by the Lord. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will not fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand. Once I was young, and now I am old.
Yet I have never seen the godly forsaken, nor seen their children begging for bread.”
So much of my identity has been defined by the pain in my life—especially by my daughter Ashley’s chronic heart problems.  There wouldn’t be a Sierra Pines Church if it wasn’t for the faith that built in us as we struggled with whether her heart problems would allow her to survive her early childhood. We lost all of our money to doctors and hospitals in the first year of her life.  And I can still remember my husband coming to me asking,  “Since we’re gonna be poor, do you want to be poor for God again?”  I am ashamed to say that if he had asked me that a year prior, I would have laughed in his face. We had tried ministry and it was difficult.  But the Lord had a chance to tenderize my heart. When my baby was sick, I was all ears.

Now it’s been 16 years since her last surgery.  All of my kids are grown and God has graciously allowed me to see some of the harvest that was grown in that trial.

Jake, my middle son, said, “My friends wonder why I discuss my decisions with you—why I value your input so much.  Heck, they marvel that I like to hang out with you guys at all. Our situation with Ashley made us close.  We had to stay close to get through it.”

Sarah, the oldeset, said, “Mom, you guys didn’t raise wimps. You raised warriors,” as she discussed again her job working with soldiers returning from war who suffer with PTSD. “We’re all stronger because of all we had to deal with.”

But it was Ashley on her 21st birthday who said to me, “Mom, people say that I am wise for my age.  They say that I have the insight of a much older person. I wouldn’t change anything that I went through because it’s made me who I am.”

Here is the kid who lived in the hospital for the first 3 years of her life.  She has had four surgeries, had her chest cracked open twice.  She has scars from her neck to her belly button.  She has never been able to run or exert like other kids her age.  Her future is uncertain, her child-bearing is questionable and she WOULDN’T CHANGE ANYTHING.  I want to be like Ashley when I grow up.

Whatever evil has befallen your life or the life of those you love, know that God trusts you with it.  Lean on Him, and watch how He brings good out of the pain you have gone through.


July 25, 2013 @01:07 pm

This story spoke right to my heart. Ever since 2 years ago when I was diagnosed with a chronic autoimmune disease called lupus I've wondered the same thing. I am 16 now and happy to say I wouldn't change it either because I was chosen by God to handle this and now I can influence others lives too. My mom sent me this and I am so happy I read this one.

June 02, 2013 @06:20 pm

Thank you SO much for this reminder. And, I am enjoying your CDs.

June 01, 2013 @12:05 pm

Love your web stories. You're so real and great encourager. Love you!

May 30, 2013 @10:09 pm

I know we are to totally put our trust in God, but I never really think about him trusting me with something.... Thanks for sharing Linda!

Chris Lowry
May 28, 2013 @01:05 pm

This message was certainly timed perfectly for us here in Easton. I am on the prayer chain at Easton Pres. This morning I got a call to pray for a baby girl. Our church office secretary, Cortnee & her husband Zach, have waited a long time for this pregnancy and this baby. The due date was June 1 and Cortnee is a very healthy young woman. Apparently during the birth process, the baby got deprived of oxygen (in the birth canal) so they did a C-section to deliver the baby (baby's name is Eowin Annabell). They took Eowin to Valley Children's Hospital so she could get the best care. I had to drive into Fresno for my Tai Chi class after I called the other prayer chain people whom I call. After all my praying, I gave the baby to God for His care and healing. I "cast all my cares upon Him". I was thinking exactly what your message today was saying. Why do bad things happen to good people? Cortness & Zach are wonderful, strong, praying Christian people and they want this little girl so much! Why did this happen? But I think I know the answer. It's so God's power and healing can be made manifest in this baby girl. So I am not worried about Eowin because I know she is in God's hands and in His care and she will be fine. Thank you for this timely, great message! As I said, God's timing is always perfect, and He gave me just what I needed today. Have a beautiful day! God gave it to us to enjoy!!


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