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Bad Things…Good People? – by Pastor/Elder Zack Fugate

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“When you come to appear before me, who has required of you this trampling of my courts? Bring no more vain offerings; incense is an abomination to me. New moon and Sabbath and the calling of convocations—I cannot endure iniquity and solemn assembly. Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hates; they have become a burden to me; I am weary of bearing them.”

Isaiah 1:12-14

I am guessing there is a chance that you may be sitting there thinking, “Wow, this is a super uplifting opening. I am not sure I want to continue reading.” Please don’t be discouraged, rather, continue to read on with patience.

We have all heard someone ask, or have even been guilty of asking the question ourselves, “Why does God let bad things happen to good people?” In a recent conversation with my son, Isaiah, he brought this question up to me. He didn’t bring it up as a question he was asking, rather he was using it as an example of the types of things that often cause followers of Christ to wander. The issue with this question, while there are several, is that the assumption is that we, as people, are inherently good. We aren’t. In fact, the verses above provide a clear picture of our status with the Lord when we are left to our own accord. When we establish ourselves as our own saviors, we cannot right ourselves with the Lord. Simply put, we are sinners and require a savior. There are no good people.

If that were the end…and our reality stopped there, our existence would remain bleak and we would perish, separated from our heavenly Father. But brothers and sisters, that is not the gospel. The gospel…our inheritance as followers of Christ is one of hope and grace. Jesus, the only good and perfect human, loved us so much that he died and paid the cost for our sins. Apart from God, there is no good. This simply cannot be something that we accept and move on from. God’s word tells us in Philippians 2:12 to continue to work out our salvation with fear and trembling. It also tells us, “…for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” It isn’t some good news, a little bit of good news, but it is the good news.

We must be careful, whether we are experiencing hardships or blessings, not to become bloated with our own self-concept. When we convince ourselves that we are good enough, strong enough, smart enough, rich enough, talented enough, and the list goes on…we deny ourselves what is truly good. We deny ourselves the grace that Christ freely gives, yet for which he so dearly paid.

“But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself. Therefore, my brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved.”-Philippians 3:20-4:1

Oh that we at New Life would be a body committed to standing firm in the Lord! -your brother in Christ, zack fugate


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