Bad stuff happens to everyone. Even Joel Osteen has bad days. He’ll never tell you about them, but he does.
My daughter has had a string of bad days lately. She had spinal fusion surgery last Thursday and is still in the hospital as I write this. We are hoping she comes home today, but you know how those things go.
Even when she comes home, she’s still going to have lots of pain and bad stuff to overcome.
I am always intrigued by bad stuff. I’m a pessimist. I enjoy bad things. I’m not really happy unless there’s something horrible going on.
Bad things fascinate me. I’ve been through some bad things and I always try to learn from them and watch the process of how they change me. It’s pretty cool. It’s one of the big reasons I like a bad thing.
The Bible says that God tests our faith. Tests can be good things, or at least what our flesh would consider good. Hollywood shows us what happens to people when they get what they dreamed for, when they get fame and fortune. That’s just as much a test as being poor and miserable.
For the most part though, we tend to view tests as bad stuff that happens to us. When bad things happen, one of two things occur:
1) Faith is strengthened
2) Faith is weakened
Either we draw nigh to God, or we drift away. Watching young people go through bad stuff is intriguing. Many kids profess faith, but in all honesty, have no idea what it really means. Once they get hit with bad stuff, then you find out.
Many young adults, thinking faith makes everything happy, get disillusioned when something bad happens instead. If they’ve been taught that faith makes everything happy, you can expect their faith to weaken.
But if a young person has been told that faith is about God’s Word, centered in the Gospel of Jesus Christ with all its promises of future glory, faith has a shot at getting stronger.
As we grow, we see more and more how short life is and how pointless existence is. There is nothing permanent. Each day has its own outrage, soon forgotten by tomorrow’s outrage. Nothing lasts, and, in the end, you die a miserable death and it’s over.
IF we live for heaven, bad stuff on earth strengthens faith.
IF we live for earth, bad stuff on earth weakens faith.
When things fall apart, what happens to your faith? I pray it is strengthened.