You're as brilliant as the things you want to do!
Or, as obtuse as the things you don't want to do!

Why do bad things happen to “good” people.

Everyone is aware that there are people out there who go to church every Sunday, provide for their family, are generous, tithe regularly, and are seemingly sinless.  What they don’t realize is they are sitting idly by, waiting to go to Heaven instead of using the skills that God gave them to spread the gospel.  And when something bad occurs in their life, God is pulling them out of their idle chair and calling them OUT to GO OUT and spread the gospel through their testimony.

I want to start in Romans 12:4-8.  Here, Paul is telling the Romans to serve God with the spiritual gifts that He has given to them.

Romans 12:4-8 (4 For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, 5 so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.  6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; 7 or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; 8 he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.)

There are some out there that have extraordinary gifts bestowed upon them by God, and they use those skills to spread the gospel.  I commend each and every one of these individuals for their service to God and Paul employs all of us to follow this example, even if your gift is only serving soup (though it may not be extraordinary), serve the soup in the name of Jesus Christ and spread the gospel as you do it!

This might be a bit out of context, but it’s God’s Word and it makes a good point.  Hebrews 10:31.

Hebrews 10:31 (It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.)

If we aren’t going out into the world spreading the gospel using our skills bestowed upon us (i.e. being lazy or idle), God will light a fire under our chair to change our behavior and spread the good news of the gospel about His Son, Jesus Christ.  I have one question for anyone that says, “Why would God do this to me?”, and that question is: “How much were you going out and spreading the gospel before this happened, and how much are you doing it now?”

People bring up the story of Job as an excuse to continue to be idle, and I have to completely cut that down.  No man in this world is, Job 1:1 “blameless and upright” as Job was, everyone sins and if anyone thinks otherwise I’m going to bring you right back to Romans 12:3

Romans 12:3 (For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.)

And if you think of yourself equal to that of Job, I would say your heart is in direct contradiction of what Paul is saying to the Romans here.  In fact, Paul even goes as far as to say that if you think yourself above anyone else, that you are drunk by not observing the Word of God with meekness and a humble spirit.  I urge all of God’s children to go out into the world and spread the news of the gospel, that is, Jesus Christ, using the skills God has given them.  This is a warning to those who are being idle, God will find a way to use you.  I want to make it very clear that salvation is not by works, but by faith in Jesus Christ, God’s Son whom He sent to die on the cross for all of us and our sin, and through faith the Holy Spirit works through us and uses our skills to do works by faith.  I want to end this with James 2:17-26

James 2:17-26 (17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. 18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.”  Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You believe that there is one God.  You do well.  Even the demons believe–and tremble! 20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the alter? 22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? 23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.”  And he was called the friend of God. 24 You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only. 25 Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way? 26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.)

I cannot explain it any better than James has in these 10 verses.  For clarity, what he is saying here, is that by faith, the Holy Spirit will give us instruction and we are to listen and follow the instructions of the Holy Spirit, which is in us by the grace of God, through the death burial and resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ.  We must listen to the Holy Spirit.  It will guide us, and have us do things for the work of God, and if we aren’t doing these works of the Holy Spirit, then our faith is dead.  I urge you brothers and sisters to listen to the Holy Spirit and let it guide you to do the will of God using the skills He gave you.  I will close by restating a question I asked earlier.

How much were you going out and spreading the gospel before God acted, and how much are you spreading the gospel now?

-Thomas Reeves

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