Jesus answered, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.”

John 19:11 (NIV)

It’s easy when bad things are happening to focus on those bad things. Isn’t it? The worse the issues the bigger they seem. Sometimes, the negative things that happen in our lives are just so big and influential that we have no choice but to pay attention to them. However, life-altering events don’t have to be life-shattering events when you remember where they came from.

It’s very hard, in the midst of pain and suffering, especially when it is coming from someone you love, to think about God’s will. It’s even worse when you don’t know where “it’s” all coming from and you don’t know why. You’re walking around day-by-day taking the highs and lows as they come. You’re probably dealing with something since it seems like we’re always dealing with something. Then something worse happens that changes your life and all of those things that you thought were bad, that you were dealing with, are nothing. All that you can ask is “Why?”

Something I’ve noticed, over the years, as a Christian, is the difference in where the blame is placed when things happen that challenge us. When I didn’t know God, I would blame Him for my life. Oh, I didn’t say it was God, I thought it was “the universe” that hated me. There is someone who does hate us, however, and it’s not God. He goes by many names; the Devil or Satan, are two that spring to mind most readily and are those that I think most people use.

Christians give Satan too much credit. Ironic, isn’t it? Don’t believe me? Does any of this sound familiar? It’s 3:00 AM Sunday morning and you wake up not feeling well. You go back to restless sleep and think about not going to church, but you are determined to go regardless. Once you get up nothing seems to be going well and when you leave, later than you want, there’s traffic, on a Sunday! Later on, at church, you tell someone something like, “The devil didn’t want me to come to church today” and you thank God that you made it.

When we take our focus off of what God is doing in our lives then we’re taking our focus off of God. It’s easy to praise God and look to Him when anything good happens in our lives. As I’ve pointed out, it’s also easy, perhaps easier, to give the Devil credit for those “bad” things that happen. I’m sure you’ve heard the expression, “Everything happens for a reason.” It’s not a bad expression and I think there’s definitely truth in it. However, I’m confident that it’s also something that can guide people in the wrong direction.

When we reason that everything happens for a reason then the next thing that I think we try to do, we can’t help it, is try and figure out why. Some people, on the other hand, might just shake their heads when they say it and go on from there. When we want to know the “Why?” in something that’s not bad. Just as it’s not necessarily “bad” if we try and move on from the issue. However, I believe the best response is to worship God.

I’d love to tell you that I’m a perfect follower of Christ and that in all of the worst times of my life my first response was to worship God. Heck, I’d like to tell you that even the “bad” little things that happen immediately put me on my knees. However, neither of those two things are true. I’m not like Job, who lost all of his wealth, sons, and daughters in a single day and then praised God (Job 1:20-21).

However, I think that Job is a great example for us today because he turned to God when calamity struck. We know, from reading Job, that God gave permission to Satan to do all that he did. Do we understand what that means though? King David tells us in Psalm 24, verse 1, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it (NIV). This is just one verse throughout the Bible that tells me that God is in control. Some people like to point out Job to others in hard times. There’s nothing wrong with that, we’re trying to encourage each other as we ought. I do wonder, though, when we point out the righteousness of Job as a possible explanation for the “Why?” in our question, “Why is this happening to me?” aren’t we still trying to figure it out for ourselves?

There’s a lot to glean from the book of Job. Far more than what I’m going to tackle today. There’s one thing though, that Job teaches me and that’s nothing happens without God’s permission.

Every day I declare that I’m going to focus more on what God is doing than what Satan is doing. It’s one of the many statements that I make to help myself keep aligned with the truth of God. When I keep myself focused on what God is doing and I remember that nothing happens without His permission it helps me to ask God better questions than “Why?” I find myself praising Him more for what He’s doing even if I don’t understand it. I also find myself asking Him what He wants to teach me.

We don’t need to understand why God does what He does and why He allows things to happen in our lives that we don’t want to happen. However, when we remember that God is good all the time and that He does work out everything to the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28) then it’s easier to trust that He knows what He’s doing, even when we haven’t a clue as to why.

Do you know God? God knows you and He loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. No one is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, right now, and He wants you to know Him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so that we could be free of guilt, be freed from death, and live eternally with Him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away.

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation today:

Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe You died for my sins and rose from the dead. I turn from my sins and invite You to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow You as my Lord and Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.