I’ve been a tech guy all of my life. I’ve been embedded in troubleshooting one device after another, from computer science to avionics. All in the pursuit of the question, “Why?” Usually expressed as, “Why isn’t this thing working?” However, I’ve always been a “Why?” person who hasn’t shied away from asking questions. One problem with asking the question “Why?” is that it can sometimes be impossible to find the correct answer. While most technical problems can be isolated to a problematic component, most of the other issues we encounter in our lives aren’t so easily discerned.

Although it’s not always easy to figure out why some things happen, it doesn’t stop us from trying to figure them out. To be clear, the things I’m talking about aren’t “good” things. They are “bad” things. Rarely, when something good happens to us, do we exert much effort in finding out why.

As Christians, we aren’t isolated from wanting to know why bad things happen. Often, when bad things happen, I try and give thanks to the Lord for it because Scripture tells me that’s what I must do.

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NIV)

However, despite giving thanks to the Lord, you still want to know if you’re like me. Or perhaps that’s just me.

When Jesus encountered a man born blind, his disciples questioned him about it, and Jesus gave them an answer they probably weren’t expecting.

His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind? Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him” (emphasis added).

John 9:2-3 (NIV)

All this man’s life, he and his parents might have wondered why this bad thing happened. What had they done to deserve this? As it turns out, what they did or didn’t do had nothing to do with the man being born blind.

I know what you might think: this is another “Jobian” message, but it’s not. On the other hand, if you have no idea what Jobian means, then I’ll briefly explain it.

In the book of Job, God was having a meeting. All of the angels showed up, and so did Satan. The Lord asks Satan two questions. The first question was, “Where have you come from?” Satan replied, “From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it” (Job 1:6-7 NIV). The second question the Lord asked Satan was this one.

Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.”

Job 1:8 (NIV)

Satan knew about Job and thought Job only loved God because God coddled him. In fact, Satan was so sure that Job only loved God because he kept him from harm that he challenged God, “stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face” (Job 1:11 NIV). So the Lord gives Satan permission to interfere with Job’s life.

The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.”

Job 1:12a (NIV)

Then, some bad stuff happens to Job, and Job wonders why. Job didn’t realize that bad things were happening to him because God considered him righteous and knew he could handle them. These are the basics behind a Jobian message. Bad things are happening to you because you’re God’s righteous servant. Don’t get me wrong, this might be one reason bad things are happening, but it’s different from the issue with the blind man.

Here’s another example from John that deals with God getting the glory.

Lazarus, the brother of Martha and Mary, gets sick and dies. Before he died, a message was sent to Jesus asking him to help Lazarus. When Jesus gets the message, he stays where he’s at instead of responding to the message by returning to heal Lazarus. The irony here, of course, is that Jesus didn’t need to travel anywhere to heal Lazarus. Much ink has been spilled about Lazarus and how far he was away from Jesus, but that’s irrelevant. Like the centurion who knew Jesus could heal his servant with just word, Jesus could have done the same for Lazarus.

When Jesus hears about Lazarus, he say’s, “”This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it” (emphasis added).

John 11:4 (NIV)

I posit that sometimes bad things happen in our lives, not because we’ve sinned (although sin could be the reason), or because we’re particularly righteous (Job), or out of any work God is doing in us (James 1:3), but so that God will get the glory in our lives. Not just from us but from other people. We might twist this around and think it’s because we’re not giving God the glory, but I don’t see it like that.

When God sent Moses to free the Israelites, “Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?” (Exodus 3:13 NIV) God gives Moses one of the best answers in the Bible.

God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.'”

Exodus 3:14 (NIV)

God is and will always be. You see, those bad things that happened to you, the bad things happening right now, or those bad things that are going to happen. None of them really matter in the face of The Great I Am.

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, and he wants you to know him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so we could be free of guilt, 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:

Lord Jesus, forgive me for all my sins. I repent from my ways. Wash me in your blood and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I believe that you died on the cross, were buried, and on the third day, God the Father raised you from the dead. Right now, Lord Jesus, I open the door to my heart and receive you into my heart as my Lord and personal 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.