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Tag Archives: why bad things happen to good people

Over Playing the Victim Card

Over the past year, cable news networks have reported about the transformation occurring on college and university campuses throughout the United States.  Some of these exclusives have addressed the transition from education and knowledge based curriculum toward political and social activism.  One college professor recently gave students the option to either take a final exam or participate in a group project.  The class chose to protest Trump at a nearby rally.

“As surely as God lives, who has denied me justice, the Almighty, who has made my life bitter,” Job 27:2.

One of the angles disgruntled voters are taking is victimology.  Instead of fighting through adversity, battling disappointment and overcoming failures, the victim card is being played over and over again.  Sure, many individuals are dealt an unfair hand in life.  This is a painful reality in this life.  Yet, God is not pleased when his own followers join the crowd of the disenfranchised.  Seeking pity from the privileged isn’t the right course of action.  Rather, the Lord has a better choice for those unable to grasp why bad things happen to good people.

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear, Ephesians 4:29.

When his friends began to hint that recent trials were self-inflicted, part of some secret sin, Job began to play the victim card.  Within Job 27, this man of integrity begins to blame God for his problems.  This was Job’s fatal flaw, an inappropriate response to his hardship.  The apostle Paul introduces a more appropriate course of action.  Despite how you really feel inside, negative comments, harsh criticism and demoralizing words doesn’t solve your situation.  Rather, ask the Lord for rays of hope, signs of progress and a spirit of optimism.  In doing this, you will turn your victim card in for a peace that surpasses understanding.

by Jay Mankus

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Why I Experienced the Bottom of the Barrel

For those of you fortunate enough not to have tasted defeat, experience failure or feel the pain of loss, your perspective is limited.  Sheltered from this anguish, you haven’t been forced rely on the Lord.  Instead this smooth journey leads passengers to trust in their health and wealth, oblivious to the bottom of the barrel.

As I look back on recent heartaches of a 2-19 season as a coach, the struggle to rebuild my work career and dedication to the dreams of my youth, hardship has refined my faith.  Although the furnace isn’t a pleasant place to visit, 1 Peter 1:6-7, this necessary evil has lifted me up from the bottom on the barrel.  In the midst of this storm, I have a new appreciation for the little things in life.

Humility has helped me come to the realization that I can’t do it on my own.  Rather, I need a Savior to pick me up when I fall, Matthew 11:28-30.  Sure, it would be nice to forgo past trials, yet I wouldn’t be where I am today if these events did not occur.  Therefore, my focus shifts upward, Philippians 3:12-14, so that if I experience the bottom of the barrel again, the sun will shine upon my face letting me know that everything will be okay.

by Jay Mankus

 

Isolated Showers

 From a meteorology perspective, weather systems can stall on occasion, creating isolated showers in the same location for hours or in a worst cause scenario for days at a time.  This phenomena is known as a stationary front, where a boundary is formed between two air masses neither of which replaces the other.  Whenever a weather system travels less than 6 miles per hour, its deemed to be stationary.  Unique wind conditions makes this possible as the north side of a stationary front move in a East to West direction.  Meanwhile, on the southern edge, winds reverse, moving from West to East.

 

According to a September 15th article in the U.S.A. Today, experts are blaming an unusually strong ridge of high pressure parked over Western Canada for the deadly flooding in the Boulder region of Colorado.  Over one month later, hundreds of people are still unaccounted for, likely washed away in the torrent rapids flowing down the Rocky Mountains.  This natural disaster has conjured up memories of the Big Thompson flash flood of 1976 where 144 were killed just north of Boulder.  Those who believe in God often struggle to make sense of these storms, wrestling for answers to grasp why.

 

Although every geographic area does not encounter the same natural disasters, all regions experience isolated showers.  Literal storms can bring lightning, thunder and heavy rains.  Spiritual storms offer a different challenge, testing your faith, patience and soul.  While people can seek shelter for isolated showers, life’s trials are often unexpected, resulting in an invisible tsunami attempting to wipe you out spiritually.  It’s not if these isolated showers will occur, but when.  Therefore, when a spiritual stationary front knocks on your door, arm yourself with the words of Jesus in Matthew 7:24-27.

by Jay Mankus

Secret Things Belong To the Lord

Human nature often tells individuals how they think things should play out in life.  Yet, when the unexpected happens, I usually begin to scratch my head, trying to figure out God’s mind to allow this or that to occur.  After all of the blood, sweat and tears he poured into the nation of Israel, I’m sure Moses shared similar thoughts when he found out he would not be entering the Promised Land with Israel.  This is the context of Deuteronomy 29:29, “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.”

The reality of life on earth is that God has hidden the answers to many questions people have.  The Bible is purposively silent on several matters like the details of Lucifer’s rebellion in heaven, the origin of evil, why only Enoch and Elijah were taken up into heaven and why bad things happen to godly people.  Maybe John 21:25 holds of one of the reasons why secret things belong to the Lord.  If every miracle, parable or thing Jesus did was recorded, there would not be enough room in the world to hold all these accounts.  Thus, God is silent on many issues so that faith may exist, John 20:30-31.

So if you are like me, having a dream job disappear or you are going through a Job like trial, all we can do for now is be thankful for the things God has revealed to us.  Job questioned God and got a mouthful, 4 chapters from Job 38-41, humbling him as well as us, seeing how little we know and how big God really is.  While questions will continue to go unanswered, there is only one thing to do, follow the words of Joshua, “as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord,” Joshua 24:21.

by Jay Mankus

All the Blame and So Little Thanks!

The older I become, the more I hear and see people blame God for every disaster, failure or setback they face in life.  Meanwhile, these same people take most of the credit for any accomplishment, success or victory they experience.  In other words, God has become the per-verbal punching bag as the center of most complaints, gripes and unanswered questions.

Have people ever considered that God created us to live forever?  Yet, when man and woman, in the person of Adam and Eve, chose to exercise their own freewill, the catalyst for destruction entered this earth.  Since Genesis 3, the world has been cursed with disease, famine, natural disasters and death.  One of the reasons why trials now exist in the lives of every human being is the world is going to hell!

Life is like an avalanche in which people try to dodge as many harmful objects as possible, yet we can’t outrun this onslaught of heartbreaks, tears and violence.  Yes, bad things do happen to good people and justice is often absent from our circumstances.  Nonetheless, there is a reason the Bible is the best selling book of all time.  James 1:18 says every good thing comes from our Father above.  Therefore, don’t fret over what you can’t control.  Rather, send a little praise and thanks God’s way, Philippians 4:8.  Then, you may not be as tempted to blame God like the media for every bad thing under the sun.

by Jay Mankus