Woe and Well-Being

Woe and Well-Being


The world around us can be hard to understand. We see hurt and happiness, sadness and satisfaction, frustration and fun, pain and pleasure, disappointment and delight…
  • Isaiah 45:7 I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create calamity; I, the Lord, do all these things.’
  • Lamentations 3:38 Is it not from the mouth of the Most High That woe and well-being proceed?

It’s true, God allows and uses both Woe and Well-Being.
  • Amos 3:6 If a trumpet is blown in a city, will not the people be afraid? If there is calamity in a city, will not the Lord have done it?
  • Matthew 5:45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.

Without a strong Biblical foundation, the manifestation of evil in the world can be confusing. But make no mistake about it,

God is:
  • Sovereign over all happenings – He rules over all things!
    • Psalm 103:19 The Lord has established His throne in heaven, And His kingdom rules over all.
  • The provider of all good things!
    • James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.
  • Accomplishing His purposes – even through the evil intentions of men and of nations!
    • Genesis 50:20 But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.
    • Habakkuk 1:6-7 For indeed I am raising up the Chaldeans, A bitter and hasty nation Which marches through the breadth of the earth, To possess dwelling places that are not theirs.
  • Never going to entice someone to do evil!
    • James 1:13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone.

The reality of evil, and what may appear to be evil, is:
  • Tangible evidence that confirms what the Bible teaches about God and Satan.
    • God is Wholly Holy
      • Deuteronomy 32:4 He is the Rock, His work is perfect; For all His ways are justice, A God of truth and without injustice; Righteous and upright is He.
      • Isaiah 6:3 And one cried to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; The whole earth is full of His glory!”
      • 1 John 3:5 And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin.
    • Satan is Entirely Evil
      • John 8:44 You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.
      • 1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
      • Revelation 12:9 So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
  • Clear evidence of man’s sin nature (propensity to sin).
    • Genesis 3:6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.
    • Galatians 5:19-21 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
  • Graphic evidence of the necessity of God’s judgment against sin.
    • Genesis 3:17 Then to Adam He said, “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’: “Cursed is the ground for your sake; In toil you shall eat of it All the days of your life.
    • Genesis 19:24 Then the Lord rained brimstone and fire on Sodom and Gomorrah, from the Lord out of the heavens.
    • Exodus 12:12 ‘For I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the Lord.
    • Mark 6:11 And whoever will not receive you nor hear you, when you depart from there, shake off the dust under your feet as a testimony against them. Assuredly, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city!”

But the fact of the matter is, no one fully understands why God allows the evil that occurs in the world. Sometimes it is hard not to shout out, ‘Why Lord? Why?’ Although God has revealed to us a great deal about Himself and His character, we can never forget that He is beyond our complete understanding. As He gives and takes away, we have to trust in Him.
  • Isaiah 55:8-9 For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. 9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.
  • Romans 11:13 Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!
  • Job 1:21 And he said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord.”
  • Psalm 34:8 Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!
  • Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding;

Throughout the Bible, God has provided principles, practices, promises and prayers to guide and sustain us as we continue on this journey of faith through the tragedies and triumphs of this fallen world.
  • Job 2:10 But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.
  • Lamentations 3:22-23 Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. 23 They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.
  • Psalm 119:71 It is good for me that I have been afflicted, That I may learn Your statutes.
  • Romans 12:12 rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer;
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
  • Philippians 4:6-7 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
  • Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
  • James 1:2-3 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.
  • Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
  • Galatians 6:7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.

Closing Thoughts
  • In His perfect love, rather than creating good little robots and placing them in a cage without any possibility of evil, God created man in His image, placed him in a perfect environment and gave him the free will to make of the world what he would.
    • Genesis 1:27-28 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
  • And although we all bear the curse of Adam’s sin, God still gives people the opportunity to choose between good and evil.
    • Deuteronomy 11:26-28 “Behold, I set before you today a blessing and a curse: 27 the blessing, if you obey the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you today; 28 and the curse, if you do not obey the commandments of the Lord your God, but turn aside from the way which I command you today, to go after other gods which you have not known.
    • Joshua 24:15 And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
    • Romans 10:13 For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
  • Our choice shows our love for God or love of Satan. The consequences of our choice are eternal.
    • Romans 6:16 Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?
    • Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.


Prayer

Heavenly Father, many people use the existence of evil as an excuse to doubt or deny You. I pray that the truth of Your Word and the Power of Your Spirit will shine the light of Your love on the hearts of those who need salvation in Christ. Use Your children to share Jesus with the lost and hurting. I praise You. I love You. I pray to You in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.