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God Causes the Bad (and why that's good)

You have likely heard people encourage each other with the statement, “God won’t give you more than you can handle,” and if you have read the previous post on this blog about lies you’ve heard in church, then you know how unbiblical that statement truly is.

In fact, God frequently gave people a load greater than they could bear simply to cause them to turn to Him. He is a jealous God (Exodus 34:14) and will bring His children to Him whatever the cost.

He loves us and is willing to break us to help us see the goodness in the pain and suffering..

If you’re still not convinced that God has His hand in the inner workings of the “bad stuff” in the world, here are a few verses to consider:

Exodus 4:11

Then the Lord said to him, “Who has made man's mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the Lord?

Isaiah 45:7

I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the LORD, do all these things.

Job 1:16

While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The fire of God is fallen from heaven, and hath burned up the sheep, and the servants, and consumed them; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.

Acts 5:4b-5

…You have not lied just to human beings but to God.” 5 When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what had happened.

John 9:2-3

And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.

I could go on and on with stories about the flood, or the entire army of Egyptians God wiped out in the parting of the Red Sea, or perhaps how Moses was nearly killed by God because he failed to circumcise his own son after telling the people to do so with their children.

But this is not a lesson about how scary or mean God is.

It is actually a story of how and why you can cry out to God confidently.

Think about this. If God is really a big powerful God and He truly has a plan for your life, and if that plan is always good and healthy and prosperous…if that is all true, and then, you have the ability to come along and mess up His plan, then logically, you should be praying to you when you are in trouble, and not God.

You were the one whose will was greater than God’s.

But that is not the case.

In the story of Joseph, his brothers sold him into slavery because he had a dream that they would bow down to him. Who do you think (and who does Joseph even give credit to) gave him that dream (see Genesis 40:8)?

Was God unaware or ignorant, when He gave Joseph the dream, of the repercussions it would have? Certainly not. He anticipated the coming problems it would cause.

Then Joseph gets accused of rape at Potiphar’s house and is imprisoned. This time in prison leads to him raising up years later because he interprets the Pharaoh’s dream and saves the entire country from famine.

When his brothers find out that it is Joseph that saved everyone, they bowed down and wept. But Joseph told them not to weep because God had orchestrated this whole thing.

He says in Genesis 45:5, ”And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you.” And then will tell them in chapter 50 that what they MEANT for evil, God MEANT for good!! God had a plan and these brothers could not mess it up!

Judas was part of the plan.

Pontius Pilate was part of the plan and Jesus even told him that if God had not placed him in his position to hand Jesus over to be killed, he wouldn’t be there (John 19:11).

Now, how is this “God-causes-bad” stuff a good thing?

It’s good, first, because God does it. Period.

God is good and does only good...even with bad!

Secondly, it is good because it causes us to turn to him when things are too much for us. We are driven, like the prodigal son when famine came (from God, btw, who causes or withholds the rains), back to the loving Father who will take care of us.

Thirdly, it is good because, if God is in control of the good and the bad, only then can we trust that He is able to rescue us.

If God forms man’s mouth that he would stutter, only then can we know that if He has called us to preach, He has the ability to make it happen.

He even wrote out the parents you would have and the friends you would make and the places you would live.

Just look at Acts 17:26:

And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods in history and the boundaries of their dwelling place.

Praise God today that He is a sovereign and powerful, omniscient God who “causes all things to work together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28)!”

But know this, everything you encounter is both a trial and a test.

In prosperity, God is giving you a trial of faithfulness to Him not to be distracted and to "count it all joy."

At the same moment, Satan is testing your faith to try and distract you from God.

In adversity, God is giving you opportunity to grow and rest in Him.

At the very same moment, Satan is trying to convince you to curse God for abandoning you.

Be aware and praise God in ALL things!!


My name is Adam Casey. I am a counselor at a faith-based drug and alcohol rehabilitation program in North Alabama. Day after day, for hours at a time, I am sitting with men who have seen (and done) some terrible things. Through these counseling sessions, personal struggles, and teaching classes on how Christ is the answer to recovery and reconciliation, many revelatory epiphanies have emerged. All of which are what inspire this blog. I am fully aware of my depravity and certain ability for flaw so make sure to test everything you read here with the word of God. Also, feel free to  write and respond. I love your feedback.

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