Elder Richard Lai, in one of his recent sermons, quoted the familiar phrase “why do bad things happen to good people?” I am sure all of us, at some point, have said or at least thought the same thing. That set me thinking – is life really so unfair?
How do we, as Christians, respond to this?
The answer was given to me when I was studying through Jesus’ teaching of the Beatitudes in Matthew 5:3-12. The Beatitudes listed down attitudes or conditions that we would sometimes associate “bad things” with. Or they might be attitudes of conditions that put us at a “disadvantage” in life.
These include being “poor in spirit”, “mourning”, “meekness”, hungering and thirsting for righteousness”, “being merciful”, “peacemaking”, “persecuted because of righteousness”, “insulted, persecuted and falsely accused”. None of us enjoy being put in such situations. In fact, when we are in such situations, we often can associate with the phrase “why do bad things happen to good people?”
However, the Lord says that whenever we are found in such situations or conditions, we are blessed! “Beatitudes” is from the Latin word “Beatus”, which means both “happy” and “blessed”. The English dictionary goes further to describe “Beatitudes” as “supremely blessed”.
Therefore, as believers and if our desire is to follow Christ and His teachings, then this phrase “why do bad things happen to good people?” will never apply to us. On the contrary, the Beatitudes teaches us that we are all supremely blessed.
So, are you “poor in spirit”, or “mourning”? Or perhaps are you being “persecuted” or “insulted” or “falsely accused”?
If we are experiencing some of these because we are living out of faith every day, then I pray that you will take comfort in the words of the Beatitudes and know that you are supremely blessed!
Deacon Michael Teo