The question most asked, even by professed followers of Christ is, “Why do bad things happen to me?” That’s a great question. It is a question that’s been asked since the beginning of time. It is a question that has haunted humanity since the dawn of history. If you seriously want to know the answer, keep reading. This is a question that must be brought before the Lord in deep prayer and meditation, taking time to listen to His every word. We live in a day where the age-old understanding of fate has resurfaced, especially among the unbelievers. Unbelievers now espouse their senseless rhetoric, “That things just happen” solidifying their belief in fate. This is a belief that everything that happens is beyond our control, contrary to what we do or don’t do; if we are bad or good it makes no difference to the outcome. Although this kind of thinking may help them to accept the onslaught of bad things happening to them, it doesn’t answer the question. It only delays the inevitable, which often leads to stress, psychological trauma, mental illnesses, or something far worse, eternal separation from God.
Let’s start at the beginning. Why are so many professed believers in our day struggling with stress, agitation, anger, aggression, or any other classified psychological problems? These problems can lead to a host of other problems, such as loss of productivity, the ability to manage one’s time, and decision making that’s irrational. It can also lead to depression causing them to withdraw from the real world. Although many of these new problems may seem like the underlying problem, they are not. Although the professionals of psychology would agree and be happy to schedule counseling or drug therapy, we must dig much deeper to discover the real underlying problem that’s causing your difficulties. We must dig deeper to discover what’s causing you to experience one tragic circumstance after another. I must tell you; I have great sympathy and pity for these poor souls. Simply put they are not living the life that Christ promised them when He came to earth to show humanity a new Way. They are not living the bountiful life full of wondrous joy and the peace that defies understanding. They are not experiencing a brand-new life in Christ that’s getting better every day. Whatever happened to their new life in Christ?
What’s even sadder about these professed believers is some have a real heart for helping others, especially among their own family members, but they just don’t seem to have the time, the strength, or the determination to follow through with their promises or intentions. Whatever happened to the new life in Christ where their joy and peace are not affected by the unrelenting problems that are weighing so heavily upon them, day after day? We must dig much deeper. When we do, we are confronted with a word that has all but escaped the dictionary of modern humanity. It is a word that most don’t want to talk about. We have noticed that professional counselors don’t ever mention the word. We have observed that we are hearing it far less from the pulpits in the modern church. I hope that you are sitting down. The word is sin. This little three-letter word is at the root of most of your problems. I will go so far as to say that sin is at the very root of the world’s problems. The problem with sin is that it’s in our nature to sin. This is referred to as the old sin nature. Until we get a handle on the old sin nature, we will never experience the continuous joy and peace of our new life in Christ.
The good news is that Jesus Christ came to show us the Way. He came to show us how to overcome the old sin nature, one step at a time, through faith. Before we talk about this good news, let’s digress a bit and ask the question, how can this old sin nature cause us so many problems, to experience one calamity after another. There are many sins, which any society can refer to as a transgression against their laws, which you will be held accountable by some form of unpleasant punishment. Today, we want to talk about a higher law or laws that you will also be held accountable to by an all-powerful God, the God of creation. Make no mistake, God hears and sees everything. Unlike man, God does not forget nor can He be fooled by your double talk or outrageous lies. He will not be fooled by your deniability. Don’t forget that the Bible says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). We all have the old sin nature and the propensity to sin. This is the first step in overcoming the old sin nature, to openly admit that you are a sinner, and if you are honest, then you will admit that you have sinned every day. If you cannot admit that, then you need to take a long hard look at God’s Law, that not only deals with your actions but with your every thought.
Do you think that God can’t see your outburst of anger? Do you think that God can’t see your outrageous lies? Do you think God cannot see your pride? Do you think God can’t see your lust or sexual immorality? No, God sees it all, along with your every thought. The Bible is very clear that a man will reap what he has sown (see Galatians 6:8). Don’t think for a minute that things just happen, that’s fate. With God, nothing happens by accident. If you are not following the Way, then you will be disciplined by a loving God (see Hebrews 12:6-7). Often God will discipline His children by letting them go to experience the works of their own hands. God will also let them go by withdrawing His divine protection allowing them to reap the full consequences of their sin. As an example, let’s just look at the one sin that God hates the most, lying. The Bible says, “Lying lips are abomination to the LORD: but they that deal truly are his delight” (Proverbs 12:22). Think about this dear friend the next time you say you are going to do something, and then don’t do it, and worse yet, say you never said it. Shockingly, when you lie to another, then you are also lying to God. A man will reap what he has sown. He will reap the consequences of his every sin.
Now, let’s go deeper to discover the good news. How can we overcome the old sin nature? If you are a professed believer, then you have already taken the first step in believing that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, took your place on the Cross to pay for all sins past, present, and future. That cleared the way to a new life in Christ through faith. Although this is the greatest miracle to be made into a new creation, where old things truly pass away, we still need to follow the Way in overcoming the old sin nature. If you don’t follow the Way, then nothing much will change after the initial glow of believing in Christ wears off. That’s where most professed believers are today allowing the old sin nature to rule their life making them a target for Satan and the powers of darkness. This alone has caused a boom at the counselor’s office even among professed Christians, which has caused the church to raise up their own counselors following the methodology of the world’s counselors. We can, through the power of Christ, put off the old life of sin and misery, and to put on the new life in Christ, filled with incredible joy and amazing peace. We have the power to overcome the old sin nature.
So, how can we be successful in overcoming the old sin nature? Here is the key, we must read the anointed Word of God, the Bible, and discover the things we should not be doing or thinking, replacing them with thoughts and actions that are in accord with His Word. The Bible gives us some wonderful examples of putting off the old life and putting on the new life in Christ (carefully read Ephesians 4:19-32). When you do this, then you will discover that you are growing up in Christ from one degree of glory to another (see II Corinthians 3:18). If you are not growing up in Christ then you are still giving in to the old sin nature and continuing to reap all the horrible consequences of walking in the old life, the old sin nature. Now, you can say, I know why bad things are always happening to me. Won’t you start today, dear Christian, putting off the old life and putting on the new life in Christ? Then you will begin your spiritual journey, growing from one degree of glory to another. Spiritual growth must happen daily to overcome the old sin nature. Are you growing today.
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