August 26: “Why Do Bad Things Happen?”

6 Minute Read

Be Still

To the best of your ability, get rid of all distractions. Take a couple of minutes to breathe deeply, to quiet yourself in the Lord’s presence. Then, prayerfully ask the Lord to speak to you in this time and let Him know that you will be listening and will make whatever adjustments He will reveal to you.

Today’s Bible Reading:

Job 20:1–22:30
2 Corinthians 1:1-11
Psalm 40:11-17
Proverbs 22:2-4

Listen to the Lord

Slowly and reflectively read the following verses and listen to what God will say to you through them. Then, consider writing down any insights He reveals to you.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (NLT): “All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.”

Reflections from Scripture:

If you are following along in The One Year Bible reading program, you are currently reading through the book of Job. It can be a laborious section of Scripture to read – unless you know why it was written. 

Essentially, Job was written to deal with the problem of why bad things happen. The whole book is an attempt by various people to explain why life gets tough. Fortunately, the book ends with God stepping into the conversation to give the final word.

To be sure, there are a LOT of reasons why bad things happen:

  • In Job’s case, it was a cosmic battle that had little to do with Job. 
  • Sometimes, bad things happen simply because we live in a broken world.
  • Sometimes, it is because we are receiving the consequences of our sin or the sinful choices of someone else.
  • Sometimes, it is because we are being disciplined by God for unrepentant sin.
  • On and on and on we could go.

When we arrive at 2 Corinthians 1:3-4, we realize that whatever the cause of our difficulties, it can result in blessings. In a world where life gets tough, it is nice to know that we aren’t in it alone and that others understand what it feels like and can help us in the trial.

That is what 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 is about. These verses tell us that when we go through trials and are comforted by the Lord (in whatever form it takes), we are equipped to comfort and help others when they face similar difficulties.

The Lord acknowledges that it will get tough living in this sin-sick world (John 16:33). But, He is not content to allow us to get overwhelmed by the trials. Instead, he wants to comfort us so that we can provide comfort to others.

How can you reach out and receive the Lord’s comfort today? (Begin with slow, reflective time in His Word and prayer.)

As you go into the moments of today, be available to help anyone who the Lord sends your way.

Spend Time in Prayer

Lord Jesus, I want to be available to help someone today. People all around me are hurting, and they need someone to demonstrate compassion and understanding. Help me to comfort someone today in my words or in my actions. Let Your love flow through me to them. I pray this in Your Name, Amen.


Matt Ellis is the pastor of First Baptist Church in Polk City, Florida (fbcpolkcity.com). His latest book is God’s Grace in the Real World. Connect with him on FacebookTwitter, or LinkedIn.

Photo by Darius Bashar on Unsplash

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I have an incredible wife that God gave to me on May 10, 1997. Since then, the Lord has blessed us with three wonderful boys. I am also the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Polk City, Florida.

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