“Bad things” are not always “bad” to all people. Where one might think of an incident as being negative, another might take the same incident and make something positive out of it.
No one is “picked on” more than another. Some are prone to accidents, others not. Some are more susceptible to disease than others. God does not punish one person more than the other.
However, Job’s friends believed that, because he was being tested with many sorrows. Job, however realized that reward and punishment are not material but spiritual. He knew that he had a real relationship with God and could have a dialogue with God. That was his reward.
The 12th-century Jewish philosopher Moses Maimonides said there were many different kinds of evil — among them those that we bring upon ourselves, and those that are brought about by the community, from which we cannot escape.
I believe that we are all subject to the vagaries of this world, to our biological makeup and to our surroundings.
We can avoid some disease or ill health by taking care of ourselves, but cannot avoid illness or death.
We can pray for peace, but cannot avoid the horror of war. We are part of this world.
What we perceive as one person having more troubles than others is merely our interpretation of what has happened, or, in many cases, how the individual handles a difficult situation.
Do some complain more than others? Are some more open than others? Do some broadcast their problems and others keep them within themselves? Do some have a greater faith than others? It is all so relative.
But one thing I do believe: God does not seek to punish one person over another. But God does give us the strength to overcome the obstacles in front of us.
— Rabbi David A. Baylinson, D.D., Temple Beth El, Anniston
Good things by grace
The first thing I must say is that from God’s perspective there are no “good” people. All are sinful. God created the world without evil or suffering. These maladies entered the world through man’s sinful rebellion against the goodness of his Creator. God as both the creator and sustainer of all life has the right to do as he pleases (Psalm 115:1-3). Further, I would say that any good that a person receives is only by the grace of God. We all deserve death as punishment for our sins, but our merciful and gracious God extends the offer of eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. To summarize I want to give two perspectives. If you are suffering and you do not have a relationship with Christ, then unless you repent of your sin and call on Christ as Lord of your life your suffering will only increase throughout eternity. If you are suffering as a person in a personal relationship with Christ, then your suffering in this present life is only preparing you to receive greater glory in eternity with Jesus. James 1:2-4 says, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”
— Carlton Weathers, pastor/teacher, Grace Fellowship, Anniston