When Things Go Wrong


  Before I begin let me ask you a question. How many of you have had a bad day? I mean a REALLY bad day!


   Well, follow along with me this morning as I tell you a couple of stories about real life situations.

The first story goes as follows:

  You have worked hard at your job for a long time, and maybe you’ve even gone back to school while working in order to learn more about your job. Then the day comes that you are offered a job with another company that includes greater benefits and a much better salary! You sit down with the family and talk about the offer and you look at the pros and cons. And the only real con that you can seem to find is that you will need to move to an area 1000 miles from anyone you know. So, you take it to the Lord in prayer, asking for His guidance in making this life changing decision. Then, you leave it in His hands.

  Then, the next day things seem to go awry at work. The boss begins to come down on you pretty hard for something you had no control over. So, you go home at the end of the day and talk with your spouse, discussing what had happened, the job offer, and that this must be a sign from God that it was time to move on. So, you turn in your resignation, place your home on the market, purchase a home at the new location and pack your bags and move. You are excited to say the least! Everything seems to be perfect. Then, after a couple of days, your wife calls you at work to tell you that the stove isn’t working properly. When she tries to bake something, it burns on the top and is raw on the bottom. Not knowing much about baking, you ask “Can’t you just turn it over and cook the other side”? Her answer lets you know that is not an option. She needs new appliances and you know that that will cost you about $5000. But, with the new job and much better pay you could probably pay that off in two or three months. So, you tell her to go to the appliance store and get what she needs. And she does. The next day you come home and all the new appliances have been installed. A smart, fingerprint free stainless steel, side by side refrigerator with a slide out freezer on the bottom and an LCD display in the door, a convection oven, a dishwasher that sandblasts the baked on grime right off the dishes before washing, and she also got something for you! A trash compactor! Now, you won’t have to carry out as much garbage! (Actually, you carry the same amount of garbage, just in a smaller, much heavier bag)! But, that’s OK. You have your dream job and she has her dream kitchen, and you are both very happy and thankful for what God has done.

  Then, a few days later, you find out that the company you just joined has merged with another company, and in the process, your job has been eliminated! You are no longer employed with the company! And all of a sudden, it seems as if the bottom has fallen out from under you. You begin to realize that you have 2 mortgage payments, 2 sets of property taxes, maintenance, utilities and upkeep! And, oh no, you just remembered all the new kitchen appliances your wife just bought! And how are you going to take care of the family now! And you begin to wonder, “Where is God?”!


  In the second situation, you are beginning to see the truths in God’s word, and you make the decision to be baptized into the church. Praise God! At the same time, your oldest child asks if they can go out of town and spend the summer with a cousin who lives several hours away. You discuss this and give your OK and they go to the cousin’s house and all is fine. A few weeks pass by and one morning you are trying to get the rest of the kids to sit down to eat their breakfast and you finally succeed, then you begin to fix your own plate, when the phone rings. So, you set your plate down and answer the phone, and you hear the words that no parent’s should ever have to hear. You child was just killed in a car accident! And instantly, your whole world is turned upside down! And again, you wonder, “Where is God?”!


  This morning, we are going to take a look at this question, “Where is God”? Where is he when these terrible things happen? Doesn’t He care enough for His children to protect them from these things?

We will begin with the story of Job, so let’s open our Bibles to Job 1 and we will be reading verses 13 – 19.


“1:13      And there was a day when his sons and his daughters [were] eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother's house: 

 1:14      And there came a messenger unto Job, and said, The oxen were plowing, and the asses feeding beside them: 

 1:15      And the Sabeans fell [upon them], and took them away; yea, they have slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee. 

 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. 

 1:17      While he [was] yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The Chaldeans made out three bands, and fell upon the camels, and have carried them away, yea, and slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee. 

 1:18      While he [was] yet speaking, there came also another, and said, Thy sons and thy daughters [were] eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother's house: 

 1:19      And, behold, there came a great wind from the wilderness, and smote the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young men, and they are dead; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.”


After reading the story of what Job went through, how do our problems even begin to compare? So, let’s look at Job’s response in verses 20 and 21.


“1:20     Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, 

 1:21      And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.”


  Do you think Job was distressed over the news of his loss? Absolutely! But, it wasn’t over yet! There was another meeting in heaven and Satan was still after Job and God said he could do whatever he wanted to Job but he could not take his life. So, what did he do? Let’s keep reading and go to chapter 2 and verses 7 and 8.


“2:7       So went Satan forth from the presence of the LORD, and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown. 

 2:8        And he took him a potsherd to scrape himself withal; and he sat down among the ashes.”


But he wasn’t finished with him yet! Let’s look at verses 9 and 10. Now he uses Job’s wife to entice him to turn against God. And look at his response.


“2:9       Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die. 

 2:10      But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.”


  Yet even at this, it’s still not over. Next we see that three of his friends come by to “console” him. And, in seeing the grief that he is going through, they sit there for 7 days and nights saying not a word. And in chapter 3 we see that Job is the first one to speak. And in doing so, he curses the day he was born. Look at what he had to say at the end of chapter 3 in verses 25 and 26.


“3:25     For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me. 

 3:26      I was not in safety, neither had I rest, neither was I quiet; yet trouble came.”


What Job is saying here is that he feared for the lives of his children. And remember, he prayed every day for his children just in case they sinned against God and died, he didn’t stay quiet about it, but yet trouble came anyways.


  Now, his friends begin to speak, and, oh, it would have been so much better if they had just kept their mouth’s shut, but they believed that bad things only happen to those who disobey God, so the accusations began to flow. After all, he must have some hidden sin in order for these things to happen to him, right? Have you ever met anyone like Job’s friends? In our second example, this is what happened in our family, and instantly the extended family began to claim that God did this because my dad had joined this “cult”. That God was trying to get dad’s attention and telling him to get out! And that it was his fault that his son died! Do you think that is what any parent needs to hear at their time of grief? No! In a time of someone’s grief we need to learn when to be silent and if we speak, we need to be careful as to what we say. In fact, listen to what Job tells his friends in chapter 16 and verses 1 and 2.


“16:1     Then Job answered and said, 

 16:2      I have heard many such things: miserable comforters [are] ye all.” 


  They came to comfort, yet all they did was make accusations. But still, the question remains, “where is God when bad things happen?” Not just to Job, but what about to us, what about when they happen to me? Is He there? Does He really care? And if so, why doesn’t He just put a stop to it all? These are the questions that millions of people today ask. So, “Where is God”?


In the story of Job, we can clearly see that God was right there the entire time. He knew what Job was going through, he heard his wife’s counsel, he heard every accusation that Job’s friends threw at him. He was there! And, eventually, God responded to Job. Thirty-seven chapters after it all began, we read God’s response. Turn to Job 38 and we’ll read verses 1-4. Job 38:1-4.


“Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said, Who [is] this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge? Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me.”


Do you hear what God is telling Job? He’s telling him to “stand up and put your pants on like a man”!


  So, where is God when things go bad? Turn now to Hebrews chapter 13 and we’ll read verse 5.


“13:5     [Let your] conversation [be] without covetousness; [and be] content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee


Now, turn to Deuteronomy 4:31

(For the LORD thy God [is] a merciful God;) he will not forsake thee”


And in Deuteronomy 31:8

“And the LORD, he [it is] that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.”


But He goes far beyond not forsaking us! Look at Isaiah 41 and verse 13.

Isaiah 41:13

“For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.”

He does what? He will hold our right hand and He will help us! So, what is the requirement placed upon  us? Look at 1 Peter 5 and verse 7.

1 Peter 5:7

“Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”

“He cares for us”. But, can God really understand what we are going through?


John 3:16, 17

“3:16     For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 

 3:17      For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”


Testimonies for the Church vol. 4 p. 563

“Our heavenly Father made an infinite sacrifice in giving His Son to die for fallen man. The price paid for our redemption should give us exalted views of what we may become through Christ.    

     As John beholds the height, the depth, and the breadth of the Father's love toward our perishing race, he is filled with admiration and reverence. He cannot find suitable language to express this love, but he calls upon the world to behold it: "Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God." What a value this places upon man!” 


  Signs of the Times 1898

That we might have eternal life, God's only-begotten Son suffered the deepest humiliation and agony, and died a shameful death on the cross. This precious salvation is presented to those for whom this sacrifice was made, but many refuse to accept it.” Signs of The Times November 24, 1898


Romans 8:38. 39

  8:38     For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 

 8:39      Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.


Zephaniah 3:17

The LORD thy God in the midst of thee [is] mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.”


My friends, I long to hear the Lord singing! How about you?


Revelation 17:7

“For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.


Revelation 21:4

“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”


So, let me ask you now, do you think that maybe, just maybe, God understands our pains and sorrows more than we think He does? As long as I place my trust in Him, it is all well with my soul. Yes, until that great and glorious day of our Lord’s return, there will still be heartaches, there will still be pain, there will still be death, but, Jesus has promised that he will be there for us through our toughest trials. That he will never, ever, leave us nor forsake us. He loves us so much that he will never let us go.