A Really Bad Day

A Really Bad Day

By Eddie Boggess

             Poor Harriet Sweger had a really bad day.  According to a recent media report1, seventy-two-year-old Harriet Sweger of McKees Rocks, PA, was shopping at the grocery store when her checkbook was stolen. Apparently a woman bumped into her in the store and grabbed her checkbook.  Then, as Ms. Sweger was driving to the police station to report the theft, she stopped to ask a man for directions.  Instead of giving her directions, the man reached into her car and stole her purse!  Talk about a bad day! 

             Everyone has a bad day from time to time.  Sometimes, like poor Harriet, we are made to suffer because of the actions of others. Other times, it is because of our own poor choices.  Sometimes, it's just circumstances.  Often, it is a combination of all of the above.  Whatever the reason, however, we all have bad days.  Have you ever wondered why this is the case?  Have you ever wondered why God allows us to have bad days?  If God is in control of all things, could He not prevent us from having bad days?

             For centuries man has struggled to understand why an all-powerful and loving God allows him to suffer hardship. While a thorough answer to this concern is beyond the scope of this article, we can look at a couple of scriptures that will give us a better understanding of the issue. 

             The writer of Hebrews gives us an indication of why man sometimes suffers hardship.  He tells us that on occasion our hardship is the discipline of God.  "And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: 'My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; for whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.'" (Hebrews 12:5-6).  Good parents discipline their children.  Though the children often do not understand it, discipline is an act of parental love. Sometimes when God allows hardship to befall us, it is His loving discipline.

             James gives us another indication of why man sometimes suffers hardship.  He tells us that trials develop character.  Growing up, sometimes our parents made us work or do difficult things to develop our character.  James says, "My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing." (James 1:2-4).  Dealing with hardship helps us to develop patience, or endurance.  It also helps us develop numerous other aspects of Christian character.

             These two passages are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.  The Bible actually has a lot to say about why man must, for now, endure hardship.  The key thing in all this for us to understand is that God has prepared for us a future existence in which there will be no hardship (see Revelation 21:4). The hardship of this life is intended to prepare us for and push us toward that future existence.  So, I suppose a bad day is not such a bad thing after all.