No Free Passes

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. - Romans 5:3–5

Some people believe that as Christians, we are exempt from human suffering. They think that bad things happen to unbelievers, but not to Christians. But inexplicable things happen to godly people. Christians get cancer. Christians die in auto accidents. Christians have all the problems that other people in the world generally have. And it comes as a shock to us. We are surprised when we have problems in life-problems in our career, problems with our family, problems with our kids.

After my son Christopher went to heaven, I had people come up to me and say, "I can't believe this has happened to you of all people." The idea being that I because I am a pastor and preach the gospel, I should somehow get a free pass on the suffering experienced by the rest of the human race.

The Bible teaches that we all will have hardship. The apostle Paul wrote, "We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment . . . " (Romans 5:3–5).

You may look at some tragedy that has occurred in your life and think, Well, I don't see any good right now. But maybe a month from now you will see a little good. Then a little bit later, you might see a little more good. And it may not be until eternity that you see the big picture and the complete good.

But until that day, there is a God who promises that despite the worst tragedy, He can bring good out of bad.