As good as dead

I am counted with them that go down into the pit: I am as a man that hath no strength: Free among the dead, like the slain that lie in the grave, whom thou rememberest no more: and they are cut off from thy hand. (Psalm 88:4-5)

A question often asked about God is why do bad things happen to good people? It is assumed that only good things should happen to good people. The truth is that good and bad things happen to all people.

One of the outcomes of free choice is that people make bad choices as well as good choices and therefore, get mixed results, both good and bad. My granddaughter who is one year old likes to play with my stereo receiver. When I was out of the room, she decided to turn the volume knob all the way up. The sound was so loud it hurt her ears and made her cry. She learned that turning the knob all the way up produced a bad result and hasn’t done it since.

Unfortunately, not everyone learns from the bad results they get and sometimes choose to ignore the results they get until it is too late. My dad was an alcoholic who drank excessively until he was 65. After he stopped drinking, his health improved significantly and he thought he would live to be 100. When he was 72, he was diagnosed with cancer and died six weeks later.

The day that I went down into the pit was the day my ex-husband called me and told me he was having an affair. I had been a Christian for almost 20 years, but in the moment that the news sunk in, I felt as miserable as I had the night I overdosed on sleeping pills, a few weeks before giving my life to Christ. Psalm 88 expresses perfectly how I felt for about a year afterward.

The difference between the two situations in my life was when I found out my ex-husband was having an affair, even though I felt dead inside for awhile, I recovered. From that point forward, I made a conscious decision to make choices that would bring good results, not bad. Like the Psalmist, I thought, “Thy wrath lieth hard upon me, and thou hast afflicted me with all thy waves” (Psalm 88:7), but I knew it wasn’t the end of my life or my dreams.

In Psalm 88:10, the Psalmist asks, “Wilt thou show wonder to the dead? Shall the dead arise and praise thee?” I believe the answer to both questions is yes, because Jesus rose from the dead. The power to rise from the dead resides in every Believer. We can choose to live and overcome whatever afflictions come into our lives.

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