121 Stories - A Questioning Faith

Why Does God Let Bad Things Happen To Good People?

Jake Bildstein and Ross Sawyers
Apr 4, 2020    5m
In this message a young man shares his health struggles and how they led him to wonder, why does God let bad things happen to good people? At 121 Community Church he found a community who allowed him to ask the hard questions, while trying to help him find answers. Video recorded at Grapevine, Texas.

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Jake Bildstein: 00:07 If God is so great, why do bad things happen to good people? For me personally, that was a question that I've always wondered, because I've had struggles with clinical depression, anxiety, and obsessive compulsive disorder. And I always wondered why God would let something like that happen, you know, let me be tormented by things like that.

Jake Bildstein: 00:27 And in the Catholic church, you know, you're not supposed to ask questions like that, like why? I was born and raised Catholic. I remember the one thing that I didn't really like about the Catholic church was it was very regimented, do this, do that, and you know, go through these processes is be a good person. And then, you know, you're where you need to be.

Jake Bildstein: 00:48 Through youth sports in the area, we actually, my mom became good friends with another kid that I was playing on baseball, his parents, and they invited us to come. And my mom was the first one to actually come here. You know, we saw a change in my mom, she started to dive more into the word and that kind of stuff. And we all became kind of interested in what that was like. So we decided to make the switch, and come with her and see what it was like as well.

Jake Bildstein: 01:10 I've been going to 121 since I was, I want to say 12. I got plugged in with the life group, with that friend that I played youth baseball with, and you know, got to really dive into that aspect of comradery and going through God's word together. My life group leader was influential in the fact that he himself struggled with questions when he was younger. And when I came to 121, it was it's okay to question, I'm here to answer your questions, I might not know the answers to the questions. But seeing somebody who has gone through the struggles of wondering and questioning themselves, and their outlook on it, feel free to ask. And again, you know, we might not know the answer, but here's a Bible verse that I think goes along with the situation. Interpret it, you know, as you need to.

Jake Bildstein: 02:10 So my junior year at A and M I was diagnosed with cancer. And you know, this was just after I had gotten back and beaten my anxiety, my OCD., And my depression. So it was kind of, it was hard to take at first. But at the same time I've been blessed to have very strong, you know, leaders or mentors in my life. And, you know, speaking with them, speaking with my most importantly my dad in this case, I asked him, you know, why would God do this again? You know, have me go through something again. And his answer has always kind of stuck with me, and it's God gives people, you know, these tough situations. We may not know why, but we can take faith in the fact that through these experiences, you know, you might be able to help somebody else that has a similar experience later on down the line. And that's something to me, that's given me a little bit of hope. And I've seen that myself while, you know, walking around the campus I talked to a lot of people about, you know, mental illnesses and things like that. And so even from that aspect, you know, I've been able to use my own experiences to help others.

Jake Bildstein: 03:15 And Jake has always had a lot of questions, and when he was 13 years old on one April night, he was lying in bed and he thought I'm always going to have questions. The one pertinent question is, is Jesus savior? And on that night, that is when he yielded his life to Jesus, and that question was answered for him.

Ross Sawyers: 03:38 Several years later, here we are, he has had continuous struggles, OCD, depression and anxiety, but he finds comfort in God's word. And then a few months ago, he was diagnosed with testicular cancer. Man, you're going to have to help me. And it has been an unbelievable journey to watch the work that God has done in Jake's life, and through the caring bridge, just the things that he's writing, the insights that only God could give someone. It's just been really unbelievable to have a seat watching that.

Jake Bildstein: 04:20 So I got baptized because, you know, I believe that I've been given a new life, not only through Christ, but a new life and a changing perspective through what I gone through. You know, I could have been dead, but you know, God saved me, and he's used this opportunity. He's using me as an opportunity to minister to other people, and to share his good news.

Ross Sawyers: 04:46 Jake, since you know Jesus Christ, and you have for a while, I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Jake Bildstein: 05:01 What I've learned from this is, you know, why does God allow bad things to happen to good people? Is their opportunities, it's not a punishment for something you've done or anything like that. It's okay, maybe you need to shift in your mindset for me. Obviously, you know, my questioning is always like how, why and all that kind of stuff. And it allowed me to shift my mindset to, you know what now? And I think that's super powerful, it's not really dwelling on the bad things that happen, but it's looking for new opportunities to share God's word or to influence somebody else's life positively. My name is Jake Bildstein, I've been at 121 since I was 12. I'm a cancer survivor, but most importantly, I'm a follower of Christ.

Recorded in Grapevine, Texas.
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121 Community Church
2701 Ira E Woods Ave.
Grapevine, Texas 76051