"And it shall come to pass, If thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God..." (Deuteronomy 28:1)
2 Chronicles 7:14 says, "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."
"IF ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land." (Isaiah 1:19)
"If ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine"
I don't believe that God sends us "bad" things. His word tells us over and over that his thoughts toward us are good; that they are more than the sands of the sea." (Psalm 139: 17-18) "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning." (James 1:17) "Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high minded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy." (1 Timothy 6:17) "If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?" (Matthew 7:11)
However, I do believe that God allows difficult, unpleasant situations in our lives to get our attention focused on him. Psalm 119:67-68 says, "Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word. Thou art good, and doest good; teach me thy statutes."
"But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." (Matthew 6:33)
In Acts 9: 3-9a we see the Lord knock Paul off his donkey into the road and blind him. "As he (Paul) was nearing Damascus on this mission, suddenly a brilliant light from heaven spotted down upon him! He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Paul! Paul! Why are you persecuting me?” “Who is speaking, sir?” Paul asked. And the voice replied, “I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting! Now get up and go into the city and await my further instructions.” The men with Paul stood speechless with surprise, for they heard the sound of someone’s voice but saw no one! As Paul picked himself up off the ground, he found that he was blind." If I were Paul I would consider that a very difficult and unpleasant situation!
My understanding of God's word is that he desires to bless us, but sometimes he places conditions on those blessings. Sometimes we have a part to play. This is not always the case. In the account of the children of Israel wandering in the desert for forty years, he continued to bless them even though they constantly murmured and complained. He fed them, gave them water, and even kept their shoes from wearing out! However, we must give attention to the fact that he did not let any of the original Israelites enter into the Promised Land except for two, Joshua and Caleb. The bible says, "they were of a different spirit." (Numbers 14:24)
The Lord was very obviously trying to get Paul's attention. And it turned out that he was eternally saved because of it. Glory!
We must know that even when "bad" things happen to us, God uses them for our good. Genesis 50:20 says, "But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good."
IF we hearken to his voice.....IF we humble ourselves and pray...IF ye be willing and obedient.
Many times I have read God's promises and failed to see the "IF" at the beginning. We have a part to play. God is not a magic genie in a lamp that we can call on when we need something good. We must devote ourselves to him. IF we give our lives to him, follow him, obey him, and love him, he will bless us. Not only in this life, but forever, eternally.
Praise be to God.