Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

May 10, 2011

Seeing Good in the Bad

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 5:00 am

We don’t always see everyday as a good day.  Although I do not believe in horoscopes, I will read them on occasions just for fun.  One day it read: High lunar cycle; special, exciting day.  Recipient of good news; expect favors.  Business venture will prove successful.  Ride high on a day when all goes your way.

Now if I believed horoscopes, I would have anticipated a wonderful day.  At the end of the day I could look back and report:  Had toothache.  Went across town to hospital in thick traffic to visit a member, only  to discover he had been discharged.  Had difficult conversation with power company over bill–lost argument.  Arrived late for supper.  Completed income tax return and discovered owed more.

Now I don’t call that a good day!  We all have days like that.  Sometimes it seems it goes on for a week or even a month.  Life does not always go the way we expected or planned.  The car breaks down;  water heater leaks; sudden illness in family; perhaps even lose job.  These things occur, and we often ask, “What in the world is going on?  I am committed to Christ.  I try to honor and serve Him.  Why me?”

The Apostle Paul gives us a perspective on these unexpected and difficult times and events.  “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him . . . .”  (Romans 8:28)  Paul, through personal experience, understood that whatever happens to us, God uses it to accomplish a purpose.  Paul would be the first to say that not everything that happens in our life is good.  It is not good when you lose your job; have a financial crisis; endure sickness; or a myriad of others things.  But God will work through it for our good and His.

I am not a pharmacist or chemist, but I have been told that most medicines consist of several chemicals.  At least one of those chemicals if taken alone would make you very sick and possibly bring death.  But when that poison is mixed with other chemicals, it will serve to make us healthier.  That is what God does in our life.  He takes those bad things and mixes it with all the good so that it will accomplish a divine purpose.

Remember Joseph in the Old Testament.  He went out to visit his brothers.  They threw him in a dry well with the intent to kill him.  That was not good.  Certainly, Joseph did not think so.  And he didn’t need anyone to say, “Oh, cheer up, Joseph.  It will all work for your good.”  Then Joseph was sold into slavery.  Not good!  But he hears again, “It will be ok, Joseph.  Don’t you know all things will work for your good?”  Surely Joseph was  responding that there is nothing good about what he was enduring.  Then Joseph, as a slave, was falsely accused by the wife of Potiphar and he was sent to prison.  “It’s ok, Joseph.  It is working for your good.”  Perhaps, almost in anger from such preaching, Joseph would say very quickly that he saw nothing good in all this.

Later, as Joseph comes to be second in command of all Egypt, he might say, “I did not understand it when I was going through all that, but I see it now.  God was working for my good and for His.”  God will work in all things . . . .  But not necessarily in every life.  It is in the life of those “who have been called according to his purpose.”  (Romans 8:28)  Dear friend, if you are a child of God through your faith in His Son, He has a purpose for your life.  He has determined to use you in His Kingdom.  He will mature you for your benefit, and through your maturity, His Kingdom will be strengthened.

Life is not about us, but about Him.  If we love Him, we say we want to serve Him; glorify Him; honor Him; live for Him.  It can be through those difficult things in our life through which all of that is accomplished.  Paul, who gives us this perspective, writes from prison to the Philippians.  It is not a good thing to be in prison, but from his dungeon he said, “Now I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel.”  (Philippians 1:12)  He follows with how through his faithfulness to God through the ordeal of prison, even Roman soldiers were being saved.  He also says that other believers are being more bold in their faith because of his faith through his imprisonment. Paul’s desire was to honor His Lord.  He had the opportunity through the prison ordeal.

God had a plan.  He wanted to get the gospel to Rome.  He accomplished it through the bad things that were happening to Paul.  And yet, Paul, even in his suffering, was delighted that his faith was proving true and that as he matured, it was a testimony to others.  He truly was honoring God!  His spirit is heard throughout his letter to the Philippians as he says, “Rejoice in the Lord always.  I will say it again: Rejoice!”  (Philippians 4:4)

What of your perspective when things that are considered bad happen to you?  Get the right perspective and you will handle those difficulties with a new strength.  Even in your suffering, you will be able to glorify God.  God will use it.  Jesus was asked in John 9 about why the young man was born blind.  Jesus answered, “So that the work of God might be displayed.”  What a testimony from our lives we can have even when things don’t seem good!



1 Comment »

  1. Thanks for the encourageing words today. God is good even though we make mistakes in our lives, he is there to lift us up and support and forgive us. Love your articles.
    You and Judy have been a main support for Mary and I through the years. Thanks! We love you both. Duds!

    Comment by Dudley Henry — May 10, 2011 @ 7:59 am | Reply

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