God is an expert at bringing good out of bad
By Rick Warren
— October 1, 2010
"At present you may be temporarily harassed by all kinds of trials. This is no accident. It happens to prove your faith which is infinitely more valuable than gold." 1 Peter 1:6-7 (Phillips)
"The things you wish were most removed from your life are often the very things that God is using to shape you and make you into the believer of character He wants you to be. "
Life is not a series of random, freak accidents. Life is not totally unplanned. Life is not without meaning. God knows what's going on. He's weaving the fabric in your life, and a tapestry has light and dark threads -- happy and sad times -- to give richness and texture and color to your life. Nothing can come into the life of a child of God without God's permission. Everything is Father-filtered.
Don't misunderstand. I am not saying that everything that happens to you in life is God's perfect will. That's just not true. There are a lot of things that are not God's will. If you go out and sin, that's not God's will. If somebody sins against you, that's not God's perfect will.
But God does have a permissive will. If I go out and I overeat, I pay the consequences. If I go out and wreck my body, I pay the consequences. God does not cause evil and God does not cause suffering. But He does allow them because they have a purpose. God permits them and then He uses them.
God is an expert at bringing good out of bad. He could have kept Paul out of prison in Philippi but instead He let Paul go to prison and the jailer became a believer as a result. God could have kept Jesus from the cross but He let Him go -- His own Son -- He let Him suffer and die. Did He bring any good out of that? I'd say He did!
God loves to turn crucifixions into resurrections. The things you wish were most removed from your life are often the very things that God is using to shape you and make you into the believer of character He wants you to be. He wants to use that problem for good in your life. There's something more important than your pain. It's what you're learning from that pain. God is in control.
So what's the key? What's our response? Our response is to look past the pain. "This is the reason we never lose heart. These troubles which are temporary are winning for us a permanent, a glorious and solid reward out of proportion to our pain. So we don't look at the temporary situation. We look beyond to see the eternal benefits." (2 Corinthians 4:16-17 Phillips)