God Brings Good out of Sadness
Romans 8:28 "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."
Will I trust God to bring good out of the sad time I'm going through?
One day, I brought home a bright red helium balloon. I was so proud of it! I could hardly wait to get it out of the car and begin playing with it. But no sooner had my feet touched the pavement of our driveway than it slipped out of my hand and went floating away toward the clouds. I was disappointed and angry. It wasn't fair! I had lost my balloon before I even had a chance to play with it.
But my dad had an idea. "I'll get my binoculars," he said. "Let's watch your balloon till it's out of sight." We stood out in the backyard, my dad and I, for a long time that evening. We passed the binoculars back and forth, tracking the red balloon's flight into the sky. What fun we had! That evening that had begun so sadly ended up filled with laughter and joy. It was one of my favorite times spent with my father.
God, our Father, sometimes allows things to happen in our lives that seem very bad to us. Things might happen that hurt and disappoint us and make us want to scream, "It's not fair!" But God has wonderful plans for those painful times. He may want to teach us something new about Himself. He may want us to come closer to Him. We get to know Him better as we pray and trust Him in times of suffering. He causes all things to work together for good to us if we are His children. Maybe someday you will look back on your saddest time as the best time you ever spent with your Father.
God brings good out of His children's pain and suffering.
Truth In Real Life
Corrie ten Boom
“The measure of a life, after all, is not its duration, but its donation.”
According to an old Jewish belief, only the most blessed people die on their birthdays. How appropriate, then, that Corrie ten Boom was born and died on April 15. She was born in 1885, and she died on her 91st birthday after a lifelong testimony of how the love of God can transform and sustain people. Cornelia ten Boom lived with her father and sister in Holland at the time of the Holocaust and World War II. When the Nazis invaded Holland, she began helping her Jewish friends by hiding them in secret rooms in her house. A fellow-countryman betrayed the ten Booms and their “underground network” and secret hiding places were discovered. The ten Booms and their friends were sent to prison and terrible concentration camps.
Although the idea of Christians enduring persecution is not unusual, the faith that Corrie maintained as she endured persecution was unusual. The Nazis separated her from loved ones, beat her, harassed her, humiliated her, and almost killed her. Death was all around her; she watched her sister Betsie grow more and more ill, and eventually she lost her and other family members and friends. Yet Corrie was able to testify wholeheartedly to the love of God: “There is no pit so deep that God’s love is not deeper still.”
How could she say that? Corrie valued the good news of Jesus Christ’s love in a world full of hate. She saw the people who hurt her as souls who ought to be delivered from themselves instead of enemies who ought to be punished for eternity. She once said, “Forgiveness is an act of the will, and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart.”
What about us? In today’s comparably “normal” and “safe” circumstances, praying in a public restaurant or giving a disabled beggar some food is too “hard” or “scary” (or maybe just embarrassing?) for some Christians. They do not do anything notably “Christian” in public, because they don’t want to stand out as being different, and they are afraid someone might get angry or give them a funny look. They don’t want to give sacrificially or take risks to help needy people, because they are worried about having enough money and food for themselves. It was crucial for Corrie to remember that God loved her in spite of her shortcomings and that He wanted her to share His kind of love and forgiveness with her enemies. Do you love the unlovely? Do you take risks and make sacrifices to help needy people? Did Jesus Christ do those things for you? Even if you “don’t feel like it,” you can, by God’s grace, live out God’s love and grace in a world that doesn’t understand it.
Hebrews 11:25 – Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin.