– Richard Cecil
How can a believer take troubles and sorrows and draw good out of them? Here are 3 ways we can do that.
Meant for Evil, Used for Good
When Joseph’s brother threw him into a pit and then sold him into slavery they meant it for evil but eventually Joseph rose to second in command behind Pharaoh and was able to, by interpreting Pharaoh’s dreams, save the civilized world from starvation by using the 7 years of plenty to store up grain for the coming 7 years of famine. When Joseph’s brothers finally discovered that Joseph was alive and that he was next in line to Pharaoh in ruling over Egypt, Joseph told them “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today” (Gen 50:20). God took their evil deeds and intent and used it for good. That is how God uses even the bad things that happen to us for His purposes and God always brings about the best even out of the worst for those whom He has called (Rom 8:28).
From the Cross to a Crown
Surely those who wanted to kill Jesus did so out of envy and jealously. Pilate “knew that it was out of envy that they had delivered him up” (Matt 28:17) but God allowed them to do this greatest of evil where Jesus was illegally tried, convicted (though innocent) and murdered (even though He was sinless), to bring about our salvation. By Jesus’ death on the cross, for sure a heinous act of evil, He used it for exceedingly good purposes so that our sins could be paid for and the wrath of God that we deserved would be satisfied in Christ at Calvary. By this death, Jesus has been crowned with many crowns (Rev 19:12) and we too will receive a crown someday (1 Cor 9:24-27).
Blessings from Insults
Jesus’ ways are always contrary to the ways of the world. When people are insulted, they usually respond in kind but Jesus says “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account” (Matt 5:11). Imagine receiving a blessing for being insulted, lied about, and having all kinds of evil things spoken against you! When this happens…and it will happen to every believer, either to their face or behind their back, we are to “Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matt 5:12). Now that’s in keeping with good company, isn’t it? Peter writes that “If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you” (1 Pet 4:14). Don’t you want that?
Just think of this the next time someone insults you, persecutes you, and says nasty things about you…you have just been blessed by God. God uses evil for good and our insults for blessings. That way God always brings about much good out of even the worst of evils.