Beauty for Ashes
The Bible promises in Romans 8:28 that “all things work together for good to those who love God.” That means not just some, or most, or many, but all. That’s quite a promise!
It’s sometimes hard to believe that God can actually get some good out of even the worst tragedies and disappointments. But if we love Him and are trying to please Him, He will. How? Often it’s through the lessons that we learn from times of despair. The experience we gain adds depth to our relationship with the Lord and our interaction with others. It also helps us relate to others better and understand their problems and difficulties, so that we can comfort them in their times of trouble. However, at other times it is difficult for us to see the good that could have come of the difficulty, and we may not fully understand until we get to heaven and see what transpired “behind the scenes” in our spiritual lives that was not apparent to us on earth. But you can rest assured that if you love God, some good will come out of your life’s hardships. So try looking for the good in every situation, no matter how bad it may first appear. That takes conscious effort and prayer and doesn’t come overnight, but it will make all the difference in the world when you are faced with problems and setbacks.
If we fail to view our disappointments, hurts, tests, illnesses, and other problems through the perspective that Romans 8:28 gives us, we will tragically miss many of the valuable lessons that the Lord is trying to teach us, and we will rob ourselves of the peace that comes from trusting in this important promise and principle.
“Trials equals good.” Understanding and believing this simple equation can make your life richer, more meaningful, and happier. It makes all the difference in the world whether you fear problems and challenges, expecting the worst to happen, or if you face obstacles bravely and full of faith, anticipating the good that the Lord will bring out of them and the strength of spirit you will gain.
Naturally we wonder why “bad” things happen to us. God always has a purpose, although it is not always revealed immediately.
The Lord sometimes uses sickness, problems, and troubles to cause us to draw closer to Him and rely more on Him.—Otherwise we would have a tendency to just rock along.
Sometimes things happen just to keep us humble; sometimes they happen to draw us closer to others; sometimes they happen to make us pray; sometimes they happen to teach us to be more careful and prayerful; sometimes they happen to test our faith. God allows troubles for all kinds of reasons, but ultimately they all fulfill the same goal: to draw us closer to Him so that we can avail ourselves more of His power, and thus be filled with more of His love and joy.
“Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.”1 The Lord allows these things as tests to strengthen your faith and to get an even greater victory out of seeming defeat.
But always remember that whatever God does, He does it in love. “All things work together for good to those who love the Lord.”2 God is not going to let anything happen to you, His child who loves Him, except what is for your good. Even though you may have many afflictions or difficulties, as the verse says above, He will deliver you out of them all, no matter how many or what!—D.B.B.
I will not doubt, though all my ships at sea
Come drifting home with broken mast and sails;
I shall believe the Hand which never fails,
From seeming evil worketh good to me;
And, though I weep because those sails are
Still will I cry, while my best hopes lie shattered,
“I trust in Thee.”
I will not doubt, though sorrows fall like rain,
And troubles swarm like bees about a hive;
I shall believe the heights for which I strive,
Are only reached by anguish and by pain;
And, though I groan and tremble with my crosses,
I yet shall see, through my severest losses,
The greater gain.
—Ella Wheeler Wilcox
No physician ever weighed out medicine to his patient with half so much care and exactness as God weighs out to us every trial. Not one grain too much does He ever permit to be placed on the scale.