God Uses Your Problems for Good
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 tapestry of your life, and it 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. He let his own Son 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 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.
“That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever” (2 Corinthians 4:16-17 NLT, second edition).
Talk It Over
- In your own words, what would you say to someone who asks why God allows bad things to happen to good people?
- How do you think God wants you to pray in the middle of your pain?
- What does it mean that “our spirits are being renewed every day” (2 Corinthians 4:16)?
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This devotional © 2016 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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