Fourteen years ago, our friends started calling us a “high maintenance prayer family.” It seemed like we were experiencing one crisis after another. Some of the circumstances were the results of other people’s choices, a few caused by decisions we made, and some were simply health problems allowed by God.
As is typical of life, we had some happy outcomes and some that caused grief.
But as I sit here years later, I know Rev and I would both agree with these words:
What was intended for evil, God worked together for good!
Joseph said it this way to the brothers who had sold him into slavery:
You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. (NIV)Genesis 50:20
And Paul wrote:
We know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.Romans 8:28
God always works for good in the lives of His children and He is always able to use for good the lives that are surrendered to Him.
Throughout those difficult months that turned into years, we ran to the Lord. That was when I began reading through the Bible and keeping a prayer journal. And when I began blogging.
I was thinking about this the other night and it hit me how many faith-filled teachers of God’s love have been through horrible crises.
Rick and Kay Warren lost their son.
Steven Curtis and Mary Beth Chapman lost a daughter.
Natalie Grant had thyroid cancer.
Joni Eriksen Tada was paralyzed in a tragic diving accident.
Mark Hall of Casting Crowns was diagnosed with kidney cancer.
Others have faced accusations, lost loved ones, dealt with illness, and on and on. We live in a broken world and God never promised that the journey would be easy.
In fact, Jesus said:
I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”John 16:33
That’s what Rev and I have experienced . . . the overcoming peace in Jesus!
And telling everyone about the ways God works for good and turned heartache into peace through His love—well, that’s a story we love to tell.
You have a story too.
God has in the past, or He is at the moment, bringing you through painful difficult circumstances. He showed Himself real in Your life by giving you the strength you needed to keep going one moment at a time. And through it all, He turned what you believed you knew about Him in your head into the faith you hold in your heart.
God turned what the enemy wanted to use for evil into good through Jesus who overcame the powers of this evil world when He defeated the enemy of our souls.
Whatever you’re facing today, God is working in you so He can work through you. He is giving you and story of grace to proclaim for His glory.
A Prayer to Trust that God Works
Things Together for Good
Father, life can be hard. I often have times when it doesn’t feel good. Confusion causes mental pain. People and problems cause emotional pain. Illness and injury cause physical pain. The lies of the enemy cause spiritual pain.
When I am experiencing pain, please forgive my doubt and help me remember that what others intend for evil You are able to work for good in my life and in the lives of others. Help me remember that when I run to You, when I SEEK You above all else . . . You will pull me close and make me feel safe. You will give me comfort, peace, and strength mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. You help me discern the enemy’s lies from Your truth. And even when You don’t change my circumstances or heal my body, You will carry me through this journey and give me everything I need to endure one moment at a time.
And Father, I believe You will always turn my circumstances around for my eternal good. You have been so good to me in the past. You gave Jesus to pay my debt. You gave me faith to transform my life. You give me freedom, hope, and so much more. And You promise me that I will live in Your presence forever. You are good and everything You do is good. I thank and praise You. I worship You, my Lord and my God. Amen.
Are you hurting? Doubtful? In pain?
Run to the Lord. Cling to His promises. And trust that He works everything together for good in you and around you.
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