Are hard times to be expected?
Sometimes I hear people say, “I can’t believe that happened to them. They are such good people.”
When Brewer had a stroke almost two years ago, a dear friend PM-ed me and asked, “Why would this happen to you?”
Even though I can honestly say I feel that I never can do enough for Christ, this particular friend looked at me as one who does plenty for Christ, and she could not comprehend why God would allow this to happen to one of our children. It is always hard to understand why devastating things happen to people–
and many other horrible things…..
I certainly don’t have all the answers, but Scripture is a tremendous comfort and educator for me.
In the very first chapter of Genesis we see the sin of Adam and Eve: the fall of man/woman in the garden which introduced sin to the world (note: it could have been me or you that fell. We all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God). When sin was introduced into the world, it ushered in the result of sin to all generations.
Thankfully, God sent his Son, Jesus, who died and then rose from the dead as an atonement for our sin. But, in this side of heaven, sin still exists. All sin, our sin, affects people. It is called the “law of reaping and sowing.” There are other reasons why bad things happen. Sometimes it is God who allows them for a greater good…
When we study the life of Joseph in the Old Testament and Paul’s life in the New Testament, we see two men who loved God. They both gave personal testimony during and after terrible things had happened to them. Saying:
1) that God allowed it.
2) that GREAT came from it…for God’s ultimate plan and glory!
Philippians 1:12-14, “Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone here that I am in chains for Christ. And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear.”
Joseph, after being sold by his brothers into slavery, 13 years later said to his brothers in Genesis 45:4-7, “… ‘Come close to me.’ When they had done so, he said, ‘I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God SENT me ahead of you. For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will be no plowing and reaping. But God SENT me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance,’“ [emphasis mine].
Conclusion? Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart and LEAN NOT TO YOUR OWN UNDERSTANDING and in ALL YOUR WAYS acknowledge HIM and HE WILL make YOUR PATHS STRAIGHT!” [emphasis mine].
When you live for Christ, part of the declaration is denying self and taking up your cross and following HIM. We also need a true understanding that our position on earth is that of being created by Him for Him. Paul’s chains actually helped take away fear in the lives of brothers and sisters in Christ. Joseph’s chains ultimately saved his family.
Today and every day look to Christ. As I look back over Brewer’s devastating stroke, I see lives changed for God’s glory and His purpose. We also got a great outcome in Brewer’s life. He survived and is getting back to a better place physically and spiritually! Also, a book that is a total God orchestration is coming from Brewer’s near death experience that will prayerfully unpack the BIG HAND OF GOD in the months leading up to his stroke, to the time of the life storm, and then to the life and God’s hand after the storm.
Yes…God uses all things for His good and IN His time for His glory. Our job is to trust and to give testimony just like Joseph and Paul.