And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God.
Do bad things happen to good people? Yes. Do good things happen to bad people? Yes. One of the most difficult concepts to grasp is that life is not always fair. As children, we were obsessed with everything being fair, but it wasn’t. Life wasn’t fair when we were children and it still isn’t fair now that we’re adults.
Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people? Theologians give us three reasons. It might be because God wants to show us His power. Sometimes God wants to use the incident to help us mature. And sometimes bad things happen because of our own sin.
Whatever the reason bad things happen, here is a truth we can always rely on: God can bring good out of bad. We can’t be sure, in our limited human perspective why things happen. But we can be sure that God is with us. We can also be sure that no matter what happens, God loves us. He will help us overcome-not be overcome by-our problems in life.
Thought: God will bring good out of bad when we are committed to His purpose in our lives.
And you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned to joy.
One night during my husband’s last year of medical school, I was watching the ten o’clock news on television. The commentator announced the need for a couple to live with eight girls in a nicely furnished home. When Paul came home from his rotation at the hospital, I excitedly told him I had found a job for us. After some calls we got the job.
A word of caution, if you hear about a job on the ten o’clock news, you know there must be some drawbacks. There were! Our girls came from emotionally bankrupt homes. One had been sexually molested. Another had been passed from foster home to foster home. Still another had been beaten by both parents. Paul and I though that if we showered these girls with affirmation and provided well for them materially they would be forever grateful. So we couldn’t understand why they weren’t instantly overjoyed in their new home with us. We now know that even though the girls did appreciate us, they needed time to work through the pain of their losses before they could truly start their lives over. Lost things and people can never be totally replaced. Before we can go on, therefore, we must mourn our losses.
Thought: I must grieve over my lost relationships if I want to grow into new ones.
Let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
One of the hardest things we have to do in this life is to learn to live with and love ourselves in a healthy way. How can we do this? One of the keys is patience.
Patience is a virtue few of us have enough of, especially with ourselves. “Be patient; God isn’t finished with me yet” is a saying we should repeat to ourselves daily.
It helps to keep an eternal perspective. We won’t be “finished” in this lifetime. With God’s help, we can keep headed in that direction, especially as we persevere on the journey. And we can take comfort in His promise that “the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory…[will] perfect,establish, strengthen, and settle” us. With that kind of promise, we can afford to be patient.
God wants us to acknowledge His part in our lives and be grateful for the good we see. But our tendency is to judge ourselves by how far we have to go rather than how far we’ve come. Let’s thank God daily for the progress we’re making-and resolve to keep moving, with His love and guidance.
Thought: Today I will try to be patient with myself and others, knowing that God is patient with me. I will thank Him for the good work He is doing in my life.
Let each one give…not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.
II Corinthians 9:7
Giving is a perplexing for women on the journey. It seems like we’ve been giving too much our whole lives, and that doesn’t feel good at all. So, what are we supposed to do, quit giving? No! We must relearn how to give! So many times in the past, we gave with an outlook of wanting others to see how much we were giving so they would applaud and ask admiringly, “How could you ever give so much?” Or we would give because we thought we had to in order to be loved-but resented the giving.
God loves a cheerful giver. Let’s search our hearts and consult with wise friends and decide daily how much we can give of ourselves to others. Our goal in giving should be to do it willingly, not reluctantly or under pressure. Hopefully, we can retrain our heart feelings so that we can decide from our hearts what to give cheerfully and joyfully.
We’re also told in I Chronicles 29:18-20 to give expectantly. This is a confusing thought for some of us. Perhaps it will help to think of the differences between “expect” and “demand.” To expect God to give back to us as we have given is to do as He has told us. To demand that God give certain things to us because we have given to Him will certainly end in disappointment.
Thought: When we give to God today,we can expect to receive His gifts in our tomorrows.