“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28
“And they said everyone to his fellow, “Come, and let us cast lots that we may know for whose cause this evil is upon us.” So they cast lots, and the lot fell upon Jonah. Then said they unto him, “Tell us, we pray thee, for whose cause this evil is upon us: What is thine occupation? And from whence comest thou? What is thy country? And of what people art thou?” And he said unto them, “I am a Hebrew; and I fear the LORD, the God of heaven, who hath made the sea and the dry land.” Then were the men exceedingly afraid, and said unto him, “Why hast thou done this?” For the men knew that he fled from the presence of the LORD because he had told them…Therefore they cried unto the LORD and said, “We beseech Thee, O LORD, we beseech Thee, let us not perish for this man’s life, and lay not upon us innocent blood! For Thou, O LORD, hast done as it pleased Thee.” So they took up Jonah and cast him forth into the sea, and the sea ceased from her raging. Then the men feared the LORD exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice unto the LORD and made vows.” Jonah 1:7-16
As I was writing a previous devotional, I already knew what this devotional would be. Does “it” really work for good? While in Bible College, I wrote a paper on the purpose of pain (made a “B” because I didn’t use enough scripture reference) because I have always wondered how a loving God, could create a world with so much hurt, pain, and anger. There are times that I still question that. Admittingly, depending on the circumstance, I probably will again. However, as I have grown older, I now understand something. All things DO work for good. Even when we can’t see it, they do. When Jonah disobeyed God and chose to flee to a ship, his disobedience endangered the lives of everyone. Due to the actions of one man, a near tragedy occurred. Likewise, many would come to know and praise God. Before the storm, the men on the ship knew many gods – all ineffective. During the storm, however, they came to know THE one and only God. What would have happened had Jonah not gone to the ship? We will never know, but what we do know is that God used Jonah’s disobedience to show His perfect power and perfect will to individuals who hadn’t known of Him before. Working for good…
When I look at this life lesson, I can’t help but look at my own life. What good has come from my journey this past year? I have gotten the opportunity to pray for and help people. What good will come out of my leaving my job? Only God knows, but good comes. The good that comes from our trials may not always be recognizable or immediate, but God does use us to execute His will. His good and pleasing will. So, where are you struggling to see the good in your current circumstance? How has God used your hardships to bring you or others closer to Him? Not every bad thing is meant to harm us and not all bad things are meant to correct us. Sometimes, we experience things because of the actions of others. However, whatever the reason, God can redeem any situation for our good. Anything.