Day 20: Bad to good

Paper Tigers & Impressing God

A Write 31 Days Series

God doesn’t waste anything.  He has the ability to take our worst hurts in life, redeem the hurt, and use the circumstances for good.

This idea could not be better illustrated than through the story of Joseph.  Joseph was thrown into a pit by his brothers, sold into slavery, falsely accused, falsely imprisoned, and forgotten.  God weaves this story of heartache and betrayal into a redeeming story of saving the nation of Israel from starvation during a famine.  He also brings healing to the broken family.

Joseph tells his brothers this:

As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.
— Genesis 50:20 ESV

In my life, I have seen God take horrible situations and use it for good.

Here are some examples for you.

  1. Using the hurt of loosing my brother to spur me onto more, deeper ministry, especially to Ethiopia.  I tell the story here.
  2. On my third trip to Ethiopia, God called a young man who had lost his brother-in-law to join our trip, and God used his testimony of loss and salvation to share the gospel with young men in the ministry we visited.  (Click here and scroll down to number 6.)
  3. I have been able to use my testimony of loss to contribute to the website The Gift of Second.  They have visitors every day looking for encouragement after losing a loved one to suicide.

God can also use something non-spiritual to lead someone to know Him.

Here are some examples of that.

  1. My friend Jackie was assigned community service after being convicted of a crime.  That community service brought Him to my church, where my father-in-law led Him to the Lord.  Jackie has been one of the employees at our church that's been there the longest.  He met his wife at our church, and he adopted four children.  God moved in Jackie’s life beginning with something non-spiritual, state-issued community service.
  2. One of my favorite stories from Tony Kriz’s book Neighbors and Wise Men is the story of the man in the communist country of Albania becoming a Christian through a National Geographic magazine.
  3. While my husband was out of the country doing mission work in Mali, I was under serious spiritual warfare.  I was having such a tough time, James was beginning to wonder if he would have to try to find a way to leave the mission, before it even began, to come home and help me get through my struggles.  I begged him not to even consider coming home.  The devil would have won that battle if he abandoned his mission only a few days in.  I went to a worldly yoga class, and God really spoke to me as I was doing the breathing and meditating on Him.  He reminded me how much He loved me, how precious I was to Him, and to put on the full armor of God to fight off the fiery darts and lies that the devil was discouraging me with.

God can and will use any and everything on this earth to show us that He loves us and advance the gospel.

We discussed motivation on day 6, and we decided that God could even use our bad motivations to advance His gospel here on earth.

Praise the Lord that He is able to use awful things for good.


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