“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).
That age-old question people want to ask and one I’ve been asked–in relation to my own chronic pain or the chronic illness of others–“Is God good when life isn’t?”
Sometimes people can become bitter about their circumstances and blame God. I have never doubted that God had been in control and that what has happened in my life was, and is, a part of His plan.
How do I believe that when things are hard? Sometimes it’s not easy, but if I don’t believe that then nothing makes sense.
I’ve been reading Max Lucado’s book You’ll Get Through This about the story of Joseph. I’d read book reviews that sounded interesting, but I guess I was drawn to the title. I was struggling–and there is something comforting about seeing the book sitting beside my bed, drawing me to find out “how?”
In a chapter headed with this question, “Is God Good When Life Isn’t?” Lucado points out something that I’d never thought about before in Romans 8:28.
He says this verse uses “all things” and not “each thing.”
“God promises to render beauty out of all things not each thing. The isolated events may be evil, but the ultimate culmination is good!”
The end result is for our good–even though bad things may happen along the way. Like Joseph who told his brothers “You meant it for evil, but God meant it for good.”
God never promised that by becoming a Christian everything would be good in our lives; that we’d never have any problems or challenges to face.
Lucado says we can “Trust in an all-knowing God–we will still face challenges and trials –but God is not absent, unknowing of all that we do and will face. . .”
Chronic pain is still hard–but I’m trusting God’s got a plan and purpose–to get me through all this.
Prayer: Father God, help us to appreciate that You see a bigger picture of our lives than we do. We may find it hard to be grateful for the tough times, but help us to trust You anyway–trust that You know what is for our ultimate good. Thank You for all you teach us through the experience of life. Amen.
* You’ll Get Through This: Hope and Help For Your Turbulent Times, Max Lucado © 2013 Thomas Nelson
About the Author:
Fiona Burrows lives in Melbourne, Australia. She is thankful that God walks each step of her life with her, and that He is teaching her new things as she learns to live with chronic back pain. She enjoys finding time for reading, writing, and photography, and to share those things with others. You can contact her in the Sunroom, or read more of her writing on her blog there.
Can you think of a time when something seemed really bad, but turned out to be for your good?
This is a beautiful song by King and Country called “Shoulders.” The lyrics are applicable… and I think I need to put this one on my playlist for life’s challenges. Take a few minutes to listen and tell me what you think. If you need a shoulder… you will love this. -Lisa