Summary: When things seem bad remeber God is in Control

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The African King

The story is told of a king in Africa who had a close friend with whom he grew up. The friend had a habit of looking at every situation that ever occurred in his life (positive or negative) and remarking, "This is good!" One day the king and his friend were out on a hunting expedition. The friend would load and prepare the guns for the king. The friend had apparently done something wrong in preparing one of the guns, for after taking the gun from his friend, the king fired it and his thumb was blown off. Examining the situation the friend remarked as usual, "This is good!" To which the king replied, "No, this is NOT good!" and proceeded to send his friend to jail. About a year later, the king was hunting in an area that he should have known to stay clear of. Cannibals captured him and took them to their village. They tied his hands, stacked some wood, set up a stake and bound him to the stake. As they came near to set fire to the wood, they noticed that the king was missing a thumb. Being superstitious, they never ate anyone that was less than whole. So untying the king, they sent him on his way. As he returned home, he was reminded of the event that had taken his thumb and felt remorse for his treatment of his friend. He went immediately to the jail to speak with his friend. "You were right," he said, "it was good that my thumb was blown off. And he proceeded to tell the friend all that had just happened. "And so I am very sorry for sending you to jail for so long. It was bad of me to do this." "No" his friend replied, "This is good!" "What do you mean, "This is good?" How could it be good that I sent my friend to jail for a year?" "If I had NOT been in jail, I would have been with you when you were captured."

Situations may not always seem pleasant while we are in them, but the promise of God is clear. If we love Him and live our lives according to His precepts, even that which seems to be bleak and hopeless will be turned by God for His glory and our benefit.

1 Kings 17:17-24 Afterwards, the son of the woman who owned the house got sick. He got so sick that finally no life was left in him. [18] The woman asked Elijah, "What do you and I have in common, man of God? Did you come here to remind me of my sin and kill my son?" [19] He said to her, "Give me your son." Elijah took him from her arms, carried him to the upstairs room where he was staying, and laid him on his own bed. [20] Then he called to the Lord, "Lord my God, have you brought misery on the widow I’m staying with by killing her son?" [21] Then Elijah stretched himself over the boy three times and called to the Lord, "Lord my God, please make this child’s life return to him." [22] The Lord heard Elijah’s request, and the child’s life returned to him. He was alive again. [23] Elijah took the child, brought him down from the upstairs room of the house, and gave him to his mother. He said, "Look! Your son is alive." [24] The woman said to Elijah, "Now I’m convinced that you are a man of God and that the word of the Lord from your mouth is true."

We have story here about how God treats in the best way for our good. We may want to be treated in a different way but God knows best for us.

This lady has had a close brush with death. She was preparing what she would be her last meal before she would die when a prophet came to her and asked her to prepare him a meal before hers. She did not know this man. She had the sense that he was special and did as she was asked. After that she had all she needed until it would rain again.

And it came to pass after these things. Not only after the conversation that passed between the prophet, and the widow, but after they had lived together many days, a year or years, upon the miraculous provision made for them: it was a sickness unto death.

I. The child dies.

He was her only son and the comfort for her widowed state. His food came miraculously, but that did not shelter him from sickness or death. “Your fathers did eat manna, and are dead, but there is bread of which a man may eat and not die, which was given for the life of the world.” The affliction was given to this widow so she would not be filled with pride with the favors that were done her and the honors that were put upon her. 1. She had become a helper to a great prophet, was employed to uphold him, and she a good reason to believe God would be good to her. Now she loses her son. We need not think it out of the ordinary if we meet with very piercing hardships, even when we are in doing as we believe God would have us to do. Even when we are in very important service to God things can be rough. The devil does not want us to be well off. 2. Think with me about her doing. She was experiencing a miracle with a food supply. She kept care of a stranger without charge or care, he was a blessing from heaven; yet in the midst of all this contentment she was in distress. When we have the clearest appearance of God’s favor and good-will towards us, we can still have trouble in our lives. Our mountain never stands so strong but it may be moved. While in this world we need to keep rejoicing for God is for us.

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