Summary: Through the cross the believer has the promise that God is working in all things for his eternal good. But it’s a different story for the nonbeliever.
The mule in the well!
A parable is told of a farmer who owned an old mule. The mule
fell into the farmer’s well. The farmer heard the mule "braying",
or whatever mules do when they fall into wells. After carefully
assessing the situation, the farmer sympathized with the mule,
but decided that neither the mule nor the well were worth the
trouble of saving. Instead he called his neighbors together and
told them what had happened...and enlisted them to help haul dirt
to bury the old mule in the well and put him out of his misery.
Initially, the old mule was hysterical! But as the farmer and
his neighbors continued shoveling and the dirt hit his back...a
thought struck him. It suddenly dawned on him that every time a
shovel load of dirt landed on his back.....HE SHOULD SHAKE IT
OFF AND STEP UP! This he did blow after blow. "Shake it off and
step up...shake it off and step up...shake it off and step up!"
he repeated to encourage himself. No matter how painful the
blows, or distressing the situation seemed the old mule fought
"panic" and just kept right on SHAKING IT OFF AND STEPPING UP!
It was not long before the old mule, battered and exhausted,
STEPPED TRIUMPHANTLY OVER THE WALL OF THAT WELL. What seemed
like it would bury him, actually blessed him.....all because
of the manner in which he handled his adversity.
THAT’S LIFE! If we face our problems, respond to them
and refuse to give in to panic, bitterness or self-pity...
The adversities that come along to bury us usually have within
them the potential to benefit and bless us!
When you go to the pharmacist to get your prescription filled he may mix some ingredients together than in and of themselves are poisonous, but when mixed together make medicine. Take salt for instance, one of the most important minerals we have which is made up of sodium which is very poisonous, and chlorine which is also very poisonous, but mixed together they form salt which is a necessity of life.
THE CERTAINTY OF THE CROSS – WE KNOW
F.B. Meyer once said, “If any promise of God should fail, the heavens would fold the creation would crumble because God could lie. The very simple truth is God can’t lie.
THE COMPLETENESS OF THE CROSS – ALL THINGS
Sweet things work together.
4Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you toward repentance?
This is the easy one to know, to understand that the things we consider to be good here on earth, that God is blessing us with those things.
17Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
Sorrowful things work together.
Not that these things are good but that God can mix them together in our life and work it out for our good.
5"This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: `Like these good figs, I regard as good the exiles from Judah, whom I sent away from this place to the land of the Babylonians.
7I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the LORD. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart.
God carried away Judah into captivity because in their pain they turned to God with their all their hearts. The tragedy of September the 11th was a very painful thing for us as a country but we have seen a lot of good come from our pain. Not only did it bring a revival of patriotism, and strengthen our unity as a nation, but we have seen many people turn their lives and hearts over to God, and that is good.
71It was good for me to be afflicted
so that I might learn your decrees.
After David had been sick he wrote these words and said he was grateful for his sickness because it turned his attention to God and through his pain he came to appreciate God in a whole new way.
Joseph was sold to gypsies who turn sold him to an Egyptian by the name of Potopher. Who falsely accused Joseph of trying to rape his wife and had him thrown in prison. To say that life wasn’t fair for Joseph is a gross understatement. But even though at times it must have seemed like God had forgotten all about Joseph, He was right in the middle of Joseph’s circumstances. God raised him up to be the second most powerful man in the world and through Joseph God saved the world from a terrible famine. Then when Joseph held his brother’s lives in his hands and could’ve very easily gotten revenge for their evil they had done to him he said this.