Summary: Praise God for His omnipotent ability to work ALL things together for good for those who love God and all are called according to His purposes. Sometimes when we doubt that the Lord can work good out of adversity we need to remember
Praise God for Working all Things Together for Good (Rom. 8:28,29)
Praise God for His omnipotent ability to work ALL things together for good for those who love God and all are called according to His purposes.
Illustration: The employers were also asked to list the "most unusual" questions that have been asked by job candidates. God can even use these for a good laugh
"What is it that you people do at this company?"
"What is the company motto?"
"Why aren’t you in a more interesting business?"
"What are the zodiac signs of all the board members?"
"Why do you want references?"
"Do I have to dress for the next interview?"
"I know this is off the subject, but will you marry me?"
Sometimes when we doubt that the Lord can work good out of adversity we need to remember
1. TRAGEDIES TO TRIUMPH- God brought triumph out of the seeming tragedy of the cross of Christ. Jesus said, "Nevertheless, not as I will but let your will be done." Paul wrote, "But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Oh death where is your sting, or grave where is your victory." (I Cor. 15:50-57)
Illustrative Song: When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way!
While we do His good will, He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.
Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.
Not a shadow can rise, not a cloud in the skies,
But His smile quickly drives it away;
Not a doubt or a fear, not a sigh or a tear,
Can abide while we trust and obey.
Not a burden we bear, not a sorrow we share,
But our toil He doth richly repay;
Not a grief or a loss, not a frown or a cross,
But is blessed if we trust and obey.
But we never can prove the delights of His love
Until all on the altar we lay;
For the favor He shows, for the joy He bestows,
Are for them who will trust and obey.
Then in fellowship sweet we will sit at His feet.
Or we’ll walk by His side in the way.
What He says we will do, where He sends we will go;
Never fear, only trust and obey.
2. NEW AND IMPROVED IDENTITY - God wrestled with Jacob until his identity was changed from a deceiver to a Prince when He said, "Your name will no longer be Jacob but Israel." (Ge. 32:28).
3. DELIVERANCE - God worked a miracle of deliverance for the people of Israel by delivering them from the hand of Pharoah and guiding them to the Red Sea. After 40 years of living as a refugee in the wilderness Moses gained a new understanding of God and His greater overall plan through the desert experience. Finally God told Moses, "I will send you to Pharoah that you may bring My people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt." (Ex. 3:10)
4. INCREASED COURAGE AND PERSPECTIVE - God worked an emboldening, empowering and enlightening for Gideon through distressful days. At one point we see Gideon hiding out in the wine press vats in fear of the enemy. Then he hears the Angel of the Lord declaring his new identity to him, "The Lord is with you, you might man of valor!" Every time Gideon appropriated that new identity He saw God work everything together for good and increased in courage and enriched perspective. Eventually, we see God marching to battle with 300 people against a fiercesome enemy as numerous as locusts and even then God gave victory. (Judges 6:12; 7:12)
5. DRY TIMES TO VICTORY - God used the forty days of fasting, temptations, trials, testing and prayer in the desert before starting his earthly ministry in Matthew 4:1-15. We see how the Lord used these dry times to bring about greater demonstration of Christ’s power to use the word, faith and spiritual warfare to defeat the world, the flesh and the devil. Jesus’ example teaches us to overcome evil with good instead of allowing ourselves to be overcome by evil. Even Jesus learned obedience through the things He suffered (Heb. 5:8)
6. MISTAKENED PRIORITIES TO RE-ADJUSTMENTS - We can learn, as Martha did, that her many preparations, activities and efforts do not please Jesus as much as personal devotions, prayer and listening to His word. (Luke 10:38-42) Jesus said, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about many things, but Mary has chosen the good part (sitting at the Lord’s feet, listening to His words). Too many people suffer needless anxiety, ineffectiveness and dissatifaction because they fail to seek first the King, His kingdom and His righteousness.