Summary: God has a providential way of making, BAD THINGS GOOD, WEAK THINGS STRONG, and UGLY THINGS BEAUTIFUL.
“You Call This a Plan?”
A $75 basketball in my hands is playing a pickup game in the Family Life Center.
A $75 basketball in the hands of Michael Jordan is a world championship and an NBA MVP.
A $900 set of golf clubs in my hands is spending $25 for a green fee and an afternoon of frustration.
A $900 set of golf clubs in the hands of Tiger Woods is over $6,000,000 in annual winnings and a career grand slam.
A $50 football in my hands is playing catch in the park.
A $50 football in the hands of Dan Marino is a future a Hall of Fame quarterback.
A $75 baseball bat in my hands is bunting the ball to my son.
A $75 baseball bat in the hands of Barry Bonds is a Home Run champion.
A hammer and nails in my hands is a misguided home improvement project.
A hammer and nails in the hands of Jesus Christ is the glory of God and the salvation of mankind.
It makes a difference whose hands are at work. And according to our text today, for those who love God and place things in his hands, ... things work out for good.
This doesn’t mean that all circumstances are good in the Christian life. But it means that even the most difficult of circumstances, when controlled by God, can work out for our good.
God has a providential way of making
BAD THINGS GOOD,
WEAK THINGS STRONG,
AND UGLY THINGS BEAUTIFUL.
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.
(Tornado Experience, met at old FBC, met in bankrupt motorcycle dealership, offices in remodeled condemned home)
I. Bad Things Good
A. NOTE: God doesn’t CAUSE bad things, but he works with them in such a way that the outcome is appropriate to his purpose.
B. EXAMPLE: Joseph
1. What was God’s plan? To provide blessings for the children of Israel during the difficult days of famine.
2. (Joseph’s story)
3. At each point in his life he COULD HAVE said, “You call this a plan?”
4. But he didn’t because he knew the promise of God, that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Have you ever had BAD SITUATIONS occur in your life?
Have you ever understood God’s plan for your life to be one of blessing, growth, and spiritual health and then wonder why something comes up that seems to bring defeat?
The Lord has a word for you today: Keep pressing on because “in all things God is at work for the good of those who love him.”
II. Weak Individual Strong
A. NOTE: Just as the Lord does not CAUSE bad things, he does not CREAK WEAK INDIVIDUALS.
B. BUT, I will say this . . . the Lord does SEEK weak individuals.
REASON: In our weakness, his grace becomes strong and he receives the glory.
3. Based on this principle, the Lord can take a young preacher like Timothy, a poor speaker like Moses, a foot-in-th-mouth like Peter, a skeptic like Thomas, a killer like Paul and by this grace transform their weaknesses into power . . . power to accomplish his good purpose.
4. There may be times when we look around and we say, “You call this a plan?” But if we can accept the truth of God’s promise then we have to believe that “in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
III. Ugly Things Beautiful
A. (Last week’s sermon, Jonah in a pool of whale vomit, VERY ugly/disgusting, but at least he was where God wanted him to be and there is nothing more beautiful).
C. Was there anything in all of ancient Rome uglier than the death of a man on a cross?
D. And yet the Lord chose this instrument to show the most beautiful picture of love! Only He could do something like this.
APPLICATION (this will have to be altered to each minister’s personal experience) If all this is true (bad things good, weak individuals strong, ugly things beautiful) then . . .
1. He can take the destructive force of a tornado and make it constructive.
2. He can take a condemned house and make it a place of ministry.
3. He can take a place they used to sell and fix motorcycles and make it a place of worship.
4. He can take a hurting experience and make it a healing experience.
Remember, He did not CAUSE the tornado, He did not CONDEMN the house, He did not put the motorcycle dealership out of business, but he has and can transform all things for GOOD.