Philippians 1:12-14 ESV
“I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ. And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.”
We all have our testimonies of what we have been through in this life and of how those situations impacted us for good or for evil. We’ve all been through something or other that had either a good or a negative influence on our lives, and on our emotions, and on our thinking, and on our beliefs, too.
So, I am certain that we could all share something here, no matter how little, or no matter how big those situations were (or still are) in our lives. For, these circumstances that we go through help to make us who we are, for good or for bad. But, if for bad, these things can be overcome.
For, God uses even the bad things in our lives to shape us into the people he wants us to be, if we will let him, and if we will surrender our lives to him, and if we will believe in his sovereignty over our lives and that he allowed these things in our lives ultimately for our good.
Yet, I know you might be thinking now, “But you don’t know how bad I had it! You don’t know what all I have been through! How can you say that God allowed those things for my good? You must be nuts! Why would a good God allow such a thing? I see no good in this at all!!”
I shared my life story with a newfound friend a few years ago, and her response to me, surprisingly enough was, “That was God’s gift to you.” She was/is right, but I am quite certain that most people under my circumstances would not see those situations as “a gift.”
We need to understand, though, that God is not the author of evil, although he allows evil to exist, and he sometimes uses evil people to accomplish his purposes, or else he allows evil because he plans to bring good out of it. But if we submit to his purposes for our lives, we can see his plan.
If we read the Bible, there are many examples for us in Scripture of how God used evil done to people for their good and for the good of others, such as with Joseph, and with the early church, and with the apostles. And he used it for the spreading of the gospel of Jesus Christ, too.
So, don’t let your circumstances or your history overtake you. Believe in Jesus Christ, trust him with your life, believe he is fully sovereign over everything in your life, and trust him to work all things out for your good. And let him use you for his glory to encourage others, too.
An Original Work / July 15, 2013
My heart cries: Lord, won’t You hear me
Seeking You for the answers
To my heartache and questions
I have concerning my life?
Speak, Lord, to me right now.
“Oh, dear one, why don’t you trust Me
With your life’s circumstances?
Give your all on the altar
In submission of your will
To My purpose for you.
“Surrender your life completely
To your Lord and your Savior.
He has all things planned for you
For His glory and honor.
He’ll work all things for good.
“Believe Him. He will fulfill all
Of His promises to you
For your life and your future.
Trust Him. Rest in His love.
He’ll give you peace from above.”