Sunday, May 03, 2009

What God meant for good...

Sometimes I think we give the devil a little too much credit for the "bad" things in our lives. All too many times, when believers disagree on issues or when they're walking in uncomfortable situations in life, or when things aren't going according to the way they think God would do things, I hear them chalking it up to the devil.

I don't ever want to imply that I believe God causes evil things to happen. But instead of thinking the devil has so much control over our lives, could we sometimes, in our less than desirable circumstances, imagine that God Himself has brought about circumstances that might not seem pleasant but are a part of His overall plan to work things together for good? Do you think that sometimes the things we blame on the devil could perhaps be something that God has planned for good all along?


  1. I think it was Devil who put this thought in your mind and it was devil who lead me to here to read this. And now devil commenting... :)

  2. Hi Joel,

    I don't think God ever causes anything bad to happen to us but I agree sometimes we tend to blame the devil for every trouble we face when, in fact, we are the ones who brought trouble on ourselves through our own actions.

    Having said that, I believe God is able to and does work those troubles out for us to bring us good at the end (Rom 8:28).

  3. Joel--Great reminder for all of us. I just finished ghostwriting a book with a guy. His project was about taking a particularly nasty piece of history, and showing how God had used even this massive evil to accomplish His purposes.

    On nearly every page, I found myself thanking God for His faithfulness. If He can take the worst of what men can do to each other, and make something good out of it, then He can use the minor evils of my life the same way...

  4. Oh, the stories I have! But I will spare you. I HAVE to to agree. It is all in His hands!!!

  5. Joel,

    It’s amazing how looking through the filter of the knowledge of “good and evil” we blatantly display our discrimination as to what is good vs evil. Isn’t this all part of living in the world but not of it, that we progressively discover what the will of God is, that which is good, acceptable and perfect?

  6. Hey, great comment's, y'all! I truly believe that God is only good, and that all that He does is good, and that anything and everything we perceive to be otherwise in this world, is still something that God takes and makes part of His overall plan of good.

    And with that said, I also agree that our filter is wrong... the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was never meant to be the tree we lived from! So we trust God, and indeed we find out more and more about His good, acceptable and perfect will.

    Side note, as to what brought this particular post on.... I had been involved in an online conversation somewhere, in which there was a dispute between people about something (imagine that... LOL) and, without getting into the details, someone came in and said that we shouldn't allow the devil to cause disunity among the brethren, etc, etc. I responded that just because there's a disagreement/dispute, even if it's passionate, that doesn't mean we simply go and blame the devil! I still love the people I was chatting with, we're still friends, and I think we even grew a bit closer through the conversation, even if we ended up not agreeing.

  7. I agree. Most of what we blame the devil for has nothing to do with him.

    We live in a fallen world among imperfect people and sometimes bad things just happen. It's part of this world we live in. While God didn't cause them, he definitely can and does bring good out of what we think is bad.

  8. Yes, most of the evil in our lives is our own doing, lol, but we can't just ignore the parts of the bible that talk about God doing some nasty stuff to folks (from our vantage point). God disciplines those He loves and in my life, that means at some point He lifts His hand of protection and says, "Okay, you wouldn't listen to me so..." Did He bring the bad? No, probably not. Does He use it? Absolutely.

    But would I say that he never brings bad into our lives? No I would not. Jesus was led into the wilderness by the Spirit of God in order to be tempted. He prayed to His father "not to lead us into temptation" but instead "to deliver us from evil." God personally sent an evil spirit to torment Saul, and a lying spirit to King... um... can't remember.

    So it's complicated. LOL. But I can honestly say that everything evil has worked out okay because we work through it together, He and I.

  9. Interesting stuff, Aida and Tyler Dawn. :) It's hard to ignore all those Old Testament stories, and it's also hard to understand some of them in light of the revelation of God's agape love, but the bottom line for me is that God is good and He is love, and He ultimately showed in "in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." He has somehow taken all the things that have ever happened and ever will happen, and He is working it all out for good. That's quite amazing!