God’s promise to His children is that He will make all events (even the bad ones) work our for our ultimate good, even if that good be not fully realized until heaven (Romans 8:28). As we endure life’s challenges, we cannot always see how God is using bad events to produce good results in our lives, and yet when we look back on bad events in our past, we often are amazed at how much good was produced.
Furthermore, God has given us many striking biblical examples of negative (even sinful, tragic) events producing, by God’s providence, glorious results. Consider some of them:
- The difficulty of Abraham’s sacrificial test resulted in a great blessing from God and increased confidence in God (Genesis 22; cf. Hebrews 11:17-19).
- Joseph’s unjust enslavement and imprisonment resulted in salvation from a famine and the fulfillment of prophecy (Genesis 45:5-7; 50:20; cf. Genesis 15:12-16).
- Job’s suffering helped him develop patience and strength, and an appreciation for God’s mercy (James 5:7-11).
- Daniel’s being thrown into the lions’ den resulted in a pagan king giving glory to God (Daniel 6:25-27).
- Saul’s persecution of the early church resulted in the first foreign mission work (Acts 8:1-8).
- Paul’s imprisonment in Rome resulted in evangelization throughout the imperial guard (Philippians 1:12-18).
- Paul’s suffering resulted in his greater trust in God and contentment in Christ (2 Corinthians 12:7-10; Philippians 4:11-13).
- Paul’s suffering produced evidence of his sincere love for the lost, which he used when his authenticity was questioned (2 Corinthians 10-11).
- The paramount example of God’s gracious providence through suffering is in Christ’s redemptive work on the cross. He “has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows,” and “with his wounds we are healed” (Isaiah 53:4, 5).
Next time we go through a difficulty in life, may we remember that God always blesses His children through hardship (see Hebrews 12:3-17).