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The story is told of a king in Africa who had a close friend with whom he grew up. The friend had a habit of looking at every situation that ever occurred in his life (positive or negative) and remarking, “This is good!”
One day the king and his friend were out on a hunting expedition. The friend would load and prepare the guns for the king. The friend had apparently done something wrong in preparing one of the guns. After taking the gun from his friend, the king fired it and his thumb was blown off. Examining the situation, the friend remarked as usual, “This is good!” To which the king replied, “No, this is not good!” and proceeded to send his friend to jail.
About a year later, the king was hunting in an area inhabited by cannibals. The king was captured by the cannibals and took him to their village. They tied his hands, stacked some wood, set up a stake and bound him to the stake. As they came near to set fire to the wood, they noticed that the king was missing a thumb. Being superstitious, they never ate anyone who was less than whole. So untying the king, they sent him on his way.
As he returned home, he was reminded of the event that had taken his thumb and felt remorse for his treatment of his friend. He went immediately to the jail to speak with his friend. “You were right,” he said, “it was good that my thumb was blown off.” And he proceeded to tell the friend all that had just happened. “And so, I am very sorry for sending you to jail for so long. It was bad for me to do this.” “No,” his friend replied, “This is good!”
“What do you mean; this is good” said the king? How could it be good that I sent my friend to jail for a year?” The king’s friend said “If I had not been in jail, I would have been with you.”
As we look at our lives we can see both good and bad situations. While we rejoice in the good, we abhor the bad. There is a wonderful promise in God’s word that we can take comfort in our bad times. In Romans 8:28 it is written: “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.”
It does not say all things are good, but in all things God works for the good. Take comfort knowing that almighty God is working in your bad situations.
God doesn’t sit idly by and watch your life unfold, he works for you! Psalms 121:3b-4 declares: “…He who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, He who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.” God does not take a day off watching and working for His children. Even though you can’t see Him, He is working in your life.
Yet there is a part you play in this. It says that God works for the good to those who love Him and are called for His purpose.
We love a lot of things don’t we? Personally I love German chocolate cake. I love a thick juicy steak. I love that the University of Kentucky Wildcats won their eighth National Championship in basketball. Give me a “C!” Give me a “A!” Give me a “T!” ….opps sorry got carried away.
Any way can you say “I love God not just in the good times, but in the bad.” God loves us unconditionally. Do you love God in the same way? How much does God love you? He loved you so much He sent his one and only son to die for you so you would not have to spend eternity in hell, but be with Him in heaven. That is love.
God has created you for a divine purpose. He desires you to fulfill His purpose. Do you want to fulfill His purpose for your life? The choice is up to you. You might be asking “What is God’s purpose for my life?” I cannot answer that for you. I only know that each individual’s purpose starts by coming to the cross and asking Jesus into their heart. Then it is a step by step, day by day journey. Remember this if you love God and desire to fulfill His purpose in your life, He will work all things for your good.
If you do not have a church home we invite you to join us at Ghent Baptist Church. On Sunday’s Bible study starts at 9:45 a.m. and our worship service Starts at 10:50 a.m. We also have a Wednesday night services called Oasis at 7 p.m. This is a contemporary service open to all people. May God’s richest blessings be yours this week. Love God and love people.
Brother Graham Reynolds is pastor of the Ghent Baptist Church in Ghent, Ky.