Listen: Chris Witts presents Morning Devotions
One of the remarkable people who has turned adversity into something positive is Nick Vujicic. You may have heard of this man born in 1982 without arms and legs. Born in Australia, he is only one of seven people in the world born with this condition.
He travels the world speaking to millions of people about his faith in God and how he copes each day. He is a remarkable young man. His parents were ministers and were devastated by their first-born child’s condition: If God is a God of love, why would he let something like this happen to us? They struggled with the dilemma and yet, in the end, chose to trust God.
At school Nick was bullied and rejected—you can imagine. Nick wondered if he had done something wrong to deserve the abuse he received. He even thought of suicide until, aged 15, he read the Bible story in the Gospel of John about the man born blind, “so that the works of God should be revealed in him”. That’s in John chapter 9. He gave his life to Jesus.
God had a plan for him
Nick Vujicic realised God had a plan for him to help others see that God loves them.
Maybe Nick read what Romans 8:28 says. It’s quite a startling promise. It says:
We are confident that God is able to orchestrate everything to work toward something good and beautiful when we love Him and accept His invitation to live according to His plan (Romans 8:28 – The Voice).
For me, that is God saying that even our bad times and bad things will turn out for good, and have a life-changing result. And although bad things do happen to all of us to some extent, in some mysterious way God works them for good.
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Romans 8:28 does not promise better conditions for Christians, or that you’ll have better circumstances. No. It means that God will take the bad things in your life and turn them into good. It won’t always be a nice and comfortable experience, and will test your patience and faith. But remember Jesus promises to be with us always, right til the end of this age.
When we acknowledge God in our lives
Good and bad situations are part of everyone’s life. We tend to notice the bad ones more, because of their negative impact on our progress. They sometimes seem to flood our lives without letting up, and we wonder if they will ever stop. We’ve all seen it at some time. Bad situations often lead to frustration, and frustration leads to failure—and failure leads to a pattern of failure.
But that is leaving God out of the picture. There can be hope in the bad times when we trust in God’s overriding providence. It’s important to remember that God is not behind anything which is bad or ugly. But when those things do happen, he is able to turn those negative things around for good. I don’t know how he does it.
In her sermon “God Can Turn It Around”, Joyce Meyer said:
I think one of the most amazing things about our relationship with God is that if you love Him and you trust Him, now I didn’t say if you behave perfectly, I didn’t say if you never make mistakes, I didn’t say if you go to church every Sunday and never miss one, if you read your bible through three times a year. I said, if you trust God and you love Him, I don’t care what has happened or what does happen, God will take it and make it somehow or another work out for your good.
Too many people live with a feeling of fatalistic pessimism that adversely affects their thinking, emotions and behaviour. The Lord has a way of turning around the most difficult situations for our good. But we have to exercise faith and trust in him—God helps us turn our negative thoughts to positive expectations through the Holy Spirit that lives within us.
God makes all things work together
In Romans 8:28 (ESV), Paul said “all things work together”. These two words ‘work together’ in conjunction mean to create and eliminate, place and replace, connect and group, interrelate and intermingle, shape and forge, press and stretch, move and operate, control and guide, arrange and influence. The words ‘work together’ also imply present action, which means that all things are continually working together for good.
I want you to know that God is arranging and rearranging all things in your life. The Greek word agathon, translated as ‘good’ in the English Bible, means ultimate good. You see, we don’t know our future, we don’t know how the events that happen in our lives will affect us later. But God knows our beginning as well as our ending. Your end was already set before you began.
Therefore, God takes all of the events of our lives and works them out for our ultimate good. God is working it out.