Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Can Good Come Out of Bad? by Vicki Taylor

Have you ever wondered why God allows circumstances to happen in your life all the while wondering where He is in those circumstances? And where does Romans 8:28 fit in when we are struggling just to get through the “all things work together for good?” Well, let me explain where I am going with this… 

Saturday, my husband and I were on our way to Oxford to spend the day with our number one son, and when we are in the car we like to listen to Chuck Swindoll. That day he told me he had been listening to this particular message about Samson and he wanted me to listen to it. I had bought him the series on Old Testament Characters by Chuck (yes, we are on first name basis).  

It seemed Samson was a character alright. He was born of very godly parents, late in life, an only son and very spoiled. They lived in the time of the Judges under Philistine rule. One night he decided to go into Timnah to party and there he saw a young Philistine girl. When he returned home he told his parents, “I have seen a Philistine woman in Timnah; now get her for me as my wife.” Does this give you an idea what Samson was like? Needless to say, his parents were shocked and did their best to persuade him to choose someone from among their people. But Samson saw what he wanted and demanded that they go get her. Can you imagine how his parents felt, the hurt, the humiliation, the disappointment?

Ok, here’s where the scripture begins to get interesting. In the parentheses there is a little phrase that said, “His parents did not know that this was from the Lord, who was seeking an occasion to confront the Philistines…”  Ken asked, “Did you catch that?” He backed it up so I could catch the phrase, “His parents did not know that this was from the Lord…”  So let me get this straight, Samson’s parents had to go and get that Philistine girl and allow him to marry an enemy of God because this was God’s plan for the people of Israel? That’s when Ken reminded me of Romans 8:28 - “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.” As I’ve said before...His plans are not our plans and His ways are not our ways.  

Let’s be honest … We all have had plans go wrong, children make unwise choices, businesses fail, and friends betray us, all the while wondering why this was happening to us. We never once look for the parentheses that the Lord has put in there for us. Nor do we think that “this might be from the Lord.” We cannot see past our circumstances to Romans 8:28 that He is at work for us because we have been called for His purpose. Things that happen to us unexpectedly could be for His purpose, not ours. Unfortunately, Samson’s parents did not have Romans 8:28 to cling to. They had to deal with the disappointment of a wayward son wondering where they went wrong. Then watch him make mistake after mistake not realizing that it was from the Lord for the purpose of Israel.

So the next time trials come, and they will come, look for the parentheses. Choose to see your circumstance “as from the Lord” and lean on Him for your help. After all, we have been called for His purpose…

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