God uses our sorrows to bring good into our lives and to bless other people.
More than anyone else the Apostle Paul knew this to be true. He had a unique view of how this works.
Paul affirmed that God works all things together for good: “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” (Romans 8:28). Paul saw this in his own life. Paul never got over the death of the godly Stephen. Over twenty-five years after the event, Paul recalled the death of this righteous man (Acts 22:17-21). He knew God worked in his life to bring him to Christ.
He also knew God worked through the suffering he experienced to bring others to Christ. While in prison, Paul wrote to the Philippians about how God was working in his imprisonment to make Christ known. “Now I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel. As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. Because of my chains, most of the brothers in the Lord have been encouraged to speak the word of God more courageously and fearlessly” (Philippians 1: 12-14).
No one wants hard times, but when they come Christians can work with God to bring good in our world. How can we do this?
First, we can look at every situation as an opportunity to share the best news available to anyone. That’s what Philip did when persecution forced him to leave Jerusalem (Acts 8).
Second, we can use our trouble to show that God ministers to us in the hard times. Most of our friends don’t take much notice about the good things that happen to us, but when we face tribulation they are aware. When we show how God is with us even in tough times, we help others.
Third, we can use our tough times to give people hope. As they see us struggle and persevere, they are encouraged to keep trying in the midst of their sadness.
Finally, we can be faithful in all things. By doing so, we show the power of God.
May God bless you as you work with Him to bless others.
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Have a great week–even in the midst of the storms of life!