Encourage One Another-When Things Don’t Go Well

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All things work together for good….

A miscarriage ends the hope for a baby you had hoped for

An economic downturn wipes out the business you sacrificed and saved for

Addictions destroy the life of someone you love

Unfaithfulness devastates your marriage leaving you hurt and alone

Unexpected illness take the life of your husband your wife, your child.

Last year in our little town 5 young men were involved in a horrible accident. Only one survived. They were an influence for good in their schools, their churches, their community. Not out drinking or partying, but visiting an elderly man they had befriended on that night before Thanksgiving. When we read Romans 8:28 “We are confident that God is able to orchestrate everything to work toward something good and beautiful”, It is hard to understand how anything good can come from situations like these.

We can make the mistake of assuming because we do not know the answer there isn’t one. We can blame God. But the questions are still left unanswered. Consider this statement by J.I. Packer in his classic “Knowing God”

“Not many of us ever naturally say that in the light of the knowledge of God, that past disappointments and present heart breaks (as the world counts heart breaks) don’t matter. For the plain fact is that for most of us they do matter.

We cannot say the loss of a child, the end of a marriage, the loss of a friend, financial setbacks, illness and death do not matter. Certainly they do. But can we come to a place where even though the questions are not answered we have confidence that God can provide something good? J.I. Packer goes on to write this

But those who really know God never brood on might-have-beens; they never think of the things they have missed, only of that they have gained

As I write this I remember a song I first heard many years ago by Andre Crouch called “Through It All” the verses speak to these times in our life.

I thank God for the mountains,
and I thank Him for the valleys,
I thank Him for the storms He brought me through.
For if I’d never had a problem,
I wouldn’t know God could solve them,
I’d never know what faith in God could do

Through it all,
through it all,
I’ve learned to trust in Jesus,
I’ve learned to trust in God.

What is the something good that God provides in these difficult times?

I believe that even though we  may never fully understand or know the answers this side of heaven, these trails and painful experiences will draw us closer to God and provide a deeper knowledge of who He is we allow them to. And then we can say as Paul did

I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. Philippians 3:8

 

©Brown, Victor Harvey

© J.I. Packer 1973

About HCliffCraig.com

“Now at last they were beginning chapter One of the great story no one on earth has read: which goes on forever”. I love this line at the end of the Last Battle by C.S. Lewis. Everyone has a story to tell and ultimately we are all part of a greater story that someday will be revealed in full. “ For now, we can only see a dim and blurry picture of things”. ( 1 Corinthians 13:12). My story is not remarkable, although the events I have had the privilege in my life to witness have been. I grew up in the south “the land of cotton” and the old times there were definitely not forgotten. I remember where I was and what I was doing when JFK and Martin Luther King were murdered in Dallas and in Memphis. I remember the Civil Rights movement, a time of great unrest and change. I remember the dawning of the “Age of Aquarius” in the late 1960’s. It was also the dawning of my love for playing music, a love that has stayed with me throughout my life. If my life were chapters in a book one would tell of my precious bride of 20+ years who endured so much and stood beside me through the good and the bad. One would describe the blessings of being a father and a grandfather. One would tell about how despite being “the wretch” the song sings about God was able to change me, and use me to make a difference in others lives, make me a servant in His church, and surround me with friends all because of His goodness. All part of a story that has had many twists and turns. I think of the words Jimmy Buffet wrote in one of my favorite songs "As a dreamer of dreams and a travelin’ man I have chalked up many a mile Read dozens of books about heroes and crooks And I learned much from both of their styles" And so it is true for me. But in all of my travels and all I have read and experienced nothing compares to where I am headed. The place where my story here ends and the story that goes on forever begins! "" I am confident that He who began a good work in you will carry it on until completion until the day He returns". Philippians 1:6 My hope is that as we all run our race that in some small way my words will encourage and speak to you, as your story is being written. And draw you ever closer to the One who loves you. Further up and further in!
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