A couple of weeks ago I posted a story called “Speeding Through Knoxville”. I had been stopped for speeding, but the police officer only gave me a warning, and I didn’t receive a ticket. One of the final statements in the story was “We stopped for dinner and recovered from shock, thankful for his kindness and for God’s protection.” This statement prompted the following question from one of my friends:
If God is in control of EVERYTHING ... and we are to be thankful for the 'good things' ... like good health, a safe and comfortable home, a good job, etc. ... what about the bad things, like if someone breaks into that 'safe' home and rapes or kills a loved one ... something that, unlike the speeding ticket, is NOT a consequence of someone's actions. How can anyone be “thankful” for that? How could anyone say that was “God's will”?
I’ve been contemplating this question, not wanting to give an “off the cuff” answer. Yesterday, a friend posted the following note on Facebook, and I believe it is relevant to the question. Thanks to Mark Tesreau for allowing me to repost his note below. – Joel
Trusting God to Fix What’s Broken, by Mark Tesreau
"What has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel..."- Philippians 1:12
God’s specialty is taking the bad stuff of our lives and making something very good. He is an expert at fixing broken things. He's also the master of breaking things that need fixing. Has He broken you?
Many of us have prayed, "God, use me. I want to do something great for you. I want to know and do Your will for my life."
Look around you. See all of your trials and heartaches, your unanswered questions, the sleepless nights, the restless heart, the constant struggle with sin, the life saturated with sorrow and adversity.
This is your calling – and your witness – to trust God in the midst of it all; to keep returning to the Lord; to continually acknowledge His sovereign control and absolute goodness in the face of crippling pain and say with the prophet, "The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and He knoweth those that trust in Him." (Na. 1:7)
Is it an encouragement to you that the Lord is accomplishing His will through your troubles, or is the accomplishment of His will secondary to your need for personal comforts? Do you have a hard time accepting the fact that God is sovereign - even over your sorrows? Can you persevere through your pain and trust that He can and will fix what is broken in your life, and more importantly, use what is broken to magnify His glory in you and spread His gospel of grace throughout your sphere of influence?
C.H. Spurgeon, as usual, said it best:
"There is no attribute more comforting to His children than that of God’s sovereignty. Under the most adverse circumstances, in the most severe trials, they believe that sovereignty has ordained their afflictions, that sovereignty overrules them, and that sovereignty will sanctify them all. There is nothing for which the children ought to more earnestly contend to than the doctrine of their Master over all creation—the Kingship of God over all the works of His own hands—the Throne of God and His right to sit upon that throne...for it is God upon the Throne whom we trust."