Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Turning Bad Into Good

Life is full of bad experiences. Bad things happen all the time, to good people as well as bad. Bad things can even happen to Christians. There are many who wonder why God doesn't protect them from the bad things in our world. But think about this, the bad things that happen to us are either our own doing, or a product of the bad in our world.
First, we sometimes create the bad which happens to us. We don't always make good decisions, and some of our decisions lead us into situations that cause bad to come to us. Those who choose to smoke will have to deal with this addiction (maybe for a lifetime), and for some they will get cancer and die. If you choose to lie, and get caught in your lie it can cause you trouble. If you go out for dinner all the time, even though you don't have the money, you might find yourself short when it comes time to pay the bills. Our bad choices cause bad to come into our lives.
Second, sin creates bad things in our world. Romans 3:23 tells us, "For ALL have sinned and fallen short of God's glory." You don't have to read far into the newspaper to see all that bad that exists in our world; war, rape, robbery, kidnapping, drugs, gangs, and on and on I could go. Since we live in this world, there are times when this bad affects us and impacts our world. Maybe you don't live in a safe neighborhood, maybe something bad like this has happened to you, maybe you are afraid to go out into the world.
But there is good news. God wants to bring good out of our bad. Romans 8:28 tells us, "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." The Bible promises us that when we trust God, God can take the bad that has happened in our lives and work out good from it. I know that in my own life, the struggles I have gone through have taught me important lessons, or prepared me for something else I was going to do in my life later on.
There is an interesting process that you can go through that helps you to discover this. What you do is get a bunch of yellow and pink sticky notes. On the yellow sticky notes write all the good that has happened in your life, and on the pink sticky notes write all the bad things that have happened. Then put them in chronological order. When you read through your time line in this way, you will discover that much of the good that has happened follows the bad; God used the bad to prepare you for the good that was to come.
So, what should you do? Trust yourself to God. Believe that God will bring good out of your bad. Don't give up living. Be passionate about life.