Within this broken world, it’s easy to give up hope. Suicides were at an all-time high in the military a few years ago, and now COVID-19 and all of its repercussions are generating more hopelessness. Believers in Jesus Christ have hope because they’ve experienced His presence, peace, and power, plus answered prayers. They have reason to believe in God’s faithfulness.
Joseph had many troubles. His jealous brothers threw him into a pit and then sold him into slavery. He was falsely accused by Potiphar’s wife and sent to prison for years. Yet, God orchestrated Joseph’s return into the palace as second in command over Egypt. Joseph was then able to discern God’s plan through his hardships, and told his brothers, “You intended to harm me, BUT GOD intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives,” (Genesis 50:20, emphasis mine).
Peter understood God’s plan for the world involving Jesus. He testified, “They killed [Jesus] by hanging him on a tree, BUT GOD raised him from the dead on the third day and caused him to be seen” (Acts 10:39-40).
“But God” is stated throughout the Bible. “BUT GOD remembered Noah” (Genesis 8:1), “I cannot do it … BUT GOD will give Pharaoh the answer he desires” (Genesis 41:16), “Day after day Saul searched for him, BUT GOD did not give David into his hands” (1 Samuel 23:14). “I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, BUT GOD made it grow” (1 Corinthians 3:6).
These verses (and many more) reveal God’s activity in the lives of people and in His entire creation. He’s not idle but actively ruling over everything. The Lord is very aware of our circumstances and has plans for our lives. “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 gave a more inclusive version of Joseph’s personal proclamation. God works in all of His children’s lives.
My daughter was initially rejected from a physical therapy program. But God opened the door wide for a master’s degree in Health Science. That additional education gave her a scholarly advantage in the program, an internship, plus other side benefits.
God allowed fibromyalgia in my body to generate a total surrender of my life to Him. If I never had experienced that fatigue, pain, and weakness, I would have wasted more years of my life without feeling God’s love in my heart, His power in my body, and the joy of serving Him in a whole new way.
My husband experienced unemployment three times, but God provided a better job every time. In hindsight, we perceive how God has intervened to help us and to accomplish His good plan in our lives.
Paul was under house arrest for years in Rome. But God orchestrated that time for Paul to share the gospel with Romans and to write letters to believers in other areas. Those letters eventually became part of the New Testament, and are still being read by people everywhere.
How is God using you during this time of quarantine? Neighborhood Christians are letting their spiritual light shine by offering their help to anyone in need and by sharing their possessions. Don’t underestimate God’s power to bring about good consequences from this present pandemic.
When you experience problems, it’s important to remember that the Lord loves you, wants the best for you, and has the knowledge and power to change your circumstances. He has supreme control over every person and situation. He also knows your future, so He’s trustworthy. Adversity is allowed in your life for a reason; therefore, look with anticipation how God will work everything out for your good.
If Jesus is our Lord and Savior, we have hope, joy, and peace as we trust Him now and for our future (Romans 15:13). God will never leave or forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6). And the stories of our difficult times will encourage others, especially the part where “but God” comes in.