September 2016

 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. (NASB)

Romans 8:28


Everyone experiences mistreatment in life. I’m sure you must have had that happen, whether as a child or later in life. For some of us the harm done can be worse than for others—the pain intense, deeply affecting our life. And we wonder: “Where is God in all this? Why is He allowing this? What did I do to deserve this?” We’re victims, hurt by someone often more powerful than ourselves.

But God doesn’t want us to stay there, with painful memories relentlessly coming back to haunt us. He didn’t intend for us to remain victims. From the beginning he can see the end. Ultimately God can bring good come out of the bad we suffer. He has a purpose for everything that happens to us. He’s in control.

Sometimes God works through the very people who hurt us, using them to change our life into something better than it was. When we leave our troubles in God’s hands and patiently obey His leading He can use our bad circumstances to change us—to make us into the people He wants us to be. God is personally involved in our lives.

Remember the story of Joseph? Joseph’s jealous brothers sold him into slavery to someone from Egypt. Over a number of years many bad things happened to him, but he remained faithful to God. Eventually he received recognition for the gifted person he was and was made governor of Egypt.

During a famine in Israel, Joseph’s brothers went to Egypt to buy grain. Unknown to them, Joseph was now in charge of selling grain, but they didn’t recognize him. Eventually Joseph revealed his identity, weeping loudly. The brothers were petrified. But Joseph said, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” (Gen 50:20)

In my life I have seen how God can work. I have had bad things happen to me and suffered severe pain as a result. I hurt for a long time, often feeling hopeless, thinking the only escape was to die. But God helped me gradually put the bad experiences behind me and replace them with new ones. It took a while, but eventually I could see that the new life God was giving me was richer than the one I had before the pain started. I was able to let the painful memories go, grateful for where God had brought me.

When someone has hurt you, don’t feel you have to live with never-ending pain. Allow God to lead you to a new place–away from yesterday’s darkness into a bright and hopeful tomorrow.

As God’s children we are never victims. God has something in mind. If we let Him He will use what hurts us to do good things in our lives. God is in control.