When something really terrible happens or there is some disaster, it always amazes me when people say we should try to find the good in the situation. What if there is no good in the situation? I think more often that not people don’t understand why bad things happen and naturally try to find some “higher” purpose in the tragedy. It is very, very subtle, but the hidden message is that for some inexplicable reason, God is responsible for everything that happens to a person. If someone dies prematurely they say that “God called him home” ~ despite the reality that all of us left living here on earth are besieged by great grief and pain from that horrible event. Seems like a higher purpose wouldn’t be at cross purposes with everyone else involved, but hey maybe that’s just me… Goodness and evil cannot come from the same hands anymore than we could get apples from a pear tree. Yet because people don’t understand (and that’s no condemnation, because no-one can go beyond what they are taught) they invent reasons and try to put good spins on bad things. Some would even go as far as to say that God is teaching us a lesson. Remember hurricane Katrina? Religious leaders (so-called) said God was mad at New Orleans and brought the disaster upon them. That would be kind of harsh, wouldn’t it? What if twenty of God’s kids lived there? How about five? What if there was just one? Oh I know, hell with ’em, they gotta learn! I trust you see some illogic here. The reality is that there are two great powers in the world today. One is named God, who is love, and all that is wonderful about life and one is named the devil, who is hate, and every evil thing that ever happened to a human being! Both are at work in our world today and both gain access into our lives by the things that we believe. If we believe lies, live in fear or are simply ignorant of spiritual matters, we get negative results in our lives; some small, some horrendous! In contrast, if we believe the truth, live above fear by believing and desire to learn spiritual matters, we get positive results in our lives; small blessings and ‘oh my gosh’ colossal blessings! There is no darkness in light and there is no light in darkness. If you don’t learn anything else from reading this, learn that! We have, perhaps, depending on our age, all suffered at the hands of evil to some extent, so again there is no criticism of anyone, but rather a sincere willingness that we learn otherwise.
So, what does any of this have to do with the title of this post? Well, a lot actually! The best way to learn ANY lesson in life is by experiencing the good, not the bad. Sure, because we tend to be quite hard-headed (smile) we learn lots of stuff the hard way, but that isn’t God’s way. God desires that we trust what He says and reap the results of that trust. Then, as we experience the good, we are more and more motivated to do more good. Can you see it? We are motivated by the goodness of God. (Here’s two translations of Romans 2:4)
Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? (KJV)
Or the riches of His goodness, and forbearance, and long-suffering, dost thou despise? — not knowing that the goodness of God doth lead thee to reformation! (Young’s Literal translation)
You see, the goodness of God actively leads us to a change of heart (repentance). This isn’t talking about salvation here, it’s talking about our mind-set. It is God’s goodness that is ever extended towards us that causes us to want to change how we think. God will never, ever violate your freedom of will (that sadly comes from choice B- above). So, God, like any loving parent, wants your free-will obedience to Him and He just loves you and helps you and rescues you, so that you will get to the place that you want to learn more about Him. In other words, He motivates you by His goodness. Don’t we, as parents, pray that our kids will at least try doing what we said, so they can see a good result and be encouraged to get more good results. Well, God is no different! Being a God of love, He could not do otherwise.
So do your logical, common sense mind a favor. Don’t spend any time trying to find apples on pear trees, they just aren’t there! Don’t look for good in bad or bad in good, they are mutually exclusive. Know in your heart that God would never send a disaster, tragedy or even a stomach ache your way to help you learn a lesson. Instead, pay close attention to the good things that are happening in your life, because that’s where God is…joyfully and lovingly leading you back to Him, where you belong!
God is good always!