Everything that happens under the sun happens for a reason—nothing happens by accident. God allows things to happen—whether good or bad—to accomplish his purpose. In his proverbs, King Solomon said, “The Lord works out everything for his own ends—even the wicked for a day of disaster” (Prov. 16:4). God has a plan for our lives and as long as we align ourselves with that plan, we will enjoy life to the fullest because we are created for his pleasure. Even in the midst of problems, we should not shrink because he will take the occasion to accomplish his purpose for his glory. The apostle Paul appropriately stated this truth, saying, “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” (Rom. 8:28). God will indeed turn every situation around to accomplish his purpose and for his glory.
Many believers turn back from following the Lord when they see that they have no advantage over unbelievers. They see that they are both prospering and there are even times when unbelievers get the upper hand. They feel that serving the Lord is futile. However, Jesus used the Parable of the Weeds to illustrate that there is a significant difference in the end. In this parable, a man sowed good seeds, but an enemy sowed weeds among the wheat. When his attention was called by his servant who suggested that they pull out the weeds, the man said, “No, because while you are pulling the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn”(Matt. 13:29-30). Though unbelievers seem to be doing fine at the moment, just like the weeds that grow even faster than the wheat, they will be dealt with accordingly in the last days.
To fully appreciate the purposes of God, the Book of Ecclesiastes says, “When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider: God has made the one as well as the other. Therefore, a man cannot discover anything about his future” (Eccl. 7:14). This truth should give us a grateful heart in whatever situation we will find ourselves in. If we are grateful when times are bad, we will certainly get to the good times also. We simply need to patiently endure and wait for God’s perfect time for deliverance. Meantime, look for good reasons to be grateful. We are in better shape than others in many ways—and even those who are sick are far better off than those who have already passed away.
When we look at the negative circumstances of others, we tend to jump to conclusions. We are like Jesus’ disciples, who asked, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents that he was born blind?” (John 9:2). While it is true that many of the sicknesses we have are caused by the sin of the sick person or his parents, this is not always the case, as revealed by the Lord’s response. He said, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life” (John 9:3). The healing that comes when a sick person is healed by faith surely glorifies God. He turns what is perceived as negative into a situation where he is glorified, because it turns out for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose.
If there is any doubt as to God’s faithfulness in rewarding those who seek him with all their hearts, it is best to go back to the Word of the Lord spoken through the prophet Isaiah. He said, “As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:10-11). With these words, there is no doubt that God will make things happen just as he said. It is to his glory that his word will accomplish his purposes in our lives.
Friends, let us cling onto God’s promises. We may not see the blessings coming now, but let us wait patiently. We should never envy unbelievers even when they prosper. Remember that God causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. However, he will make a difference in the last days—the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of God, while the unbelieving will receive their own due. Amen!