One of my favorite scriptures in the Bible is Romans 8:28. My paraphrased version of this scripture is God makes all things in your life work for your good, even the bad stuff. I personally love this scripture because I found it at a time that I was enduring extreme difficulty in my life. To have the idea introduced to my mind that God could use everything in my life, including my present situation to work for my good was amazing to me. To me this scripture meant that even bad things could be used for good. I immediately had optimism.
While I had optimism, I was still dealing with the woes of life. I don’t care who you are when you’re dealing with a difficult reality it’s hard to remain optimistic. There was nothing good about the situation in my life at that time. No matter how hard I tried, I could see nothing good coming out of this situation. I didn’t question God’s activity I simply put the thought out of my mind honestly. How could God make this situation work for good especially when there was nothing good about the situation? No clue. While I have believed in God for the majority of my life, I have always been the type of person that doesn’t ignore plain reality. The reality of my situation was all bad news. If God was going to work something good it was going to be from the next situation, not this one.
I often talk to many people who deal with difficult situations & they think exactly as I thought. I remember talking to a young man who was dealing with the woes of life. I asked if he believed that God could turn things around for good in his life. He looked at me and frankly stated “God is useless in real situations.” I thought to myself “WOW!” As hard as that statement hit me, I could honestly understand why he would say that. It seems like God is nowhere to be found during difficult times. If He is nowhere to be found how could He turn a situation & use it for good. While the scripture sounds good, sometimes life feels bad. This is the difficulty of every Christian. The Bible says that God works it for good, but it feels bad while you’re going through it. It’s difficult to merge the scripture with reality especially if you’re not experiencing any good in your life.
I’m sure you may be able to agree with me that some things about God & life don’t become clear to you until time passes & you have new experiences. This became true in my own life when I decided to change my life. I changed my diet & started going to the gym. It was probably the most humbling experience when I first started doing it because I realized how out of shape I was. I could barely lift any weight, I couldn’t run fast or for any significant distance. I was huffing & puffing the entire time I was at the track or at the gym. I could barely control my eating habits. I was always hungry & irritated. I remember thinking how in the world could anyone have a life doing these things. This wasn’t enjoying life this was torture lol. The first couple of months was probably the most difficult.
By the second month I started to notice things got a little easier. It wasn’t as hard to get up & go to the gym. My diet became more routine. My gym experience started being difficult but enjoyable. Then something started happening to my body! My arms were getting bigger & so was my chest. My waistline started slowly coming in. I started losing my stomach fat & building my muscles. I must tell you this was an amazing experience. During my body transformation I remembered my first month of agony. I remembered the torture of waking up early, dragging myself to the track or gym, eating the different foods with no taste (lol). I remember how I felt doing those things & it was terrible. . . until my body started to change. Through the torment of changing my diet & routine exercise something amazing began to come from it. All of a sudden Romans 8:28 came to my mind. My initial gym & life transformation didn’t feel good, but it had worked for my good.
Today I want you to understand that your situation doesn’t have to feel good for it to be working for your good. It took me going through my gym experience before I got the perfect understanding for this scripture. I look back at the negative situation I endured. At the time it seemed like no good would come from it, but now I can see how the pain from that situation pushed me. I can see how that bad situation set in motion a transformation in my mindset. While it didn’t feel good, it actually did work for the good of my life. Without that difficult situation I can’t say that I would think as I do now. I can’t say I would have the same drive & intensity that I have now. My morals & values are what move & motivate my life because of that bad situation. What looked like a bad situation then I now thank God for. Now I realize that even though it didn’t feel good, God used it to work for good in my life. The best part about God’s work is that I had to experience that situation once, but I get to enjoy the good that came from it for the rest of my life. I encourage you to trust God along your spiritual journey. What looks bad today can actually be the catalyst for your blessing tomorrow.