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By Reginald Omage

Have you ever heard this statement: “all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose”? It is taken from Rom 8:28, a scripture that points to the fact that God has the capacity to turn every situation in our favour. It does not suggest that we will not go through the ups and downs of life rather that they will only take us to one destination: “good”

Apparently, the writer, desires that we bear in mind that irrespective of what we go through in life, God has a way of orchestrating them to our advantage and this is true for all who love God and who are called according to his purpose. The BBE (The Bible in basic English) puts that verse this way, “And we are conscious that all things are working together for good to those who have love for God, and have been marked out by his purpose. Take note of the opening words: we are conscious… in other words, this is something that we need to be conscious of on a daily basis.

In Judges 11: 1-33 we find an experience in Jephthah’s life that agrees this. He was the son of Gilead and his mother was a harlot. As time went by, his brothers who were the children of Gilead’s wife decided that since Jephthah was not the son of their mother he had no right to their father’s inheritance, so they drove him away from home. The Bible actually says he fled from them; indicating that he was at the risk of losing his life because of the way his brothers went about it.

He went through all these for no fault of his own; he was not responsible for what happened between his mother and his father yet he was being maltreated for it. How unfair! However, a look at verse 3 of chapter 11 reveals that it evetually all turned out in his favour.

Judges 11:3 Then Jephthah fled from his brethren, and dwelt in the land of Tob: and there were gathered vain men to Jephthah, and went out with him.

When his brothers drove him, he fled from them and went to live in the land of Tob. The word Tob is from the Hebrew “tobe” meaning “good”. In effect, his unfortunate experience only worked out for his good. A look at his story shows that in this land he met a group of men who teamed up with him to form an army with whom he conquered the enemies of Israel and became their king.

A friend of mine shared a story that paints this same picture very clearly. Below is the story (slightly paraphrased) and the comment that followed as told on the internet:

A certain African king had a close friend with whom he grew up. The friend had a habit of looking at every situation that ever occurred in his life (positive or negative) and remarking, “This is for good!”

One day the king and his friend were out on a hunting expedition. The friend would load and prepare the guns for the king. The friend had apparently done something wrong in preparing one of the guns, for after taking the gun from his friend, the king fired it and his thumb was blown off.

Examining the situation the friend remarked as usual, “This is for good!” To which the king replied, “No, this is NOT good!” and proceeded to send his friend to jail. About a year later, the king was hunting in an area that he should have known to stay clear of. Cannibals captured him and took him to their village. They tied his hands, stacked some wood, set up a stake and bound him to the stake. As they came near to set fire to the wood, they noticed that the king was missing a thumb. Being superstitious, they never ate anyone that was less than whole. So untying the king, they sent him on his way.

As he returned home, he was reminded of the event that had taken his thumb and felt remorse for his treatment of his friend. He went immediately to the jail to speak with his friend. “You were right,” he said, “it was good that my thumb was blown off.” And he proceeded to tell the friend all that had just happened. “And so I am very sorry for sending you to jail for so long. It was bad for me to do this.”

“No,” his friend replied, “This is for good!” “What do you mean, ‘This is good’? How could it be good that I sent my friend to jail for a year?”

“If I had NOT been in jail, I would have been with you and would have been eaten by those Cannibals.”

Situations may not always seem pleasant while we are in them, but the promise of God is clear. If we love Him and live our lives according to His precepts, even that which seems to be bleak and hopeless will be turned by God for His glory and our benefit. Hold on, God is faithful!

Reginald Omage has been a Pastor and Counsellor for over a decade. He currently serves as a marriage counsellor and audio editor with Heritage Assembly, Benin City, where he resides with his wife and children.

Article Source: http://www.faithwriters.comCHRISTIAN WRITER

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