No Wasted Experiences

God is not a waster. When good things happen to us, we are to know He orchestrated them. When bad things happen for whatever reason, we are to think out all possibilities of how God can turn it for our good. In both big and small adversities, we are to ask ourselves this; How can God use this experience? Of course, God will always surprise us in unexpected ways. That is why He turns our scars into stories, our pain into gain, our mistakes into lessons, our experiences into moulding of character, and uses our tears to detox our souls. Eventually, we will exclaim like Hezekiah, ‘Surely it was for my benefit that I suffered such anguish’ (Isaiah 38:17).

With this view, it now makes much more sense when Paul says, ‘in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you’ (1 Thessalonians 5:18). We are to give thanks in all things- yes, even in the bad. In fact, Paul would have added, especially in the bad, as he again writes, ‘Let us also rejoice in our sufferings because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who is given unto us’ (Romans 5:3-5). Once we give thanks and rejoice in our suffering, we make way for God to do what He does best- turn every situation around for His glory and for our good.

King David clearly knew this principle and so when Shimei cursed him and ‘pelted David and all the king’s officials with stones’ (2 Samuel 16:6), David remained calm. Abishai, Chief of David’s Mighty Men, tells the King, ‘Why should this dead dog curse the Lord my king? Let me go over and cut off his head’ (v9). David responds, ‘If he is cursing because the Lord said to him, ‘Curse David,’ who can ask, ‘Why do you do this?’’ (v10).  David adds, ‘It may be that the Lord will see my distress and repay me with good for the cursing I am receiving today’ (v12). David clearly knew that when bad things happen to us, God is not surprised as we are just because we didn’t expect it. God, who says, ‘Indeed the very hairs of your head are all numbered’ (Luke 12:7) will definitely know and allow when bad things to happen to us- whether we ourselves, others, or the devil cause them.

So, David used the principle of giving thanks in everything. And so later, ‘When Shimei son of Gera crossed the Jordan, he fell prostrate before the King and said to him, “May my lord not hold me guilty. Do not remember how your servant did wrong . . . May the king put it out of his mind. For I your servant know that I have sinned, but today I come here as the first of the whole house of Joseph to come down and meet my lord the king”’ (19:v18-20). God turned the tables, and Shimei ended up in the procession that welcomed King David. However, Shimei met his death at the hand of David’s son, King Solomon, who tells him the final words, ‘You know in your heart all the wrong you did to my father David. Now the Lord will repay you for your wrong doing. But King Solomon will be blessed, and David’s throne will remain secure before the Lord forever’ (1 Kings 2:44-45).

Sometimes, when it is people who intentionally cause us harm or hurt, we are tempted to take matters in our own hands like Abishai. However, God says, ‘vengeance is Mine; I will repay. In due time their foot will slip; their day of disaster is near and their doom rushes upon them’ (Deuteronomy 32:35). When we thank and give our hurt to God, ‘we give room for God’s wrath’ (Romans 12:19). Because we ‘should not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good’ (v21). And the only way we can do good to people who hurt us, is by seeing the good even in bad situations, like David did.

When we are in lack, it is impossible to see what good can come from it. We only see bankruptcy, hunger, and homelessness approaching through our clouded and limited vision. When Jesus ‘landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them’ (Mark 6:34). Jesus then tells His disciples, ‘You give them something to eat’ (v37). However, His disciples exclaim that feeding the 5,000 men gathered ‘would take eight months of a man wages!’ (v37). Jesus then asks what is available and ‘When they found out, they said, “Five (loaves)- and two fish’ (v38). There was lack.

Jesus, knowing the principle of thanks, ‘Taking up the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves’ (v41). When we give thanks even in our lack, God intervenes and exceedingly multiplies what we have. For the 5,000 people ‘ate and were satisfied and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish’ (v42-43). When we give thanks, God ensures that there are even leftovers in place of our lack. Or like the Widow of Zarephath, He causes our little ‘. . .not be used up . . . or run dry’ (1 Kings 17:16).

Even in dead situations, we are to give thanks. When Lazarus died, ‘Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me’ (John 11:41). We all know how the account goes, ‘The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face’ (v44). Although Jesus knew that the Father always hears him, He said that ‘for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me’ (v42). For those who believe in Jesus, another benefit we can glean from this is that we ought to give thanks even in our impossibilities, because He only is able to bestow ‘a crown beauty instead of ashes’ (Isaiah 61:3).

So, if we are in Christ, there are no wasted experiences because, ‘All things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose’ ~ Romans 8:28

12 thoughts on “No Wasted Experiences

  1. Pingback: No Wasted Experiences – Trimmed With Diamonds.

  2. Pingback: No Wasted Experiences – NarrowPathMinistries

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