God brings victory even from our bad moves.
When I look at my own life story, it contains many details that I regret: Pain from adolescence, years of poverty, wrong choices when it came to God's orders and commands, broken relationships, and disappointment in my own failures. Can I trust that God our Father can weave all these sad and tawdry elements from my overall story so that they came out as instruments of His grace and goodness?
God very often works not directly, but "around the corner," as it were, deliberately contrary to what one expects. A more straightforward approach would respond to each problem with an immediate and direct solution. A woman gets sick, and God heals her. A man is falsely accused and imprisoned for a crime he didn't commit, and God gets him released in short order.
Rarely does God use such a direct approach, however.
God's man Paul came down with an illness that persistently laid him low and interfered with his work as missionary leader. For three long periods he pleaded with God to remove it. Paul got an answer: "No, you keep it. My grace is more than enough for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness," (2 Corinthians 12: 7-10). So Paul thanked God for His strength and learned that even with that debilitating illness God advanced His work.
Joseph is sold into slavery by his ten older brothers; he is falsely imprisoned for a rape when he refused to sleep with the boss's wife; after two years in the dungeon, he explains God's meanings to dreams and becomes Pharoah's right hand man. Joseph can look back on his harrowing life, and he can forgive his cruel brothers and say, "No do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you. You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives," (Genesis 37, 39-45, 50).
A Christian begins with the assurances that God leads and guides and that God in His kind goodness can restore life and bring it around closer to His design. When a chess master plays chess with an amateur, victory is assured no matter how the game board may look at the moment. By God's goodness and forgiveness, even our personal failures can become tools in the Spirit's hands. Many find that a persistent trouble, even an addiction, causes them to turn in desperation to God. The bad move, in the hands of the Great Chess Master, can be turned into victory. The wound becomes the place of healing and new life.
Of course, God much prefers we never commit evil in the first place. But in this evil world, filled with sinners as we are, God's grace never runs out of raw materials to build good out of evil.
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