Devotion: God’s Good in the Bad

by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro (c) 2010

God does not promise “bad” things won’t happen.  Our lives and who we are don’t suddenly become perfect from the world’s perspective once Jesus becomes Savior and Lord.  For as long as we live in our physical bodies, this remains earth, not heaven and there will be inexplicable bad and hard along with the good and easy.

So why become Christian?  Why choose to believe?  Why attempt to live lives which follow Jesus?

Because in and through is all Jesus is our only hope…  Life is without purpose, if God and His Way are not real.   But if He is real, then His promises are true and then every circumstance in which we find ourselves He can and does use for good, eternal purpose.

Once we come to faith in Him as Savior and seek to follow Him as Lord, we become His adopted sons and daughters and the world in which we continue to live becomes like a foreign country to us.  While here He gives us a lifelong assignment: to be His ambassadors.   

God is invisible. God the Father is in heaven.  Jesus came to earth to reveal the Father to all who encountered Him.  We are called to follow Jesus.  He is our example.  It is His Spirit who He left with us, to guide and direct us and to use us through whom to reveal the Father and the Son to others.  Fathom this for a moment: the God of the universe CHOOSES to have the Spirit reveal Him to others through us!

When we believe God is real, then several critical matters change for us.  Instead of seeing life from here to the time of our physical deaths, we begin to see it from here to eternity.  Death becomes but a door to the next and better phase of our lives.  We no longer have to fear death for ourselves or others because we know by of the grace of God we have the hope of seeing each other again.  We know God is sovereign over everything and that He hears our prayers.  We also understand that our destiny and reward are not here but in heaven and so we keep our eyes focused on Him.  We realize that as God His Ways are higher and better than our own and though we seek to constantly learn more, we are at peace that we will never completely understand (or we would be God).  He also promises that He will use ALL things for eventual good in the lives of those who serve Him in light of eternity.  We begin to grasp that He is like the perfect parent and only if we become as children do we inherit the Kingdom of heaven.  He is the Shepherd and we the sheep.  He will keep us safe and take care of us, if we seek to follow where He leads.  He will teach us to hear His voice so we can follow, if we will seek to learn and as the perfect parent and Shepherd, He understands we won’t always hear Him right and so He is there to guide us, especially when our hearts were in the right place and our intent was for Him and not against Him.  We also know we are loved infinitely and unconditionally and that we can never lose this love and acceptance from the Most High God.  And when we look to God for our approval instead of anyone else, the power the assessment of others might have over us is removed.  Whether they are critical, condemning, approve, disapprove, accept or reject us no longer affects how we see ourselves.  We know who we are and who we serve.  We do not exalt ourselves, but understand our position in Christ and rejoice in it. 

All this results in our ability to receive the gifts of incomprehensible inner peace, joy and rest (in all circumstances) which He desires to give us.  This improves our outlook on life and ability to function with grace and strength during difficult as well as good times.  Out of love for Him, we also begin to be able to love others better, letting His Spirit flow through us to touch them with His “fruit” (evidence of His character): love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control (Gal. 5:22-23)  We can extend mercy because we know we are forgiven and will never be perfect.

When others experience the difference in us, they begin to want what we have.  This yearning causes them to begin seeking the answer (which is GOD!) for themselves and of course, they eventually find Him (because He promises if we will seek Him, He will be found by us).  This in turn, grows the Kingdom of God, which is God’s heart’s desire.  He has always wanted all of us with Him for eternity, but only wants those with Him who choose Him and choose to submit to His Kingdom Way.  All of heaven rejoices every time another person finds their way home!

Bad times on earth will forever remain hard.  But they are never the end and they become easier to handle (especially when they don’t make earthly sense) when we understand God is with us through it and we know who He is that we serve.  We hang onto His promise that He is using all these things for a higher eternal purpose, even when we never see it.  And He cannot lie or He is not God.

How blessed are we that He would choose to use us for His glorious purpose, giving us such honor and purpose and dignity in and through all things while we are here on earth.  How blessed are we that we have an inheritance in heaven which cannot be changed by anything anyone does to us on earth.  How blessed are we that He uses all things (if we will let Him) to make us stronger and draw us closer to Him, so that with each step towards greater intimacy and understanding it is easier to be here and serve.  How blessed are we that He gives us fellow believers as companions along the way.  Our God is grace; He is mercy; He is love and we are infinitely blessed. 

For books, worship cds, Bible studies and teachings written by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro or to schedule her to come speak to your group please visit www.holyspiritpress.org  For information on her work for the military and their families please visit www.eaglesnestfoundation.org   Eagles Nest Foundation is a 501(c)3 corporation.

Author: Elizabeth Fulgaro

I am a God-seeker--a Jesus-worshipper--a Holy Spirit follower. I create songs, devotions, prayers, books and Bible studies to give words with which to get to know God more. For you. Its for one-on-One encounter unto transformed, transcendent living. This is not my vocation. I am not professional. I am a real, ordinary person just looking to do what God put me here to do. (You have a unique purpose too.) So I am called to the work. It is not my income source, but my gift to those who find it blessing. Eagles Nest Foundation sponsors all projects for you. The result: pure, clean spiritual nutrition to feed that deep insatiable spiritual hunger which eventually overtakes each of us and galvanizes you to the life God has for you. This life is purposeful. Exceptional. You--yes, you--are called to something greater and more satisfying in His service. So it is hoped you'll try this spiritually dense nutrition and find it to be a personal blessing. However, the goodness of God-following doesn't stop there. He uses those who seek Him to be His love and care (justice, mercy, advocate, kindness) very tangibly in the lives of those around you. Not by your power but by His. His ideas. God ideas. Not just good ideas. To be part of changing the world, if you will let Him. You learn to just follow where He leads. That if you listen, He will teach you to hear His voice and then when you obey His inner promptings you will become His incredible hands and feet in this hard world. These materials will help! They will help you aim your life towards God in a way you never look back. You will not be the same. He will become the River in your desert spaces and you will become a conduit of this same River of refreshing, replenishing Water of Life to others. Find a prayer. Pick a blog post. Read a book. Be led deeper into the Bible. Select a song which resonates and use it and use it again to go close and ever closer to the God who longs to draw you near. Oh, and don't be tempted to think I'm a crazy over-spiritualized loony...My background is financial planning and counseling. Almost 40 years of it. To choose to believe in God is not to leave practicality and reason behind, but to learn that there is that which goes beyond it and includes it, unto true life fulfillment beyond all your dreams for the one who keeps seeking Him. I am a third generation Californian. I am a person to whom family means everything. The only priority higher is God. The foothills of the Sierra Nevada are my home. It is here the 1849-1856 Gold Rush is still glorified. Easy money? Actually only for the few. Even though I was raised in the Church, it took me ten years of doubting God even existed to realize that without Him, no matter how much of this life's "stuff" is accumulated, I actually have nothing. To come to know that all those who chased after gold are dead and all those who still chase stuff will be dead. That's when I became a God-seeker. Looking for that more. And Eureka! (This is California's state slogan and means I found it.) I found God...or rather, I discovered He was there and had been there waiting for me to look for Him the whole time. May you discover more of Him for you, greater flourishing life and greater flourishing for all in the world as well. God bless you! ~Elizabeth

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