Bad -> Good – Not the Same as Bad = Good

Ok, first a little explanation on the title.  If I would’ve had the room the title might have said, “Bad Turned Into Good is Not the Same as Bad Equals Good”.

As with many of my postings, I’m not smart enough to realize I cannot tackle such a complex topic in such a small space, and with the limited brain-power I possess.  So, here we go….

There is a bit of confusion in the Christian believer world about things that happen to us, and around us, God’s part, and the Devil’s part in these things.  Of course, if we are confused about those things it stands to reason we are also confused about what is ‘bad’ and what is ‘good’, and the source for these things.

So, let’s start with a few basics, that we should already know, but I think forget about:

  1. God is just – which means simply He does not play games, and what He decides to do is just and right.  We may not understand what He does, and we may not understand that it is just and right, but it is, whether we understand it or not.
  2. God does not sin – Another confusing item since there is obviously a lot of sin in the world we live in.  However, God does not sin, nor does He promote sin.  He does, though, allow certain things to happen, and doesn’t stop all sin acts, even though they may end up doing bad things to good people.
  3. God has a very specific and important ability in the realm of good and bad – He is expert at turning bad things into good things, and has been doing it for a long, long time.
  4. Even though God is expert at turning bad into good, this does not mean bad is good, or that God promotes bad in order to do something good.  This is the core concept of this posting.

So, why do we get confused?  I think there may be a few reasons, and I only list some of these:

  1. We assume because God is all-powerful and can do anything, that He could, and should, stop all evil or bad things.
  2. We assume that if bad things happen, we, or someone else, must have done something wrong or sinned.
  3. We sometimes assume that if bad things happen, God allowed it to happen so that He could bring good out of it.  While this sounds reasonable, God doesn’t need for bad things to happen in order to bring good.  He is good, all the time, and He reigns down good and perfect gifts, all the time.

These assumptions all sound reasonable, but they are not quite reality.  The truth is this – bad things can come from several sources:

  1. Of course, the number one source is the Devil himself (note, this includes his henchmen (fallen angels, demons) also.)
  2. The corruption in the world as the result of original sin.  I seriously doubt if Adam stubbed his toe before they had sinned.  But, afterwards, yes, bad things happen for no apparent reason.
  3. Evil men and women, who are opposed to God, and are manipulated by the Devil
  4. Our own sinful actions

God is not the source of evil or bad things.  Sometimes we confuse justice with bad things, so when we see the Hebrews killing the poor people of Jericho we wonder how killing is not classified as ‘bad’.  But, this is justice, and there is a difference between justice and bad or evil.  Another confusing point for some people, but we don’t have space or time to get into that one right now.

As we mentioned, God does not stop all evil works.  But when evil works are directed at His children, He pays close attention, and is able to turn those things intended for evil into things that are good.  Now, please pay close attention to my next statements.  Although, God is expert at turning bad things into good things, this is not His preferred way.  According to the Lord’s Prayer His preferred way is that His will be done in earth as it is in heaven.  This is not about turning evil things into good things.  This is all about good things, and good things only.  However, because of the evil in this present world, and the attacks made on His people, He has the ability to take those things intended for evil and turn them into good.

Sounds simple, doesn’t it?  But, there is a catch…  Turning bad things into good things is not always pleasant or desirable.  For example, we know Daniel was delivered from the lions, but we hardly talk about how awful that night must have been for him.  I wouldn’t think spending the night in a pit with hungry lions, and bones of other victims, and no light, would be very pleasant at all.  But, the end result was pleasant.  What is my point?  Don’t get confused about God’s ability to turn bad into good.  There are still instances where some unpleasant things may be involved, and you may wear some scars from the experience.  But, the end result will be pleasant.

I don’t have time or space to further explore this topic, but I will give you one further point on this subject:

“Many folks do not realize the good God has intended for them, because they are impatient and seek to impose their own solution to a problem.”

In other words, we get our hands and ideas into the mix and we short-circuit the plans God had intended for us, and as a result we don’t always get the results we had hoped for.  Of course, when this happens we often blame God for this, but the real culprit is our own impatience and not letting God work the situation to our benefit.

Before I close this topic I want to make this point perfectly clear – I act as if I have completely mastered the concepts I’m presenting here.  I have not.  I’m still in the ‘school of learning’ just like you.  I make mistakes, just like you.  I would like to make fewer mistakes in the future, as I don’t like paying the price for my short-comings.  But, as Paul said, I forget those things that are behind and press forward.

One Response to “Bad -> Good – Not the Same as Bad = Good”

  1. Barbara McGuire Says:

    I certainly enjoyed this blog! It is so needed in this world today. It never ceases to amaze me that people don’t want to take responsibility for the outcome of some of their situations. You pointed this out so clearly! We often get ourselves in a “mess” and then blame God for the outcome! I wish every Christian had a copy of this blog. As always, thank you for your spiritual insight! Blessings…

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