Monday, October 31, 2016

When Good Comes from Evil

The "begats", those long genealogy lists in Scripture, are not my favorite. I hate to admit it, but I usually skip over them. Not long ago, though, I found something that startled me in the lineage of Jesus. 

I knew this fact, in theory, but the truth of it hadn't sunk in before.

Jesus is descended from Manasseh. 

In case you've forgotten, Manasseh, son of Hezekiah, was a terrible king. He practiced witchcraft, divination, worshipped idols, and made his sons "pass through the fire". Scripture tells us he "shed very much innocent blood until he had filled Jerusalem from one end to another." ((2 Kings 21:16) 

There were quite a few generations between Manasseh and Jesus, but they were kin.

Out of great evil came the greatest good.

We don't often celebrate it, but this theme runs throughout Scripture. The Valley of Achor became the door of Hope. (Joshua 7:26, Hosea 2:15) God can take the most terrible event, the most hideous sin, and bring good from it. 

Just as He brought Jesus from the line of Manasseh. 

Paul wrote, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28 niv

No matter what we face, no matter how hard the circumstances, no matter how evil the enemy, God can bring good from it. And He will.

Romans 8:28 doesn't say that God is able to bring good from all things. It says He does. In all things, He finds the good and brings it forth. 

Just as He did when He took Jesus from the cross to the empty tomb.

Many of us face difficult times, agonizing defeat, uncertain futures, sorrowful situations with family. Today, let's remember the wise words of the Apostle Paul:

"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are bring renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 niv

So, let's take courage in the truth that God is in control. He has a plan. He will not be defeated. Let's focus our attention on Him, not our circumstances. 

Trust the One who loves us most.
In case you missed it, here' the link to yesterday's post: Living as One Nation Under God
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