You know, if you start looking around at this old world, it can start to look like a pretty crummy place. There are bad things happening all around- children die in accidents, mothers die of cancer, crazy men go into theaters and shoot everyone, wars kill innocent people, droughts come and people have trouble making a living, forest fires and prairie fires claim peoples homes. But the Bible says over and over again that God is good. These are just a few examples.
If you, then, though you are evil, know how to
give good gifts to your children,
how much more will your Father in heaven
give good gifts to those who ask him!
You are good, and what you do is good;
teach me your decrees.
The Lord is good to all;
he has compassion on all he has made.
So how can a good God allow all those bad things to happen to us? It doesn't make sense- cancer and accidents and fires and death don't seem like good, do they? I was reminded of the story of Joseph, in the book of Genesis. He was sold into slavery by his jealous half brothers when he was 17, accused falsely by his owner's wife and sent to an Egyptian prison for years. If that isn't bad I don't know what is. But then God gave him the ability to interpret dreams, and so the Pharaoh heard about him and brought him out of the jail so he could interpret his dream. Joseph predicted seven years of plenty followed by seven years of drought, and so Pharaoh made him second in command of the whole country. This is what Joseph said to his brothers later-
You intended to harm me,
but God intended it for good to accomplish
what is now being done, the saving of many lives.
So, somehow, in a way that we can't understand, God is able to use what is bad for good in our lives, without changing his goodness or his perfection. I've seen this myself in my own life. Something bad, like not being able to get pregnant, has been used for good. We have been able to adopt four children- who I am so thankful for, by the way!
Now I know in part;
then I shall know fully,
even as I am fully known.
1 Corinthians 13:12
One day, in heaven, we will be able to understand all these things that seem so hard to comprehend now. For now, we just need to trust that what God says is true- He is good, and his love endures forever!