2 Corinthians 1:3-4 “Thank God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ that He is our Father and the source of all comfort. For He gives us comfort in all our trials so that we in turn may be able to give the same sort of strong sympathy to others in their troubles that we receive from God”.
I closed last time by stating that God can take the bad things in our lives and work them together for good! This teaching comes from Romans 8:28 ‘and we know that all that happens to us is working for our good if we love God and are fitting in to His plans.’ [TLB] ‘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.’ [NIV]
The key phrase here is IN ALL THINGS! All things doesn’t just mean the good things! No, it means the good and bad things! The happy and sad things! The light and dark things! The sweet and sour, the sorrow and joy, the highs and the lows, the storm and the calm, the bitter and the sweet! These are some of the multitude of life’s ingredients and in many cases there are more of the bad ones than the good ones! Well, at least that was the case for me for the first 26 years of my life.
This is how I like to visualize this! With a cake you can take all the different ingredients [some individually taste nice, and some individually taste yuck!] But once mixed by an expert and baked correctly you have a very nice end product! For example, I love date and walnut cake. The ingredients are: flour, cooking fat, sugar, walnuts, dates, raw egg, milk, pinch of salt and milk. Now individually I love the taste of walnuts, dates, sugar and milk, but individually, raw egg, flour, salt and cooking fat all get a great big ‘yuck!’ And of course the final ingredient [one and a half hours in a hot oven is not very nice at all!]
Yet, once all of these [individual] ingredients are taken and blended together by an expert, they then become something useful, purposeful and productive! I firmly believe life is like this. Some of life’s ingredients are horrible: divorce, rejection, illness, bereavement, redundancy, old age, abuse and loneliness! Some of life’s experiences are wonderful: love, art, marriage, children, success, music, family, togetherness, holiday’s etc! The list could go on! Life is a roller coaster of ups and downs, highs and lows, which for me made no sense at all until I invited Christ into my life! He has taught me over the past 29 years that once we put these things into His hands, He can lovingly mix them all together and blend them and bake them in to something of value and purpose. My life is not perfect by any means, but it is productive and purposeful, which, without Christ it would not have been so! All those ingredients are helping me to be a better person and to help me help others according to God’s purposes [Ephesians 2:10] that has to be good! What say you?