There’s a common longing to find something good in circumstance, something redemptive about troubles. But attempting to wring right from wrong, good from bad is futile. God uses bad and wrong, not for hidden intrinsic benefits, but as means to a good and right end for those who love Him.
There is nothing sweet about suffering, but suffering is the path to glory. There is nothing good about loss, but loss is a means to gain. There is nothing right—and everything wrong—about death. But death, for the lover of God, is the portal to a more lively life than we have ever known.
God never calls bad good and good bad, and He doesn’t expect us to call gray skies blue, either. He didn’t expect Job to pretend that his losses were delights or to imagine that his pain was pleasure. But He was honored when Job fell on his face and worshipped: “Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21). He was vindicated when Job instructed his embittered wife: “. . . Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” (Job 2:10).
In essence, Job acknowledged, “God has the right to do with me whatever He pleases—and whatever He pleases is right.” Job looked past the bad—bad that was really bad—to the God whose very nature is good.
In gray skies or blue, God is good, and He uses both blue and gray for the best of those who love Him. If we would see God from the middle of our circumstance, we have to start with the truth—after all, He is Truth. Bad is bad, but even bad is a highway to a good end, because the beginning of this circumstance and the end of it all is God.
© Robert G. Robbins, April 2011