Bad Situations FROM GOD?

June 28, 2012

Does getting a “positive” opportunity in your life automatically represent God’s will?  I’ve heard believers say things like “this door has opened for a new job and I know it is God because it is such a great opportunity.”  Is that ALWAYS true?  Could God’s will be for you to go to prison as an innocent man?

Sometimes I’m convinced that God does lead His children to opportunities where they will prosper financially or to opportunities where their gifts will be used in a greater way.  Other times when I’ve heard people give God credit for an opportunity that seems good, I’m not sure He was leading in that direction.

A positive situation is not evidence in itself of the leading of God.  At the same time, a “negative” situation is not evidence of someone “missing” God’s leading.

God has given those who love Him a peace that passes understanding and a joy in their life.  Having said that, I believe that the Bible teaches that God is more concerned about our devotion to Him than He is our “happiness.”  He is more concerned about us leading someone to faith in Him than He is about us getting a raise and being able to provide a few luxuries for our family like cable tv.

Understand that happiness and joy are two different things.  Happiness is temporary and dependent upon our circumstances.  Joy comes from God and is put inside us at a deeper level.  The Apostle Paul learned to be “content” in whatever his circumstances, as he said in Philippians 4.  He wrote his words while in prison, by the way.

The fact that the Apostle Paul was in prison doesn’t mean that he was out of God’s will.  He could have easily been a leader in the Jewish community if he had just toned down the “Jesus” rhetoric a bit.  I’m sure people then could have seen his leadership as proof that God had opened doors for him.  Could it have been that God had “opened the doors” of the prison for him?

Was prison where God had wanted him at that time?  His time in prison certainly gave him the opportunity to spread the gospel to the guards and to Rome.  He may not have had that opportunity if he had not been forced to prison.

The Lord has provided wealth for some so that they can use it to build the Kingdom.  Financial margin is a blessing to be able to help those in need or to lead others to Him and not only to be used to live a life of luxury.  God may lead you to buy a really large house but if that’s the case, it’s probably so that you can use it for Kingdom purposes.

God calls us to live a life of sacrifice for His glory.  Sometimes that may lead His people to “positive” situations, and other times it may lead to a life of poverty or even worse in the world’s eyes.

God led Jim Elliott and Nick Saint to become missionaries but they were martyred as soon as they landed on the mission field.  Many have come to Christ as a result of their story, including the very natives that murdered them.

Their deaths could have meant a couple of different things:

  • They were out of God’s will by going,.
  • Dying for Christ their purpose in that situation.
  • God simply took a bad situation created by free will and used it for good as Romans 8:28 described.

Do you think opportunites that seem positive are always from God?  What do you think the deaths of Jim Elliott and Nick Saint was attributed to?  Is God really good ALL THE TIME?

I’d love to hear your comments on this post!

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12 Responses to “Bad Situations FROM GOD?”

  1. Linden Wolfe said

    Well said, my friend!!

  2. Roy MCKinnon said

    Wow! Great post, I am quite challenged why we believe that Gods hand is on us when life is going well. When I am in seasons of pruning, those are times I feel the Spirit at its strongest. My great growth has come from my failers.

    • eddiepoole said

      Thanks Roy. I agree. It isn’t fun going through tough times but looking back, that is when God seems closest.

      • Alex Nagy said

        Eddie, I don’t even have to look back. I’m dealing with cancer for the second time in my life and in the midst of that He gave me a great message on Trials and Tribulatilons that I had the honor to share on one Sunday with the church I attend. I feel closer to God now then I ever had before and I’m still going through chemo (maintenance treatments).

      • eddiepoole said

        Great testimony, Alex. Thanks for sharing that. And to say that you feel closer to God than ever before as you are going through the treatments is a true testament to God’s love in the storm.

        I’m praying for you this morning. You are a light and God is using you and your situation. I know it’s not one that you would have chosen but it sounds like you are walking in it with grace. I’m glad you were able to share this with your church and you’re still sharing as you write this morning.

  3. I think we do each other a grave disservice by assuming that we are only in God’s will when things are rosy. Look at Joseph, Daniel, Abraham, David being chased through the desert by Saul…What are these stories in the Bible for, but to prepare us for any eventuality? I have been hit incredibly hard by a ‘series of unfortunate events’ in the past year (to put it mildly) and had a tough time adjusting at first because of that idea that God somehow owed me a nice easy little existence. He doesn’t. Period. HE gets to choose my life’s storyline, not me. Do I always like it? Not on your life! Am I learning some valuable lessons? Absolutely! Do I wish the rain would hurry up and blow over? Every day. But I also know that He walks through the storm with me, and right now, that has to be enough!

    • eddiepoole said

      Wow! Great points, Melody. That’s exactly how I’ve been thinking lately about trials. God has blessed us with His Son and we didn’t deserve that. He gives us alot that we don’t deserve and I’m thankful for that. I’m thankful too that He holds my hands in the storm, even though I sometimes have to walk through it. Hang in there, Melody. God is good, all the time. Even when we’re in the middle of the storm and can’t always see it.

  4. tony said

    I honestly dont have faith in god anymore….it seems like we are all pawns in his battle with satan. We really arent that important to god.if it means wrongful imprisonment, weird family situations,being without a job,spouse or home he dosent care. Only if he makes his “point”…in my 33 years of life he has NEVER cared about my happiness, health or wellbeing…he just uses me to make othe people’s lives better….and if you try to better your life and be that person you always knew you could be…he knocks you down. And tells you to pray, be everybodies punching

  5. tony said

    Im just sick of being told he cares about us that much…it sets peoples expectations kinda high…then they get depressed like I am now….cause I know the truth..
    Just need to adjust

    • eddiepoole said

      Tony,
      He does care about us. I really hate that you’re going through a tough situation right now. God loved His son but he sent Him for us. It’s extra hard for us because we can’t see the whole picture. God sees it all. Hang in there, Tony.

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