One of the principles that brings me great comfort is knowing God doesn’t waste anything. God didn’t create the world and have leftover parts. Unlike myself! When I assemble something, I invariably have parts left over… at least an extra nut or bolt, but this is not the case with God. He does all things perfectly, and on my best day, I am a long way from that standard.
What is significant to me about this is the statement it makes about the difficult, disappointing, and even bad aspects of my life. Those times are not wasted time either. Consider for a moment what the scriptures have to say about the various aspects of our lives, even the tough times.
- Romans 8:28: “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose."
- II Corinthians 1: 3-5: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”
- James 1:2-4: “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”
- Romans 5:3-4: “And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope…”
These wonderful verses assure us that even the most difficult and painful aspects of our lives are not wasted.
All things are not good,
but God will cause all things to
work together for our good.
Trials and tribulations are never easy, but God uses them to perfect our faith and character. Afflictions are painful, but God not only brings comfort, He uses those experiences in our lives for us to help others going through similar circumstances. The pain and loss we experience, God uses to enable us to be vessels of His comfort and ministry to others. In God’s economy, NOTHING is wasted.
One of my favorite names for Jesus is “Redeemer.” It reminds me of how we used to save “green stamps” when I was a boy. The stamps were not really worth anything, but you could take them to what was called the Green Stamp Redemption Store, and redeem them for all kinds of things. These days it is like winning tickets at an arcade, you can trade them in for candy, toys, or stuffed animals. It is the practice of trading something without any real value and exchanging it for something that has real value. That is what redemption is! When the Redeemer redeems us, the brokenness of our lives is exchanged for something of eternal value. Every difficult, painful circumstance, every trial and tribulation, every grief and loss, are all used by God in our lives and sometimes even in the lives of others. He uses these things for good, taking that which is hard and even bad, and redeeming it all for our benefit and for His purposes and His glory!
What a Redeemer!
Nothing is wasted!
What a glorious God we serve!
It's easy to give thanks to the Lord when things are going well, but how often do we give that same thanks during rough times? Give thanks to the Lord, and pray without ceasing.
Are we actually doing more harm than good by doing nothing at all? Do we hurt those in need by taking no action at all? It's time for us to do stand up and do something!
While we may not love what we see in the mirror, most of us would never leave home without first checking our appearance to make sure everything was in order. Paul also instructed the Corinthians to “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves" (II Cor. 13:5).
The idea of making a joyful noise to the Lord is often associated with singing, but our "noises" don't always have to be audible. When we live a life pleasing to God, we truly begin living loud.
We all have personal struggles we cannot always understand or control, but God is not overwhelmed by our chaos. Where are you at in your walk with God?
Our neighbor’s house, spouse, servant or ox would be no temptation if we were truly and completely content in our circumstances and life situations. It is as though we could rephrase the tenth commandment by saying, “Be content.”
The deeper and broader we look, the more we can see the hand of God moving over the earth in power and authority. How do you see God at work in the world?
We all go through periods of "dryness" in our spiritual lives, those times in the dry desert when we feel empty, alone, and far from God. Though it may seem counter-intuitive, the remedy for spiritual dryness is quite simple.
Maybe even the worst of times aren't far from the best of times when we trust our unfailing God all of the time. Do you believe God is working all things together for your good?
Like sheep, we have gone astray, but we aren't just any sheep, we are the sheep of His pasture.
Billions of people are waiting to hear the Gospel, but, "If you don’t know, then you don’t know that you don’t know." Will you tell those who don't even realize they need the Good News of Christ?
Every day, we make significant investments of our time, resources, and energy. We may not be climbing Mount Everest, but we do constantly take risks. The question we must ask ourselves is: Is it worth it?