Sunday, July 11, 2010

Urban Legends II- Part 2, Everything Happens For A Reason


“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.” Romans 8:28


The Good News: Everything happens for a reason.
 The Bad News: It’s not always the reason we hoped for!

 The Promise: It says, “In all things God works for good” – NOT “all things are good!” 

Larry Osborne writes in his book, 10 dumb things smart Christians believe, “No matter what happens, God is in control. But that doesn’t mean that everything that happens is something that he wants to happen & it certainly doesn’t mean that everything he allows is good. God didn’t cause Lucifer to rebel, Eve to eat the forbidden fruit, or David to sleep with Bathsheba. He didn’t kill Abel, build the tower of Babel, or force the crowd to cry out Barabbas. Those who carried out these evil deeds bear full responsibility for their actions. They can’t blame God. Adam tried. It didn’t fly. You can look it up”

 Two Conditions:
1. If we LOVE God.
  "If you love me, you will obey what I command.” John 14:15
2. If we’re PART of God’s family.
“So now we can tell who are children of God and who are children of the devil. Anyone who does not live righteously and does not love other believers does not belong to God.” 1 John 3:10 (*see also Galatians 3:26-28, Rom. 1:6-7, 1 Timothy 6:12-14  &  2 Timothy 1:9)

5 Things To Consider Before You Claim This Promise

(1) We live in a FALLEN world.
“Now Cain said to his brother Abel, "Let's go out to the field." And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.” Genesis 1-4:8
“Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you.” 1 Peter 4:12 (Heb. 9:27, 1 Cor. 15:21-26, Isaiah 5:20, Dan. 1:1-6)
Sometimes bad people do things and good people get hurt. When it comes to the consequences of our fallen world, we’re not offered immunity, we’re offered eternity.
Remember: This World Is Not Heaven
“If our hope in Christ is good only for this life, we are worse off than anyone else.” 1 Cor. 15:19 (*see also 1 Peter 5:6-10, Rom. 8:35-39)

(2) If we’ve IGNORE God’s warnings. 
    If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. All these blessings will come upon you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God...” DEUTERONOMY 28:1-2
“However, if you do not obey the Lord your God and do not carefully follow all his commands and decrees I am giving you today, all these curses will come upon you and overtake you...” DEUTERONOMY 28:15
*see also Romans 6:23, Proverbs 1:23-33, Proverbs 19:2-3

(3) If we’ve made FOOLISH decisions. 
A prudent man sees danger and takes refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it. Proverbs 22:3
   “...A man's own folly ruins his life, yet his heart rages against the Lord." Proverbs 19:2-3
Sometimes trials & hardships we face are the result of our own sinful choices. Self-inflicted wounds. That’s not God’s doing, it’s ours.

The belief that God is the direct cause of everything that happens & has a specific reason and blessing for it is not only untrue, it has the potential to produce great spiritual harm, including:
-unjustified anger at God, -glossing over sin, -irresponsibility

(4) If it’s a necessary step toward a greater GOOD.
“God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:5-12 (*see also 2 Cor. 1:3-6)
Key thought- How you live is far more important than where you live (Genesis 39,40, 13:5-11; 18:17-19:30, Daniel 1-6)

(5) If God has something BETTER in mind.
You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” Genesis 50:20

Back to our story of Joseph... God was obviously present & working behind the scenes. When Joseph’s brothers eventually came to ask him for mercy despite their evil behavior, Joseph didn’t call his brothers acts good or even necessary. He didn’t say that everything happened for a reason. He simply pointed out that God was at work despite their evil intents. Joseph had no clue that God was up to something special.
It’s easy to see for us that God OVERCAME the brother’s sin to position him for a high post in Egypt’s royal court. In the process, God provided for Joseph’s father and brothers and put them in a setting where a small nomadic clan could grow into a great nation. JOSEPH SIMPLY OBEYED. Joseph obeyed and trusted. He did the right thing no matter what. Sometimes we’ll be rewarded in the present, other times in the future in heaven. Only time will tell.
Joseph obeyed and trusted. He did the right thing no matter what. Sometimes we’ll be rewarded in the present, other times in the future in heaven. Only time will tell.

Jesus lived a sinless life yet was rushed to judgement in an illegal trial that broke jewish law, accused unjustly & put to a horrible death. For that, God had a reason & the reason was YOU. (John 3:16)

This Week’s APP-
Remember, God never wastes a hurt & He never wastes a pain!
*If you are going through difficulty, consider the 5 things that we talked about today. Can you claim the promise found in Romans 8:38-39?
*Ask God for wisdom & favor as you deal with the issues of life.
God wants to use you to save many lives!