God Meant It for Good

Psalms 139:13-16 ESV

“For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.”

Today is “Mother’s Day” here in America, a day once a year where we typically honor our mothers, or if we are mothers, where our children honor us. But not every woman has children who wanted children, and even if they had children, they may have lost them to death, or they may be estranged from their mothers. And some children do not honor their mothers, for whatever reasons. And some people didn’t or don’t have mothers they remember fondly, so this can be a painful day for some people.

But what does this Scripture teach us? God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – formed our inward parts. And he is the one who knit us together in the wombs of our mothers. So, God is the one who gave us the mothers we had or still have, and he is the one who placed us in the families we grew up in. And we are fearfully and wonderfully made by God, and wonderful are God’s works. So we were and are no mistake. We are not here by accident nor by some failed attempt of our parents to use birth control, but by God’s will.

So, why would God put us in families where he knew we were going to be mistreated and abused? For not everyone in this world has parents who loved them fully and who treated them with kindness. Well, for one, we are all born into this world with sin natures, in the image of Adam, and so we are all sinners by nature. And even those of us who have believed in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, and who have been born of the Spirit, are still capable of sin, although Jesus delivered us from our slavery to sin so we will no longer live as slaves to sin but as slaves to God and to his righteousness.

So, to be born of any woman is to be born to anyone capable of sinning. And God allows sin and evil in the world for he allows us in the world, so not one of us is going to be born to a perfect woman or of perfect parents, for Jesus is the only perfect human to walk this earth, for he was absolutely without sin. And God does not promise us that we will have lives free from pain and suffering, for we live in flesh bodies, and as followers of Jesus Christ he promised us that to follow him means a life of suffering, as he suffered.

So, what if God, in his sovereignty, in preparing us for the work to which he has called us allowed us to go through much suffering as children to humble us, and to draw us to himself, and to teach us to depend on him? What if it was God’s purpose that we should suffer so, not that he approved of the evil done to us, but to ready our hearts to serve him? What if God’s plan and purpose for our lives is such that it will naturally involve much suffering and pain and rejection, and so from childhood he was getting us ready?

For, let’s look at what this says next. God made us. And in his book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for us, when as yet there was none of them. Doesn’t that just “blow your mind away?” (That is an expression.) He didn’t plan the evil, nor did he carry out the evil, but he allows evil to exist, and sometimes it serves his purposes when the evil done to us serves to prepare us for the work of ministry God had planned for us in advance, like in the story of Joseph whose brothers sold him into slavery.

I don’t know about you, and I don’t know what your childhoods looked like, or what pains you have still from things you went through as children, but I struggled for many years with what I endured in my childhood until I finally came to the place where God brought me to where I could accept the sovereignty of God over my life, and believe that God allowed all he allowed in my life to make me who I am and to prepare me for the work that he eventually called me to do. And that is the only place you will find peace.

Psalms 139:23-24 ESV

“Search me, O God, and know my heart!
Try me and know my thoughts!
And see if there be any grievous way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting!”

So, if you are a person who was abused as a child or who was neglected or who had parents who were emotionally distant from you, and so you did not feel loved, if you have not forgiven those who have hurt you, and if you have not let go of the pain, and if you have not yet accepted the sovereignty of God over your lives, I pray you will accept the sovereignty of God over your lives today, and that you will forgive everyone who has hurt you and that you will let go of the hurt and accept God’s plan and purpose for your lives.

And if you are not yet at peace about your pasts, or even about what is going on in your lives presently, I pray that you will allow the Lord Jesus to search your hearts and to show you what is in your hearts, and that you will release all the pain and unforgiveness and let it go and let our Lord heal you of any lingering hurt. And I pray that you will accept God’s sovereign will over your life and that you will trust him with your lives fully, and that you will allow him to make you who he wants you to be because of what you suffered and despite all the suffering you had to endure.

Do you recall what Joseph said to his brothers who had sold him into slavery many years before?

“As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today” (Genesis 50:20 ESV).

And that is really how I feel about my life, that Satan meant all the evil done to me throughout my life for evil, but God meant it for good, to bring about the salvation of human lives. For, because of the things that I suffered, the Lord prepared my heart for this ministry of sharing on the internet what he is teaching me from his word each day to encourage others to draw near to God and to trust Jesus with their lives, and to repent of their sins, and to follow our Lord Jesus in obedience to his will for our lives.

[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

Oh, to Be Like Thee, Blessed Redeemer

Lyrics by Thomas O. Chisholm, 1897
Music by W. J. Kirkpatrick, 1897

Oh, to be like Thee! blessèd Redeemer,
This is my constant longing and prayer;
Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures,
Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.

Oh, to be like Thee! full of compassion,
Loving, forgiving, tender and kind,
Helping the helpless, cheering the fainting,
Seeking the wandering sinner to find.

O to be like Thee! lowly in spirit,
Holy and harmless, patient and brave;
Meekly enduring cruel reproaches,
Willing to suffer others to save.

O to be like Thee! while I am pleading,
Pour out Thy Spirit, fill with Thy love;
Make me a temple meet for Thy dwelling,
Fit me for life and Heaven above.

Oh, to be like Thee! Oh, to be like Thee,
Blessèd Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.

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