Is the “Bad Stuff” Actually the “Good Stuff”

Did some “bad stuff” happen in your life? Were you rejected by someone close to you? A friend? A family member? Did you engage in a lifestyle that wasn’t healthy? Were you hurt by someone you thought would never hurt you? Do you look back and realize that those you thought had your back, didn’t? Yeah, I think it’s happened to all of us. Although not easy, why shouldn’t we be glad (even thankful) for what happened? I think God removes people and situations in our lives to bring us to the conclusion that He is the only One we truly need. HE IS ENOUGH! When someone turns their back on us and we continue to move forward, and we continue to be strong (when we didn’t think we could be), we know that it’s God who is carrying us and letting us know HE HAS OUR BACK! He will get us through!

When Paul was imprisoned in Rome, his attitude in Philippians 1:12-13 NKJV is one that we must learn to embrace: “But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel, so that it has become evident to the whole palace guard, and to all the rest, that my chains are in Christ.

As Paul was in chains, he still continued to praise God. Through the storms of his life, he found a way to turn things around and know that what was happening to him was to further God’s kingdom. People were talking about him – his trial hadn’t come yet and it seemed to be delayed. Still, Paul continued to rejoice and teach the Gospel. This is where we need to understand that anything that happens to us in life has to filter through the hands of God first (Pastor Frank taught me this, and I think on it and reference it often). We have to know that the trials we are going through, the doors that God closed for us, were to save us from spending years of our lives in the wrong places. If God didn’t want you in that room, He closed the door! If God didn’t want you in that house, He closed the door! In my hard times, I may not have initially understood why God closed the door, but I didn’t know what was behind that door (only God knew) – and I had to trust Him and know that He closed that door for a purpose. God wants to give me his BEST, so I’m glad it happened. I know anything that the Lord has allowed in my life, has happened for my deliverance.

Paul writes “For I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayer and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, according to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death.” – Philippians 1:19-20 NKJV

We can be upset about situations that happen, or we can understand that God put us in this difficult season of life for His glory. Remember Lazarus? God allowed him to die – people wanted Jesus to get to him quickly before he died, but God allowed him to die anyway. The people didn’t understand.. they were upset and felt that Jesus took “too long” to get there because He stopped on the way and didn’t get to Lazarus “in time”. God used this as a setup, as we now know that had Jesus got there prior to Lazarus’s death, people would not have seen the power of our God as He resurrected Lazarus from the dead. So, just as the people there had to deal with the death of Lazarus before Jesus arrived, we have to do the same thing now as we go through life’s storms – deal with it and realize what happened happened. Acknowledge it. Something in our life may have “perished”, but know that God allowed it to happen. This means that He’s there with us and we can expect to see what He has up ahead for us that is far greater than we’d have hoped or imagined would come out of that season of our life. Know it and expect it.

I heard a Pastor online recently talking about praise reports and prayer requests. He talked about how usually our praise reports are the “good stuff” that has happened to us, and the prayer requests are for the “bad stuff” that is going on in our lives that we want a “fix”. Maybe there’s not much difference in these two things. What if my prayer requests (bad stuff) have become my praise reports (good stuff)? Can my bad stuff be my good stuff? (Yep!) People were praying that Paul would be released, but when Paul was in Rome, he was still preaching the Gospel of Jesus. His release was the prayer request of many, but to Paul, he was creating praise reports from his situation while he was still in chains. He was still teaching and praising God in this season of his life. In his own mind, he may have even wanted people to “tone down” their prayers to get him released, as his situation was furthering the Kingdom of God and he wanted to continue that (and also, it was God’s will). Isn’t that our goal? To further the Kingdom of God? (If not, it should be!) See, there’s something God wants us to do while we’re still in the storm. We may not see it, but we have to just TRUST Him, and praise Him for the unanswered prayers – as some of the things we’ve prayed for that God didn’t answer could very well be the instruments of true change in our lives. God is going to get glory out of every struggle I’ve gone through. The more I’ve gone through, the greater the glory on the other side of the trial.

So, you see, we can’t experience the purpose of God with our head looking back at our past. We must turn around, look forward, and make peace with what’s behind us so we can move forward with what God has for us up ahead. I know there are hardships that have happened in my life that I can’t change, but I can eagerly expect and welcome my future because I know the One who holds it. I know whatever God has for me is better than what I wanted (and prayed for) on my own.

(Spoiler: There’s “another” door!)


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About Dena:
“First and foremost, I’m a Daughter of the King and a long-time Christ follower. I’m also a dog mom who enjoys reading Christian books, cardio drumming, traveling often, and I’m a bit of a techie geek. My life has seen its fair share of curve-balls and I’ve found that I’ve become closer to Christ in each trial as He’s comforted me and shown me that I can solely put my faith and trust in Him. 2 Corinthians 1:4 NLT says “He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” I feel thankful and blessed for the messes in my life – as they have brought me closer to Him.”

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