When God steps into a bad idea, a bad plan, a bad time, a bad situation, a bad person, He can bring out something good. Only God can see and bring out something good from something completely damaged.
Paul was the chief of sinners, the worst of the worst (1 Timothy 1:15), but God looked at him and saw beyond all the atrocities he was carrying out on believers and the church. God saw someone that if arrested for Christ, would be an asset to the kingdom of God. When Jesus sat down with the Samaritan woman at the well, He wasn’t embarrassed to be seen with someone most people wouldn’t want to be seen dead with (John 4:27). This woman was known for her tendency to go in and out of marriages. I can imagine eyes rolling, tongues lashing as Jesus sat down to converse with this woman who bad enough was a Samaritan; was from a tribe the Jews didn’t want to associate with, but was also a woman with a questionable lifestyle. When Jesus looked at this woman, although He knew her past, His eyes weren’t glued to her failed marriages. In spite of the fact that He knew her present, His eyes weren’t hooked on the current adulterous relationship she was in. Jesus saw beyond her messy past and present blunder to what this woman was capable of doing for God if her priorities changed, if her thoughts and energy were channeled in the right direction. He saw something good in a woman society had stuck the bad label on. He saw a woman with great potentials; he saw a woman that could draw crowds to the Lord (John 4:28-29, 39-42).
God’s love for us is strong and bubbling on our good days as well as on our bad days (Romans 5:8). God never looks at us from where we are or where we are coming from, if that’s where His focus is, He wouldn’t want to have anything to do with us! Rather, when He looks at us, He sees untapped abilities, undeveloped skills we don’t even know we carry. He peels of layers of sin, He digs deep into dark corners of our lives, until He can unearth the hidden and buried treasures in us.
The change in this woman’s life from something bad…to something good, began when she said to Jesus ‘I have no husband’ (John 4:17). When she said there’s something ‘bad’ about me, there’s something in my life I’m not comfortable with, heavens floodlight was thrown on her greatest weakness, her biggest struggle in life. It made Jesus address, repair and visit the area of her life that was keeping her from reaching her full potentials in God. If we can honestly tell God, ‘I have no husband’; I have no integrity, I have no self-control, I have no respect in society, I have no joy in this area of my life, I have no peace about this issue in my life, I have no money, no job, no children, no husband, no drive and determination to wake up and do anything productive, I have no interest in the Bible or anything to do with God, then we can see the power of God transform and turnaround these weaknesses, inadequacies and setbacks in our lives. But when we shield or are insincere about them, we keep the wind of change a bay.
It’s interesting that the people this woman brought to Jesus were men. ‘The woman then left her water pot, went her way into the city, and said to the men, come and see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ? Then they went out of the city and came to Him’ (John 4:28-30). This woman’s major problem in life was actually centered on men. Her main hunger was to be loved by men. Her most painful moments in life would certainly have come from things men had done to her and said about her. Yet, it was men that she brought to Jesus. When God is at work to transform us and mold us into the people He created us to be, it is the area where we have failed the most, struggled the most, fallen the most, been battered the most, suffered the most that He infuses with His grace and power. Paul in 2 Corinthians 10:12 said ‘Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong’. Paul saw God take offer His weaknesses and move so powerfully in the things He thought were a handicap or setback. This was the same thing that happened to the Samaritan woman. Her ministry started with men; with the people she had had the most problems and issues with. God took over the area of her greatest fear and concern, God’s light shone brightly on the place where she was always rising and falling like a yo-yo and brought out a beautiful message of hope. After her encounter with Christ at the well, God showed her off as evidence to the world that underneath anyone who has stumbled and fallen many times, on the underside of anyone who has made costly mistakes in life is a person that can do great things for God. God used her life as a helpful example to buttress the point that if you look deeper, you will see something good in someone you think is so bad.
God can bring something good out of a bad or painful experience. God can turn something you are mourning about; something you are so unhappy about, into something that makes you dance and rejoice. Psalm 30:11 says ‘You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness.’ Sarah had gone through a bad, bitter experience. For many years it felt like there was something missing in her life. When your dream of being a mother is not fulfilled, not even all the money in the world can make you forget that dream. The Bible described her husband, Abraham, as a man that was extremely wealthy (Genesis 13:2), but all that wealth meant nothing compared to the joy of cuddling your own baby close to your chest. The pain and grief of childlessness was with Sarah anywhere she went, any conversation she had. Then when all hope was lost, when her womb was completely dead (Romans 4:19), the God that specializes in turning things around, stepped into Sarah’s hopeless situation and brought out something good. God visited her and gave her a blessing that made up for all the bad, difficult times. God gave her a child that terminated years of pain, years of weeping, years of shame and reproach. God changed her story from mourning to dancing, from being laughed at to being laughed with (Genesis 21:1-7). May God do something in your life that will make all those that have sneered at you, come and congratulate you and rejoice with you.
If doctors say your womb is dead, God can fix it. If your mind tells you it’s too bad to be repaired, God can gather all the broken pieces together, put it into good shape and get it working again (Ezekiel 37:1-10). Nothing can be too bad for the power of God to repair and restore. I don’t know the bad; the unpleasant, painful, hurtful and hopeless situation you are in right now. Whether it’s in your marriage, your finances, with your health or if it concerns a child of yours. If you can lay it before God and against all odds believe for a change, the power of God will work through that situation and change your story from mourning to dancing, in Jesus mighty name. Amen!
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