North Santa Rosa

Living With Purpose

Have you ever wondered what good can come of bad circumstances? There are few people, even among the most faithful of Christians, who haven’t at some point in their lives wondered at the declaration of Romans 8:28: “We know that God causes, everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them”.  The simple understanding of God’s ways doesn’t come easy sometimes, especially in the days of ordinary life. Only God can bring the promise of the Scriptures into realization. We walk by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7).

One of the most common ills we have to face here on earth is our “poverty of understanding”. However, this state can offer us potential blessings. For example, God rewards our faith when we depend on Him for strength. In the difficult times our stamina is enlarged because we take the blows of life and try to get up again. This trait promotes character and courage. We must also not be indifferent to life’s circumstances, nor should we be careless to the plight of others. When family and friends assemble together as a support network the bonds of fellowship are far stronger and more sacred. Our sympathy for one another helps us bear one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2). It’s through this cooperation that needed comforts and blessings come to our domestic life. Also, the troubles we face become more tolerable. Good times and riches often cause people to feel they can get along without the Lord. Therefore, an additional blessing from tragedy and heartaches is it tends to keep us in a spirit of humility and keenly alive to a sense of dependence on God.

Someone has said, “A person’s sick bed is often God’s flower bed”. The suffering of the body often causes a beautifying of the spirit. There are many plants that have to be crushed to bring out there fragrance. There are many souls which never grow into sweetness and produce the perfume of Christian graces until their weakness and pain bring them in humility before the Lord.

When things don’t go as we expect. When sudden tragedy strikes a family or organization that doesn’t know the love of God, it makes a proud soul bitter. There will always be someone to ask, “Where’s God in this?” They see no way of sugar-coating something to make it seem bearable. But there is a wise and genuine way of doing it. Especially for the person who seeks the mind of Christ. All it requires is that we appreciate the purpose of our living here. And to appreciate the lives of those who we are fortunate to call our friends.

Christians are not in the world to make money for somebody to argue over after they die. We’re not here to be popular or be a star. Rather, our life should be one that builds the character of others and not just our own. Everything that we choose to undertake should leave its deposit in character. Businesses may prosper or they may fail. Our good nature may win the applause or criticism of others, but neither compares to the great purpose God has for us; which is the building up of a good strong man or woman.

If we have done our best, honestly and faithfully, then we have no reason to have the blues or be depressed. If we fail, though we try, God has not failed us or anyone else as long as our character is made stronger through it all.

Still, sorrow and loss are before us all the time. Due to the drift of time and swift currents of change, friendship and love can be separated. Can there be any good in that? Yes, there can! Friendship and love are divine gifts and are never given in vain. No honest man or woman has ever given their heart in a sincere friendship or genuine love without unlocking knowledge about themselves. We may lose friends, but deepening sympathy for humankind is not lost. It’s painfully true that people lose dear friends and loves of their life. But there is a moment in time when love was once shared, accepted, unselfish, and enjoyed.

There are friends who have taken on wings and flown to that realm where no traveler returns; that place called Heaven. We go as far as we can with them; to the valley of the shadow of death, to the brink of the river. And then they go to the other side. We say a prayer for them and bid them farewell. But thank God, we can cling to the words of 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14: “Dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again. We also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with Him the believers who have died”.

We shall see them again. God will not make them forget us, and because of love, we do not forget them. Love is like a plant that death does not kill. Though a long, hard winter may come to us; the cold will not rob its power to blossom. Physical absences will only make Heaven that more precious and so, all of life’s sorrows do offer a “silver lining” within the clouds. Even with our perplexing ideas of why bad things happen, we go onward with faith. Our physical life is short and we shall not be kept in doubt of God’s meaning. Evidence of God’s wisdom, mercy, and goodness teach us that the apostle Paul never said a truer thing than when he laid down a law of universal application that “all things work together for good to them that love God”.

  • This bi-weekly column is written by Matthew Dobson. He’s a teacher, U.S. Army Chaplain, and the Pastor of New Bethel Baptist Church in the New York Community. He recently published another book titled “Living With Purpose Volume III” and it can be purchased on Contact him at:
Posted by on Oct 9 2016. Filed under Churches, Living With Purpose, Local. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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