All Things Work Together For Good
01 Mar 2014 Service – Paul Scanlon
21-23 Since you admire the egomaniacs of the pulpit so much (remember, this is your old friend, the fool, talking), let me try my hand at it. Do they brag of being Hebrews, Israelites, the pure race of Abraham? I’m their match. Are they servants of Christ? I can go them one better. (I can’t believe I’m saying these things. It’s crazy to talk this way! But I started, and I’m going to finish.)
23-27 I’ve worked much harder, been jailed more often, beaten up more times than I can count, and at death’s door time after time. I’ve been flogged five times with the Jews’ thirty-nine lashes, beaten by Roman rods three times, pummeled with rocks once. I’ve been shipwrecked three times, and immersed in the open sea for a night and a day. In hard traveling year in and year out, I’ve had to ford rivers, fend off robbers, struggle with friends, struggle with foes. I’ve been at risk in the city, at risk in the country, endangered by desert sun and sea storm, and betrayed by those I thought were my brothers. I’ve known drudgery and hard labor, many a long and lonely night without sleep, many a missed meal, blasted by the cold, naked to the weather.
2 Cor 11:23-27 MSG
If you did not know it was Paul, you would think that this person was bad based on what had happened to him. You would think all those happened before he got saved, not after.
Imagine if you were on Paul’s team, and your leader Paul was always being lashed in the town square, constantly stoned and jailed. Betrayed and beaten. You would start to doubt. You would think twice, are you in the right job, on the right team? Are you doing some thing wrong? Are you following the correct people, the correct leaders?
28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Rom 8:28 … Everything… All things. “All things” is massive in its implications.
Paul believed that everything was either God-sent or God-used. If it is not sent by God, it will be used by God.
There’s far more you don’t know about than what you do know about. We tend to trace God’s hand by the works being done in our lives. But things you don’t know about, where you could not trace God, you would have realized that God fingerprints are all over your life. God is doing much more behind your back than in front of your face.
God is using people u don’t know to help you. God is using things in your life, things above and beneath, things that make sense and things that don’t. God can use ALL THINGS.
God made a donkey talk. He made fish carry money. He made the ravens feed Elijah. God can make iron float (iron axe head). Notice how God can make everything go against its own nature to make all things work. Donkeys can’t talk, iron can’t float. But God can make them do that. God can do stuff above all we can even imagine, don’t think for a moment that He is limited by any restrictions of the world.
So if God can use all things, then why are you not experiencing your breakthroughs? Maybe because you are thinking that He CANT do so and are trying to do things on your own.
You need to change your mindset of “God is using some things or God is using only the good things”. Because He uses ALL THINGS.
#God is OMNISCIENT
He has complete unlimited knowledge on all things past, present and future. This means He has already lived your life. He enters from the end, He knows what is going to happen to you next week.
So when God speaks to you in your life, and you’re getting all drama and you’re crying and shouting out to God, and you’re all worried, thinking that somehow whatever you just did will make everything better. God cannot be surprised. He cannot be informed. He cannot be early or late. He cannot be disappointed.
Disappointment is the feeling of dissatisfaction that follows the failure of expectations or hopes to manifest.
God never expected something different from what He got, from what He knows is going to happen. Some of you may be feeling disappointed that you let God down, but God isn’t disappointed. You’re panicking trying to control the outcome, but God is calm and already knows what is the outcome.
#God is OMNIPOTENT
He doesn’t need help or assistance. He can do anything, can create anything.
#Bad things happen to good people
Bad things that happen to you doesn’t make you a bad person. God looks at the heart, not the outward.
When bad things happen to you… The questions isn’t why, it’s what now?
Paul had so many things trying to stop him, but he carried on and did what he needed to do. He lived full and died empty.