Actually, if you look at Church history, a lot of bad things have happened to a lot of good people. But we are given a promise that is very clear in Romans 8, as Paul lists his own biography of beatings, imprisonment, and all sorts of bad things. As he looks back, he says, "All of these things can be used for good.  All of them are redeemable." 

I have often used the illustration of Joni Eareckson Tada.  She was one of the first people I ever interviewed as a journalist. She was just a teenager, and she thought at the time, "My life is over.  I was going to be an Olympic athlete. I was planning all of these things and, man, it is just ruined now."  And now, she looks back on that time and says, "That was the best day of my life, the day I broke my neck, because it arrested me and it gave me a calling to be a prophetess to the rest of the Church." 

So that is a hope that we have.  It is not a hope that you are going to live a problem-free existence, because that is not going to happen. It is the hope that God is with us in these testing times of faith and that they can be redeemed, that good can be wrought out of them.

Publication date: September 13, 2010