Is Bad Ever Good? Finding Hope In Impossible Situations

http://www.rebeccabarlowjordan.com/is-bad-ever-good?Job loss, financial crisis, rebellious children, disappointments, rejection, unexpected illness–the list goes on. The list that is, we call bad. Is bad ever good? That depends. Can we find hope in impossible situations? Absolutely!

Some negative circumstances we readily recognize as good. You’re  involved in a car accident–minor injuries–but x-rays reveal a small tumor. Surgery can remove it and literally save your life. It’s in the early stages. You wouldn’t have known about the problem apart from the accident. Was the accident good? No. But good came from it.

Many life-changing events don’t spell good, however. Some may want to throw stones if we even suggest it. But consider these possibilities. How can we find hope in these difficult situations?

Finding Hope in Job Loss

  • Freedom to try a new vocation.
  • Chance to pursue a long-time dream. (What have you always wanted to do but never would try?)
  • Dependence on God and His provision as Jehovah Jireh, the God Who Provides. (Philippians 4:19). May allow others a blessing by using their gifts to minister on your behalf.

Finding Hope in a Major Accident

  • Re-evaluation of your life: “Why am I still here?”
  • Complete change of direction. A car accident that almost totaled my  husband’s car (when we were still dating as youth) turned his heart toward full-time Christian ministry. He never wavered from that decision at the age of 18.
  • Even serious injuries can purify our hearts if we let God do His work.

Finding Hope in Marriage Difficulties

  • Reveals dormant (or prominent) marital issues that still need work. My husband I often tell couples that conflict can be positive, not always negative. It can simply mean there’s more growth potential in your marriage–lots of God’s grace still to experience. One of grace’s definitions to me is room to grow. God gives us much room to grow.
  • Empathy for others. You can add this to almost any situation you experience. Successfullly working through (and even sometimes failing at) can open up areas of tenderness and ministry and offer hope to others in similar situations. Because of a difficult marriage season in our own lives, my husband and I pursued training as marriage enrichment leaders years ago. God has so blessed as we’ve tried to help other couples and have led marriage weekend retreats for them.
  • Greater dependence on God and prayer.
  • Deeper marital intimacy after you “hit the wall” and move past it. Runners often experience this halfway point where they must push past in order to succeed and even finish the race. With bodies screaming, and mind racing along with legs pumping, they may feel resistance with every move. But pushing past that “invisible wall,” they move past the point of no return to success. It’s a principle you can apply to almost any bad situation if you want to move forward and realize the good.

Finding Hope in Rebellious Kids

  • New dependence on God and prayer support from others. God often forges friendships and support networks through mutual experiences, bringing hope to those involved.
  • Opportunity to believe and see God work in seemingly impossible situations. Billy Graham’s son, Franklin Graham–who later called himself “Rebel With a Cause” in his autobiography–brought grief to his parents as a prodigal son. But God brought Franklin back, and he is now President of Samaritan’s Purse, an organization that has literally reached around the world for Christ.
  • Revealing of deeper issues in relationships that can ultimately bring you closer to God and your children.

Finding Hope in the Loss of a Loved One

  • Deepened heart hunger for God and a new dependence on Him. Often results in a new, hope-filled longing for your real home in heaven.
  • Reevaluation of what is truly important in life (simplifying of priorities).
  • Influence in making new laws/groups to help prevent tragedies that could have been avoided. (ex. MADD- Mothers Against Drunk Driving), ultimately bringing hope to multitudes.
  • Testimony to the unsaved. At one young man’s funeral, a relative challenged the friends of the deceased to choose Jesus. Eleven did.
  • Opportunity to bring comfort and healing to others who have experienced grief as well. God used the testimony of my friend Susan who lost her teenage son and opened up a world of writing, speaking, and grief ministry in which she offers hope to many.

Finding Hope in Other Apparent Tragedies or Disappointments

  • New, total dependency on God (as with all the situations above).
  • Enlarged opportunities to show God’s amazing grace and power through our difficulties. The video on this site about Nick Vujicic is a great example, or you can see more of his life here.
  • Empathetic heart that can help bring others through their difficulties. 

God Wants to Give You Hope

Before you object with “That hasn’t happened to me. Nothing good has come from my situation!” remember God’s plans for you: ”to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11, NIV). And the good He desires may differ from your definition. But it will ultimately be good and bring good. In some cases, we won’t see–or understand–the good this side of heaven. But our omniscient God does. And He wants to give you hope.

Don’t misunderstand me. Few of us pop up immediately smiling from a tragedy or impossible situation with, “Praise the Lord!” Healing takes time, but bad can be good if we will ultimately trust God to “work all things together.” It’s not time, but God, that will bring the good–and the hope–He has planned all along.

A Matter of Choice…Or More?

It’s a matter of choice, right–how we respond to the negative circumstances of our lives? That’s the key. Yes and No. It is a response, and it is a matter of choice. But it’s more. It’s a desire. A deep down desire that longs, that craves, that chooses to trust God and to find our hope in Him, while we’re in the waiting room with Him–no matter what the outcome.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 NIV

My Prayer for You

Lord Jesus, disaster, disappointment, and discouragement stalk our lives, our nation, and our world daily. Things are changing and moving toward your promised ending. No one knows when or exactly how, but our eyes are on You, and You alone. Help us not to become so earthbound that we forget why we’re here in the first place: to bring glory and honor to You.  We don’t ask for easy paths or painless lives. But grant us wisdom, Lord, to understand with heaven’s eyes, the greater purpose of everything that happens to us–knowing that You will bring good out of every impossible situation when we look to You.  You not only have plans to bring us hope; You are our only hope.

Day-votedly Yours,

Rebecca

It’s Your Turn

What about you? How has God brought good out of bad in your life? How have you found hope in impossible situations?

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    Comments

    14 Responses to “Is Bad Ever Good? Finding Hope In Impossible Situations”

    1. Debi Newman on June 12th, 2010 12:35 pm

      Becky:
      Your article reminds me of a verse I have been meditating over:
      Psam 69:26–For they persecute those you wound and talk about the pain of those you hurt.
      I’ve been thinking about a loving God who wounds and hurts. Obviously this Psalm has references to Jesus and His suffering on the cross. Suffering–wounding, hurting, is a tool that God uses to bring greater healing. Jesus is an example of that. We must be careful not to be in the category of those who persecute those who God is wounding or hurting. I don’t want to judge someone’s struggles as the fact that God has abandoned them. Perhaps they are more spiritually mature than I am and are being taken to a deeper place spiritually. Anyway this scripture goes along with your article that wounding and hurting are not necessarily all bad!

    2. JASON ANDRREWTOPPIN FROM BORONIA MELBOURNE VICTORIA AUSTRALIA on June 12th, 2010 2:00 pm

      Beccy
      I have some advise for you re you atricle from from friend of mine Steven Chishlom.
      “we go through many trila in our live somet,es we may fail but we can get up again we will be tested”.
      God will never foresake us.

    3. Rebecca on June 15th, 2010 11:16 am

      Thanks for your comments, Debi. Who can know the mind of God and His purposes? One thing we do know. Everything God does, or does allow is out of His goodness and love. And when we trust Him, He does bring good from all of it. Truly His ways are not our ways.

    4. Rebecca on June 15th, 2010 11:20 am

      Jason, thank you for your comments. Testing does come to all of us. But it is truly comforting that we can count on God’s promise: He will never leave us or forsake His children. He is constantly working in us, on us, and through us to make us more like Him.

    5. patrick - nigeria on July 11th, 2010 6:15 pm

      Testing brings us closer to God. Out of every bad suituation God brings out the best from it. We only need to trust Him at that time. In my dark times I met Jesus and today I thank Him for whom I am.
      Continue with your good works. God bless you.

    6. Rebecca on July 12th, 2010 9:15 pm

      So true. Thanks for your comments, Patrick.

    7. Annalisa Walker on June 24th, 2013 12:00 pm

      I was diagnosed with Lyme Disease in 2011. I became completely dependent on God, family, and friends. This disease is a devastating disease that so many people have. It is a world that no one wants to be a part of. However, I have found healing with wonderful doctors who have helped me so much. There have been so many blessings and miracles through this whole journey, which are only possible because of God.
      I have a new found faith because I became 100% dependent on him to lead me through each day. There were days when I prayed I would die. I suffered tremendously. Today I am living a full life again. It is all because of God.
      I hate Lyme Disease, but I wouldn’t trade my experience, as it has completely changed me. God is my Rock and my Savior.

    8. Godfrey on June 24th, 2013 1:10 pm

      Your website continues to be a blessing and brings blessings.

      Thank you for your great ministry.

      Shalom

      Octogenarian.

    9. Rebecca Barlow Jordan on June 24th, 2013 4:02 pm

      Annalisa, Thank you so much for sharing your story and your testimony to God’s faithfulness, even in the midst of this devastating disease. I’m so grateful for all the good things God taught you through a “bad” situation–and for His healing. All praise to Him!

    10. Rebecca Barlow Jordan on June 24th, 2013 4:04 pm

      Thank you Godfrey, for your kind and thoughtful words. All praise to God!

    11. Azura on July 14th, 2013 8:07 am

      How does something good come from your child being raped???
      I just don’t see anything worth gaining from your life being ruined

    12. Diana on July 15th, 2013 11:29 am

      Azura, My heart goes out to you & sending your love, comfort & hugs! This is a terrible event no matter how u look @ it! I have been there as the child! I lived a life as a victim & hurt so deeply until I had a breaking point which left me so shattered all I could do was look up. There I finally allowed myself to see & receive God’s love. He was always there I pushed Him away! I felt what kind of God allows this, not one I want to know. Once I finally let Him in & quit fighting Him, He showed me He has always been there every step of my life. Yes, even then! WE LIVE IN A FALLEN EVIL WORLD & GOD DOES NOT GO AGAINST WILL OF MAN. A man’s will did this to me, not God or His love. God’s love rescued me from it put pieces together & molded this mess into the beautiful daughter I was always created to me not what I let the circumstances define me as. I am not a victim but victorious for I overcame with His love & by the word of my testimony. Jesus took all these things on Himself willingly and died for us so we could live in the victory of the cross. When I asked God how could this have happened, He showed me His Son, hated, beaten, hung on the Cross for others sins and killed all while He was sinless, blameless, perfect and living His life healing hurts, removing sin, walking in and giving love. Jesus poured out all He was to show us His love. God did not stop people from doing the unthinkable to His Son & He could have….but it was for the love of u, your child that He wanted you to see while going through this..that Hey, I love u! We ask yeah sure how can u say that when I see my child’s hurts? He shows us His child hanging on the cross, bloody, beated beyond recognition(for sin changes man from created value & makes it unrecognizable & ugly). He was whipped with strips that have sharp items @ the end to tear Him to expose organs, flesh off His skins etc, killing most and most wouldnt live past the beatings, scrouraging let alone as many as He took and still held on. He was stripped, beard ripped out, laughed at, people screaming awful things @ Him trying to shame Him, pushed down, kicked etc all while this human (He was human on earth- for when we follow Him He shows us how for he walked it out in human strength by leaning on God’s love to be His strength). Jesus, after all this was happening, knowing for God showed Him, all that is & would be, still out of His will … laid down His life to show u & all of us how much He loves you/us, Your worth. U, your daughter were worth all He went through and dying for because He loves u! So when I think of that, I know He understands as God a Father and our Father for we are His children. When we accept Him as Lord & Savior, He lives in us. What happened to your daughter happened to him to. God hurts too for she is His daughter too. His will is that none perish in sin or death & our hurts He feels and Jesus bore on the cross. Jeramiah 29:11 ” I know the plans I have for u, declares the Lord, plans to prosper u, not for destruction, plans to give you hope and a future.” Do we let the evil determine our value & worth or do we allow God and who we are to and in Him? I chose to be known as a daughter of God and not a victim. Turn this mess into a message of hope to others. Where the devil attacked, let it be your ministry! Teach your child the Love of God & that that wasnt God that happened but replace the hurts with a hope with God’s truths of who she is and what she has ahead of her. It hurts no way around it, but I will not let it control me any longer, I over came by the blood of Christ & word of my testimony. Jesus is Lord & will heal all your hurts & make this awful situation into one u & your daughter can help others through and love them when they dont feel lovable & teach them about their worth & help them to fight back from victim to victorious! Please dont let circumstances robe u of the destines & calls u both have on your lives and the ultimate price He paid to show u His love. That is what satin does, He sends awful things to try to seperate us from God so we are destroyed. GOD NEVER WILL OR DID FORESAKE U OR DAUGHTER & ALWAYS LOVES U & WILL ALWAYS. DONT BLAME GOD SEE WHO DID IT, satin! It is like your daughter blaming u, when that is ridiculous for you did not cause this but Hurt for her and there to love her through it. It makes you mad..well, all that He feels too!. When u cant see bast this hurt, look to the cross & look into Jesus’ eyes & see the love…it was all for His love for u & worth everything just to show u the depth of His love. No one or nothing can ever take that love..never ever. Come back to God’s love & truth, see He never left u or your daughter and let Him love you & u love Him through this together. He is our redeemer, savior, comforter, restorer, counselor, strength, source, provision, truth, healer,…He is the Great I Am! He is all that you need …run back to Daddy’s arms! He so loves you!

    13. Rebecca Barlow Jordan on July 16th, 2013 3:40 pm

      Azura, your question is a valid one. I weep hurt, angry tears when I hear that someone has hurt a child in any way.I believe God hurts for His children, too. There is probably only one person who can answer that question for you, though people like Diana, who left her comments, can testify that they have lived through such an ordeal and can encourage and offer hope to others. There are some questions we may never find adequate answers for our finite minds, at least not until eternity–questions like yours that only God can answer. And when we are in the throes of pain, or grief, nothing seems to make sense–things like good coming from horrible deeds. I won’t add to the things Diana said except to say that I believe you will make a fantastic Christian one day. Why? Because you are on a sincere, honest journey to find answers. God is not threatened by our questions, Why? or How? His own son, Jesus, asked a “Why?” from His heavenly Father. As you continue to seek Him for answers, may God give you peace to overcome the deep, deep pain of situations like this. Good can only come when those involved choose to allow God to turn their “weeping through the night” into “joy in the morning.” Sometimes that takes time. But time itself does not heal. Only God can do that. Whether this situation you mentioned is from your family, someone you know, or simply a question you earnestly desire to know, please know our hearts hurt for those who experience such pain, and we are praying for you and others. Thank you for your honest question. Sin has damaged all of us in one way or another. Why do innocent suffer? One day God will right all injustice. In the meantime, our Master Potter is in the business of remaking broken lives into beautiful vessels for Him. May His Word give comfort, wisdom, and help in moving toward His light and His love.

    14. Rebecca Barlow Jordan on July 16th, 2013 3:42 pm

      Diana, thanks for taking the time to offer help to one of our readers. I’m sure your painful story and testimony will encourage many and give them hope to make it through such devastating circumstances.

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