“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)
I spoke last time we were together about how good coming from evil doesn’t always look like good… and how as Christ followers we need to look closer so that we can explain what is really happening to those around us who may not have a personal relationship with God yet.
Let me start by saying this… God doesn’t promise an easy life for those who trust in Him. He never once said, “When you choose to follow Me and make Me Lord of your life, life is going to get great. You will get all you wished for and more.” Nope. Just the opposite in fact. Jesus assured us that we would have trouble in this world. Not if, but when. He talks multiple times in the Bible about how we would be persecuted, ridiculed and even at times have to make the gut wrenching decision of choosing a life with Him while being disowned by family and friends.
I have spoken on multiple occasions about the impact the book, Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus by Nabeel Qureshi has had on me. It saddened me to learn in the fall of 2017 that Nabeel died of cancer after a year-long fight. While we weren’t friends, I felt as though I knew about his life through his writing as he shared about the life-altering decision he made when he chose a personal relationship with Christ because it meant the end of a relationship with his biological family. Whether or not God used his fight with cancer to bring his family to know and accept Jesus as well, that I don’t know, but I do know this. God used his life for good. God may have in fact used his cancer journey for good as well. I look forward to meeting him in Heaven someday and sitting down and hearing all the wonderful things God did as He used Mr. Qureshi’s life and testimony.
I do know that good came out of my friend’s fight with ALS. His life was a walking billboard to God’s faithfulness and what trust in our Heavenly Father looks like when all earthly hope is gone. His widow and their daughters still walk out their faith on a daily basis as well as the extended family he left behind. We all know that while we are temporarily separated from him in this life, there is hope of a reunion when all death and fear and sadness will be forgotten. And I also believe that God will restore the lost time he had with his family once they are reunited in Heaven.
Regarding the boy who lost his life too soon to cancer? His mother has rolled up her sleeves and is fighting for pediatric cancer research and funding because “kids shouldn’t have cancer,” a phrase her son spoke often during his valiant fight. God has opened doors for her that may not have otherwise opened. And the family who continues to deal with heart issues in their baby and medical issues in other family members? They continue to sing God’s praises at their daughter’s bedside as she recovers from yet another surgery. Even though there was medical error in treating their daughter, there is no malice or unforgiveness in their words – simply trust that God will do what He does best.
While evil may prevail over our earthly bodies, and it will to all of us at some point in our lives, death doesn’t have the final answer. Those who have a personal relationship with God have the hope of eternity with our Heavenly Father waiting for us, and I know, I for one hope to hear, “Well done my good and faithful servant” when I finally meet my Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, face to face.
Come back next time when I share what my answer would be to the woman on Facebook who believes it might not get any better than this. I speak from the position of someone who has walked that journey of despondency myself when I too believed the lies of the enemy. God, in His unconditional love, though, whispered His truth until I could hear His voice above the evil one, and if He’s willing to patiently do that for me, He’s waiting to do that as well for anyone else who needs to hear His love too.
© Cheri Swalwell 2018