Photo by: Jolanta Dyr
“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” Ecclesiastes 3:11
For a believer in God, everything can be beautiful. No matter what our situation, he is there and makes it beautiful.
“Life exhibits a changing succession of weeping alternating with laughing, war with peace, and so forth. For each of these God has appointed its time or season, and in its season each is good. But man does not recognise this; for God has put in his heart an expectation and longing for abiding continuance of the same, and so he fails to understand the work which God does in the world.” Ellicot’s Commentary
The world doesn’t understand how God can make everything beautiful. There is so much evil in the world; how can God make it beautiful?
Joseph was hated by his brothers, sold as a slave, falsely accused of rape, sent to prison. How could God bring beauty out of that?
“But Joseph replied to his brothers, “Don’t be afraid of me. Am I God, that I can punish you?You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” Genesis 50:19,20
Most of us don’t understand why bad things happen to us or other people. Apparently, we don’t have to understand. When Job complained bitterly to God about his life, God didn’t come and explain to him why it was happening. He did however say this, “Who is this that darkens counsel By words without knowledge? Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me. “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding.” Job 38:2-4 God was saying he wasn’t a mere man, he was the God of all creation and he knows what he is doing.
“Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me. Will you even put me in the wrong? Will you condemn me that you may be in the right?” Job 40:7,8
What was the beauty that came out of Job and Joseph’s suffering? It was a witness to the world, the angels and the universe that a man can stay true to believing in God even when he has terrible suffering. Is this important? Yes, very important, because Satan is not just an accuser of the brothers and sisters in the church, he is an accuser of God. He tells us God is cruel to let us suffer, and many believe it. I used to believe it myself. He doesn’t want us to know it was he himself who brought suffering to this world and is the prince and god of this world. Humans chose Satan, and because of freedom of choice, God must give Satan freedom to rule this world. But Jesus bought us back with his death. We now have a choice to choose Evil or Good. We can choose who will rule over us.
When Christians were being burned at the stake by the many thousands during the dark ages, the Christians said, “Our blood is seed.” They said this because as they suffered from persecution, other people saw it and were impressed by their courage and beliefs. The more believers died, the more were converted. God did bring something beautiful out of being burned alive, out of being thrown in prison, out of losing all your children.
I read recently about a man who was with some Christians when ISIS took over a city. ISIS soldiers told the Christians they must renounce Christ or they would lose their heads. The Christians said they would not renounce Christ. A man who was not a Christian was standing by watching. He walked over and said, “I am also a Christian.” He became a Christian in a moment of time when he saw what the Christians were doing. He probably knew about Christ; but now he wanted Christ.” They were all beheaded.
An instrument of torture, the cross, has become beautiful in its time.
God spoke to my heart once and said, “You have need of endurance.” Yes, I did. I wanted out of this ugly world. But after months of praying about this I have come to see my life as beautiful. It was the pain in my life that led me to God. Without it, I would have gone my merry way being happy but hurting others; thinking only of myself and wanting my own way all the time. In my opinion, that is what a life without God looks like.
“Paul said, “Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:7-10
I never thought I could delight in my weaknesses and hardships. But I do delight in them now; because when I realize how weak I am, it is then I am strong.