Good from Bad

Quotable Quote
“Make the best of the worst that can happen to you.”
Lee Iacocca

Lee Iacocca is by no stretch of the imagination a Bible scholar or theologian, but the above quote of the former CEO of Chrysler is certainly a challenge that comes straight from the Bible. The first example that comes to my mind is the story of the young man Joseph in the book of Genesis. His brothers were jealous of him because he was their father’s favorite son (he gave Joseph a multicolored robe). The brothers took advantage of an opportunity to sell their brother into slavery. Joseph ended up being a slave in Pharaoh’s palace in Egypt and successfully predicting a coming famine. Eventually Joseph ended up in a high position in Egypt, overseeing the stockpiling of food for the famine.

As things turned out, Joseph’s family heard of the availability of food in Egypt and ended up being helped by him. It’s to Joseph’s credit that he held no grudge. In fact, he saw the big picture of what God was doing. He told his brothers, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” (Genesis 50:20)

The very fact that God allows our world to be a fallen and messed up place, and yet accomplishes His purposes, should remind us that good can come out of bad in our lives too. Whatever happens to us that is not good, we’re to remember that God has a plan to do something good with it!

Job, who faced more than his share of troubles, said to God toward the end of much of those troubles, “I know that you can do all things; no plans of yours can be thwarted.” (Job 42:2) I’ve always liked that word “thwart” or “thwarted” because, well, it’s just such a great word! When we yield to God we can know that God’s ultimate plans for us will not be thwarted!

When my wife and I toured the Holy Land years ago we saw tels. Tels are mounds of earth, rocks, and ancient building materials. What happened was that ancient people would build a city upon the destruction of the previous city, utilizing the debris that was salvageable for their new buildings. Years, maybe centuries later, another city would be built on the previous city’s destruction, and so on through the centuries. Building the new on the destruction of the old was the method used.

Failure never has to be final – we can build on failure. Mistakes can become learning experiences. Bad can be used for good. All of this might be nothing more than wishful positive thinking if not for the fact that this is God’s plan for us and He can make it so! When we seek to live according to His will we can know that His plans for us cannot be thwarted!

“Make the best of the worst that can happen to you.”

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