Thursday, May 16, 2013

Can Good Come From Evil?

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As our nation continues to reel from developing scandals in the IRS, the State Department and the Justice Department's wire tapping the press, we wonder where it all will lead.

We may also ask ourselves, "Can any good come from this?"

It can.

There was good that came from Watergate.

I know of at least two good things that have come from abortionist Dr. Kermit Gosnell's murder trial.

And there is a sense of clarity that is developing in our country as we continue to learn more about the current scandals.

Some thoughts on how good comes from evil.

Joseph was 17 years old and worked for his dad. He tended his father's flocks.

His father deeply loved him, gave him a lot of attention, including an ornate robe which we know as a "coat of many colors."

This is a well known story that profoundly illustrates how good comes from intended evil.

The book of Genesis gives the full account of the story. Let me summarize.

Not only did Joseph's father show him special attention in that he was the father's youngest son and the father was older, but Joseph then told his father and his brothers of a dream that he had which pictured his brothers bowing down to him.

His brothers were further filled with hate and jealously, couldn't say anything good to him or about him and ultimately conspired to kill him.

One of his brothers, Reuben, intervened and persuaded the brothers to merely throw him into a deep dry well.

When the opportunity presented itself, the brothers removed Joseph from the well and sold him to passing Midianite merchants for 20 shekels of silver (8 oz).

Joseph was later sold to Potipher, in Egypt, who was one of Pharaoh's officials. Joseph found favor with Potipher, however Potipher's wife lusted after Joseph and tried to initiate an affair with him. Joseph refused and ran away, she accused him of trying to initiate the relationship and so he was thrown in prison.

While in prison, through a series of events divinely ordered, he gained favor with the people with whom he had contact and eventually was asked to interpret dreams, which he did successfully, finally gaining favor with Pharaoh himself. Pharaoh was so impressed with the character and wisdom of Joseph, he eventually put him in charge "of all the lands of Egypt."

Famine and personal needs brought Joseph's brothers to Egypt seeking food and assistance, only to find themselves standing before their brother.

Can you say awkward?

However, Joseph blessed them, gave them what they needed and said, " meant it for evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order my people..."

Relational healing and personal provision came from what was intended for evil.

The Watergate scandal stressed our nation in the 1970's. While the event gave political advantage to some and seemingly destroyed the lives of others, it blessed the nation and the world through one of the major players in the scandal.

Someone posted a brief comment on our website yesterday that reminded me that Watergate gave us Charles "Chuck" Colson.

Colson was Special Counsel to President Nixon. He was often called the "hatchet man."

The Watergate scandal led to Colson's indictment and conviction. He served 7 months in a federal prison.

While in prison, he accepted Jesus Christ as his personal savior.

When he emerged from prison, he told the world he had been transformed by the power of God, had a personal relationship with Christ, and would spend the rest of his life in Christian ministry.

In 1976, he founded Prison Fellowship Ministries which has reached thousands of inmates with the gospel. The ministry continues to this day as a strong witness to the transforming power of God.

In addition, Colson founded "The Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview".

You could not meet or know Chuck Colson without experiencing his passion and conviction for the ministry and God's kingdom, yet no one has spoken more articulately to the issues in our culture than Chuck Colson.

My last contact with him was not long before he passed away last year. He wrote me a personal hand written note to thank me for something I had done to help advance the ministry of the Center for Christian Worldview. He wrote, "Gary, thanks so much for your help. I appreciate all you do---never quit doing it. Chuck."

With God's help, I won't.

Good from evil.

Could anything good come from the recent murder trial of abortionist Dr. Kermit Gosnell?

While the press generally refused to cover the gruesome trial, J.D. Mullane, a pro-life columnist from the Bucks County Courier Times, covered it daily.

Mullane told Mike Huckabee last week, "There was one journalist sitting in the courtroom who writes for a local publication who has told me that he is very liberal and very pro-choice."

Mullane said, "But after sitting through the testimony in the Gosnell trial, he's reconsidered. He's changed his mind."

One man's view of life has been changed as a result of the trial.

Mullane told Huckabee, "Gosnell pulls the curtain back from the inherent violence of abortion." And talked about the profound effect it had on an individual.

How many other people will "reconsider" their worldview on the sanctity of life as a result of that trial and the horrific picture it brought to public light?

And how may this be used to further eliminate the evil of abortion in our culture?

So what can come from our current cultural chaos?

Will this so awaken good people they will assume their rightful godly place and speak truth to the culture in their community?

Will pastors be moved to speak God's truth to a dysfunctional culture?

Will we assume our biblical responsibility as citizens and vote? And encourage others to do so as well?

And to those who are suffering in personal circumstances, perhaps of your own doing, perhaps not. But, for whatever reason, you are going through a very difficult time of evil attacks. Can any good come from that?

It can.

Remember, "And we know that all things work together for good, to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purposes." Roman 8:28

Be Vigilant. Be Strong. Be Discerning. Be Faithful. Be Blessed.