GOD BLESSES US WITH TROUBLE
The good of God only comes after something bad happens. God does not make the good out of the good. He makes the good out of the bad.
I was at a mid-week service in our fellowship and I was ministering. I was young and green in the Lord, having only met Jesus a few years earlier. For some reason there were more people in attendance on that particular day than usual. Suddenly, I noticed that a lady, Mrs. Bola Osanyinjobi, was fidgety. She seemed uncomfortable with something or with someone.
After a while, she got up and rushed out. I thought no more about it and continued with the service. But soon someone came in, spoke to some people, and three women, including my wife, rushed out. The service continued but some thirty minutes or more later; someone came in again. This time, she walked to me and interrupted the service. “We seem to have a crisis on our hands,” she said. “Mrs. Osanyinjobi had an asthma attack. We’ve done all we could to help her. I am afraid the woman is dead.”
Dead? I could not believe it. Of all places, somebody came to fellowship and died in the middle of a service? What kind of embarrassment was this? The whole congregation practically moved to the room where she was. There I met the ladies who apparently had spent the last thirty minutes trying to revive her and were now resigned to the inevitable.
I knelt down beside this woman’s lifeless body and started to pray. “Father, she will not die but live to declare the works of the Lord in the land of the living. You are the Lord that heals. You took our infirmities and carried away our sicknesses. By your stripes we are healed. You are the Sun of righteousness. Arise with healing in your wings. You are the balm of Gilead. Healing is the children’s bread.”
I went on and on, praying the word. After a while, I became exhausted. I did not know what else to say. I did not know what other scriptures to recite. I was young in ministry, and could not believe this kind of crisis. So I stopped praying and cried to the Lord in my heart.
“Father,” I cried, “I don’t even know what to pray anymore. I don’t know what more scriptures to claim.” And then something happened. Something magical. Something glorious. The Lord spoke. I heard him as clear as a bell. “Femi,” he said, “pray in tongues.”
That solved the problem. Suddenly I calmed down. I realised I was not alone. The Lord was there with me. So I started praying in tongues. I prayed and prayed and prayed. And just as suddenly, something happened again. Out of the blue. Out of nowhere. Mrs. Osanyinjobi sneezed. Then she opened her eyes and sat up. Then I helped her to stand up. And everybody went absolutely crazy with joy.
We went back with her to the service with dancing and singing and shouting and clapping. Mrs. Osanyinjobi herself just sat down calmly in a corner. But the Lord said to me: “Ask her to dance.” So I asked Mrs. Osanyinjobi to join in the dance. And to the amazement of all, there was this woman, who had been given up for dead, dancing with everybody else as though nothing whatsoever had happened.
That day, I discovered the nature and character of the ministry that the Lord had given to me. That day, I saw the power of God in a completely different dimension. And from that day, I would never be the same again as a minister of God. The Lord had used a crisis to promote me. The next time I was confronted with a similar incident, and I was, I knew the Lord was able. I got exactly the same result. That is kingdom dynamics.
The beauty of kingdom dynamics is that it confounds all natural expectations. Samson said: “Out of the eater came something to eat, and out of the strong came something sweet.” (Judges 14:14). What was intended to kill him became a source of nourishment for him. What was designed to impede you will simply become your stepping-stone.
The enemy threw a spear at Attila and missed. That spear became his instrument of war. They gave him poison to drink, but the poison healed his disease. They shot a bullet into his breast, but in the attempt to remove the bullet they detected the early stages of cancer and cured him.
Joseph said to his brothers who had sold him as a slave to Egypt: “You meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.” (Genesis 50:20).
Had they not sold him, he would not have become Prime Minister, and he would not have become the instrument of their salvation from famine.
Reversal of fortune
Have you ever prayed this kind of prayer before? “Father let something bad happen to him that good may come out of it.” Yes, we pray it for others but hardly ever for ourselves. The good of God only comes after something bad happens. God does not make the good out of the good. He makes the good out of the bad. As a matter of fact, God often has an interest in something becoming very bad in order that it might be very good.
The believer should know that according to kingdom dynamics, God creates success out of failures. He creates life out of death. He creates wealth out of poverty. Remember that everything about the kingdom of God is worked out in contradictions. Thus, the psalmist says: “Let the righteous strike me; it shall be a kindness. And let him rebuke me; it shall be as excellent oil; let my head not refuse it.” (Psalm 141:5).
God brings joy out of sadness. When a man in the world is sad, it is because something bad has happened to him. But when a believer is sad, it is because something good is going to happen to him. Godly sorrow comes not to make men miserable but to wipe away all tears from their eyes. While God does not cause or approve of sin or evil, he limits, restrains and overrules it for good.
Not one but three enemy nations attacked Judah. What had they done to deserve such calamity? But the combined attack had in it the providential hand of God. The Lord wanted to convert the riches of others to the people of Judah, and he determined that their inheritance should not come from one or two but from three fearsome enemy nations.
After he had caused those nations to accumulate great spoils by conquest, he then allowed them to attack Judah. But Judah did not have to fight. The Lord caused Judah’s adversaries to fight among themselves, and they ended up by destroying each other.
“When Jehoshaphat and his people came to take away their spoil, they found among them an abundance of valuables on the dead bodies, and precious jewelry, which they stripped off for themselves, more than they could carry away; and they were three days gathering the spoil because there was so much.” (2 Chronicles 20:25).