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JFH Devotionals by J.M. Farro

Turning Adversities Into Advantages

I am going to keep on being glad, for I know that as you pray for me, and as the Holy Spirit helps me, this is all going to turn out for my good.
- Philippians 1:19 TLB

I have many favorite Bible verses, but the one above holds a special place in my heart because it has gotten me through a lot of hard times. The most recent example was when I broke a tooth so badly that I had to have it ground down and capped. I had never had such extensive dental work done before, and I was really downhearted about it. The temporary cap the dentist gave me was unattractive, and I had to wait several weeks for my permanent one. I sought the Lord in prayer, and I asked some of my faith-filled loved ones to pray for me. When my permanent cap finally arrived, I wasn't happy with it, and I asked my dentist to make some adjustments to improve its appearance. That meant that I would have to wait a few more weeks before the work would be completed. As I felt my faith beginning to fade, I prayed for more grace, and I asked the Lord to bring good out of this whole ordeal somehow. When the dentist's office called to say that my new cap was ready, I was so nervous that I could hardly pray. As I drove to the office and stepped toward the door, all I could say was, "This is all going to turn out for my good!" I'm happy to report that everything went smoothly at the dentist's office that day. Not only did God restore my smile, but He made it better than ever.

While it's true that not everything that happens to us is good, it's also true that God can bring good out of everything that happens to us. Romans 8:28 NLT says: "And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them." That means that even if the devil succeeds in messing up our lives or circumstances somehow, God will bring good out of it in a way that only He can. We can rest assured that just as the Lord has a plan for our lives, He has a plan for every circumstance we'll ever face--and His plans are always to do us good, not harm. (Jeremiah 29:11) I believe that it's absolutely essential for us to cooperate with God during our tests and trials. The apostle Paul gives us some insight as to how we can do this when he writes: "I am going to keep on being glad, for I know that as you pray for me, and as the Holy Spirit helps me, this is all going to turn out for my good." (Philippians 1:19 TLB) While there's no substitute for seeking God in prayer on our own behalf, having fellow believers stand in faith with us can be a tremendous asset. If our trials are long and unrelenting, there may be times when it's difficult for us to pray in faith, and those are the times when it greatly benefits us to have other faith-filled believers interceding for us. Paul goes on to mention the importance of our dependence upon the Holy Spirit for help. If we try to get through our trials in our own wisdom and strength, we will fail miserably. But if we rely on God's guidance and grace, we will position ourselves for the Lord to direct our steps in the paths of victory. Notice how Paul says he’s going to "keep on being glad." He knew that he didn't have to wait for his deliverance in order to be joyful. As soon as he began trusting God to bring good out of his situation, he became filled with a sense of hope that produced abundant joy. Over the years, my family and I have witnessed time and time again how God can bring good out of even the most heartbreaking experiences. We've learned that when we put our trust in the Lord and maintain a hopeful attitude in adversity, He can turn our trials into triumphs. No matter what you're going through today, please know that God can supernaturally bring good out of it somehow. And He will do exactly that if you'll adopt an attitude of the heart that declares--"This is all going to turn out for my good!"

Prayer: Lord, when I'm in the midst of heartbreaking circumstances, help me to turn to You in prayer, and show me who to seek out for prayer support. Teach me to rely on Your Spirit, and to trust You in a way that will enable me to wait for my miracle with joy. Thank You for working all things out for my good and Your glory!

- J. M. Farro


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