It’s 5:30 am during the summer. I should be asleep but I’m up pondering theological questions.
Does God “allow” adversity to refine us?
In Acts 13, Paul and Barnabus are commissioned, sent out to preach the gospel to the Gentiles. But later in the chapter we see them preaching in Antioch at a synagogue to Jews and Jewish converts. Opposition occurred which led Paul and Barnabus to return to their original mission: preach the gospel to the Gentiles.
We know the opposition was rooted in jealousy and therefore not of God. But did God allow it to refocus Paul and Barnabus? We see even when Paul was doing what he was called to do, there was still opposition.
So does God “allow” adversity to refine us? I still don’t know. But this is what I do know:
1. God is good. He is a good father.
2. He is redemptive. He can redeem and restore any situation. Even what the enemy sends to destroy us and the dumb mistakes we make, he can redeem.
3. He does not waste anything. God will not waste our pain, our disappointment, our sorrow, our trials if we can give them to Him. He can use them. He can give us beauty for our ashes.
4. Life is complicated. Sometimes we go right when we should have gone left. We choose plan B when plan A was best. But in it all, God is the first and best GPS. He is constantly recalculating our journey to keep us on path to our destiny. As long as we remain surrendered to him, and attuned to his voice, He will keep us on track to ultimately reach His best for us.
I guess my conclusion is just to trust God and listen to his voice in every situation. Oh, maybe that is what God wanted all along.
But when some of the Jews saw the crowds, they were jealous; so they slandered Paul and argued against whatever he said. Then Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly and declared, “It was necessary that we first preach the word of God to you Jews. But since you have rejected it and judged yourselves unworthy of eternal life, we will offer it to the Gentiles. For the Lord gave us this command when he said, ‘I have made you a light to the Gentiles, to bring salvation to the farthest corners of the earth.’ ” (Acts of the Apostles 13:45-47 NLT)