November 10, 2012

Good Things During Bad Times

1 Peter 1:3-9

All kinds of trials … have come so that the proven genu-ineness of your faith … may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
—1 Peter 1:6-7


Why might God want to use a crisis in our lives? We naturally consider crises to be bad, but God often does some very good things through these bad experiences. There are things that God teach in a crisis that are much harder for us to learn at other times.

For instance, in a crisis we begin to discover just how little control we really have over our lives. Humbled, we being to pray more sincerely and worship more deeply.

We may also begin to realize what really matters most to us. Our crisis experiences usually leave us more appreciative of people and less obsessed with possessions.

Crises have a way of making us very unhappy—which isn’t all bad, either. As our happiness is stripped away, God can help us discover a kind of peace that can be richer than we would ever have imagined our happiness could be.

And through it all we get some good practice at sniffing out God’s presence in the middle of a situation that often just stinks. When we resist this kind of faith, we miss the point entirely. When we cooperate with God, we can begin to discover a richness that lasts long after the crisis has passed.

What kinds of blessings has God brought to you during a crisis in your life?

Lord, please use our sufferings to lead us closer to you. Amen.

About the author — Ron Vanderwell

Ron Vanderwell recently became the senior pastor of New Life Church in New Lenox, Illinois. He has been a pastor for 22 years, serving as a church planter for the previous 12 years at The Gathering in Sacramento, California, and before that as a pastor in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Ron and his wife, Deb, have three sons: John, Adam, and Jake. Ron shares more of his reflections on “squinting” for God in his blog at

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