Through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead our Father displayed a power which goes beyond forgiving our sins and getting us safely to heaven. I have no desire to diminish these well-known works of the cross—they are stupendous sources of joy impossible to reduce. I do, however, want to draw your attention to an all-too-often overlooked and unclaimed power always available, ever at work, which also flows from the cross: the power of God to bring good out of evil. Listen well to this incredible promise of God.

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 ESV

Let that “all things” give you pause. I have been a teacher long enough to know that every Christian believes this verse, but few draw out of it the all-conquering power it contains. This is hardly surprising, because what it is saying is practically unbelievable.

This amazing verse is trying to tell us that in every situation we face, God promises that He is more than able to bring a greater good out of it, a blessing far greater than anything we are experiencing of by way of pain or loss. No matter what the situation is. No matter how awful or tragic our experience. Astoundingly, this verse is telling us that the very worst things that happen to us will become the best things by the time God has finished working with them.

I know this to be true, because the very worst thing in my life—an occult deception that bound me in indescribable terror—became the best thing that ever happened to me. Unfortunately, I never knew it until ten agonizing years later when the soul-destroying power of those experiences finally brought me to conversion. Sadder still, I didn’t fully believe it until many years after that. I dragged the shame, regret and self-blame of those “lost years” along with me, unable to grasp the lifeline the Lord was throwing my way. But oh, what joy and peace I take in knowing and believing it now!

In fact this one truth—the truth of our Father’s incredible redemptive power—works for us in the present every bit as well as it does over things in the past. It glues all the painful pieces of present problems into something I can honestly say grace over and rejoice about anyway. I hope you can already access this power even in your worst moments, but if not, please keep reading.

Brush Script - 1

What God Does

This is a promise that was hard-won and not just by me in learning how to believe it. Jesus won it the hard way by paying the most terrible cost imaginable. He had to become our sin, and then be punished for it. Once the Father raised Him out of the depths of our darkness back into glorious light, the stage was set for each of us to be raised completely out of any darkness we would ever fall into.

God first proved it true through Jesus. The very worst thing for Jesus (the horrors of the cross) had to be made into the best thing for Him, or the Father would have allowed the curse to gain a lasting victory over His victorious Son. That could never happen! Jesus received a Name above every name and was given an inheritance (through His death) of a glorious Bride, forever grateful, impossibly alive, and filled with unending love for Him.

Now, we follow in His footsteps a path of redemption that Jesus pioneered. As I wrote earlier I neither knew this, nor fully believed it, when my Christian life began. This weakness of understanding greatly hindered my walk with the Lord. I kept looking back at the terrible suffering and devastating loss I had experienced, wishing it had never happened and hating myself that it had. How little did I realize that the worst things always become the best things if we continue with the Lord.

Brush Script - 2

How God Does What He Does

How is this possible? In the beginning God created good out of nothing, didn’t He? We can’t imagine how He did it since we can’t create even a mere idea out of nothing, let alone matter and living matter at that. All we can do is accept it by faith. The same applies for redemption. At the cross God redeemed good out of evil. We can’t imagine how He did that either. It defies our understanding. But we can trust Him that He did it then and He can still do it now!

Under the new “logic” of redemption, therefore, the worst thing that happens to us has to become the best, or God has failed to redeem our life from the enemy’s Black Hand. This is not even a hard thing for the Father to do, now that Jesus has paved the way for unlimited redemption to be poured into our undeserving lives. The tricky part is getting us to believe it, so that we can relax and rejoice, even when confronted with the worst things imaginable (to us) being embedded (for a season) in our lives.

What a difference it makes once you learn the way of believing in such a mighty redemption! Talk about a Place of Immunity—there is nothing that the enemy can do (by our sins or by the sins of others) that can rob us of our joy in believing this Magnificent Promise (Romans 8:28). You don’t even have to see how redemption is coming your way; you can “know” by the life-giving power of an activated faith, and rejoice.

You see, the blessing of being forgiven is a backward-looking blessing. The sin happens, we go to God and He helps us be restored. The blessing of heaven is forward-looking, but it lies beyond our present moments. This blessing of the cross—the redemptive power of God’s mighty Hand—is a fully present blessing that lifts us above any obstacle once we learn to believe it. Then, no matter how bad the experience, we can actually begin looking forward to the good that will come out of it, long before we come out of the experience!

[LIFE SUPPORT: I’ve prepared a one page download of scriptures describing God’s promises about His redemptive power. Let His Word confirm this truth to you and establish you in believing it. It’s free—download here.]

Brush Script - 3

Why God Does What He Does

There is a definite, divine purpose at work behind this promise. In the very next verse in Romans the Lord states that His Hands are always working everything that happens (or fails to happen) toward one great purpose. We need to know, understand and be in agreement with that purpose, or our lives will not make sense, the promise won’t seem to be true, nor will we realize the focal point of the enemy’s attacks. God’s Hands are always at work to conform you to Christ—shaping you from the outside in.

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son. Romans 8:28-29 ESV

Picture the Lord reaching through all the outward circumstances of your life, seeking to center you on the Potter’s Wheel. What is His goal in eachCentering Clay and every moment? To draw out of you a Christlike response, or (if you can’t yet do that) to prepare you to respond as the New Creation you are at some point down the road. The ultimate good that God has in mind is not helping us get what we want when we want it, but the incomparable blessing of actually becoming more like Jesus in all of our ways in this life—no matter what’s going on.

Let’s see how this plays out. The Father has His hands on our lives like a Master Potter working with absolutely everything (the good, the bad and the seemingly indifferent) to accomplish His great desire—to “conform” us to the nature of His Son. As a potter exerts great pressure with his hands to center clay on the wheel, the Father also works through the stress in our lives to bring us again and again to the place of inward surrender, where we throw our hands up, pleading: “If You’ll just get me out of this mess, I’m willing to trust You and let you do it Your way.”

Like un-centered clay we often try to fly off the wheel! We want out of our circumstance, but His Hands hold us in it. Then, under the pressure (“humble yourselves under the mighty hand…”) we finally stretch our faith vision to see something in the Lord that helps us to yield our stubborn resistance and say, “Not my will, but Yours be done.” The work of His hands helps us to seek His Face! From this hallowed place of surrender the Father is able to raise us into new life—just as a potter raises the centered clay into the form he envisions.

Brush Script - 4


What This Does for Us

Stuff happens and there is nothing you can do about it, right? Actually there is. Knowing this truth and seeking to believe I Will Never Get Over This - NFit at all times and in all situations gives us a new way to fight back. We can now turn things to our advantage by using them to work on our attitude, even when we can’t work to change our situation. With the right attitude our spirit can take wings! We can soar over problems that used to pin us to the mat.

Here is something that I wrote to encourage myself a few years ago. Do you remember how King David “encouraged himself in the Lord” after the disaster at Ziklag (1 Samuel 30:6)? I figured that if it worked for him, it could work for me. My Bible is usually full of short messages of encouragement that I leave for myself to find at times when I may need a good word. Try printing this one out to use as a bookmark.

No Matter What Happens

Since you can’t keep the bad stuff from happening no matter how hard you try, isn’t it good to know that “no matter what happens…” you still have a Savior you can count on!

No matter what happens
I will always have You with me—and You are my greatest joy.

No matter what happens
You will always be loving me, forgiving me, accepting me—just as I am.

No matter what happens
I can always be growing in knowing You, loving You and trusting You.

No matter what happens
You will never leave me or forsake me.

No matter what happens
I can always cling to You, call on You, seek You and find You.

No matter what happens
You will always share wisdom, guidance and encouragement.

No matter what happens
I can always find something to do to worship You and serve You.

No matter what happens
You will always be redeeming the bad and making good plans for the future.

No matter what happens
I can always be learning to believe in You and fighting to live for You.

No matter what happens
You will always be carrying me to heaven.

No matter what happens
I can learn to let go and let You be the God who saves me.

FAST FOOD: Keep this where you can reach for it when you need to feed on divine encouragement: No Matter What Happens (One page PDF). It’s free – download now.

Brush Script - 5

How to Make This Work

Many of us go through our lives lamenting, “I will never get over this!” That’s just what I used to think about all kinds of awful, evil stuff that had wrecked my life. I couldn’t see how my past could possibly be made to work for my good. I told God, “There’s a mountain of ruin back there. It will take me forever to process all of that pain and brokenness!” In the quiet that followed my outburst, I seemed to hear Him say, “If that’s the case, then you need to go ahead and get started.”

They say a mountain can be moved one bucket full at a time. That is certainly the way it seemed for me. It was slow, hard going at first with a very feeble faith in the hope of the promise to guide me. I have to admit, however, that a certain excitement grew as I began to realize that one hated, hurt-filled event after another slowly became a place of joy and wonder as the pain that once filled it was replaced by a faith Backhoe Loaderexpectation of good things to come. Nowadays, I am shoveling away with genuine anticipation whenever fresh manure comes down.

In our seminars I often asked classes to list five things God can do to bring redemptive good things out of our worst experiences. It is an exercise to grow the eyes of faith to see the Father’s Hand in all things. Often, believers are completely stumped by the mental block their negative thoughts have cast over the past—and can’t even put one thing down on their papers. Good thing we never graded class work! So before you read the list below, try to name five good things that have come out of your own worst events.

Done? Now, consider these generic good things that our loving Father is always working for our good through experiences of brokenness, weakness and pain. This is by no means complete as a list, nor can it include the individual, specific things God may do just for you, but, taken together, you will have to admit that the Lord is never sitting on His Hands—He is always at work to start bringing good out of whatever happens. Let’s go to work believing it!

1)    Our brokenness humbles us.
2)    Our brokenness helps us realize our dependence upon God.
3)    In our brokenness God draws near.
4)    Our brokenness enables us to have compassion on others.
5)    His strength is made perfect in places of our weakness.
6)    In our weakness we discover that His grace is sufficient.
7)    He comforts us.
8)    With the comfort we learn to receive from Him, we learn to comfort others.
9)    He grieves with us—and we learn to enter into His sufferings.
10)    We learn (in our hearts not just in our heads) that He is not the author of evil or of suffering and that He grieves with us. Follow this link to see 15 more!

The Nut Cracker: Break free of any hard shell of unbelief you encounter with this powerful list: 25 Ways God Works All Things for Good (One page PDF). It’s free – download now.


Horizontal Red Slash

Time to Bring the Hammer Down?

If you have experienced a traumatic event long enough to have sufficiently grieved it, then it is high time to bring “the hammer” of God’s Word down on it. The Magnificent Promise assures us that God can and will bring a greater good out of anything the enemy intended for evil. This is the astonishing power of the redemption Jesus won for us, but it does us little practical good if we don’t believe it over and above our areas of hurt and loss.

Fall totally out of agreement with the perspective that the enemy tried to feed you. Your past now represents a treasure trove of future blessing—once you give it to God. So, forgive all, release all, repent of unbelief, and confess the truth until your heart fully believes God’s promise of redemption. Leave no room for doubt or self-pity. Feed instead on the sweet meat of a redeemed life!   

“Is not my word like fire, declares the Lord, and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?” Jeremiah 23:29 ESV


A Model Prayer

Father, You have given me this promise of total redemption so it must be true. You have commanded me to forgive everyone so that must be what needs to happen for my life to be healed and restored. I choose by an act of my will to forgive the people in my past who have hurt me or wronged me, including myself. I release them from all my bitter judgments and give them to You for You to redeem. I also repent of my unbelief in Your Word and now choose by an act of my will to believe that the promise of Romans 8:28 is true for me—that greater good will come out of my past than all the pain and loss the enemy sowed into it. I choose to believe in You!

There are so many applications for this one promise. Naturally, it takes exercising and growing our faith to believe it to the point of being set free on the inside. To learn more about how to fully believe God’s promises (and mend your heart, overcome anxiety or depression, and enter into more joy and peace, etc.) see The Power of an Active Faith.

Follow this link for a FREE DOWNLOAD of the expanded original article, How Our Worst Things Become Our Best (2945 word PDF).

Return to Healingstreamsusa

About the Author: Steve Evans

Steve EvansFor over a decade Steve Evans and Healing Streams have been helping people recover inner peace and freedom. Find out how to gain mastery over negative emotions and live with childlike freedom of spirit by taking his completely free "eCourse for Healing" at Get started now! WordPress Blank Filler for Bottom of AboutAuthor