And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
A tribal king had a close friend with whom he grew up. The friend had a habit of looking at every situation that ever occurred in his life (positive or negative) as well as the lives of others and remarking, “This is good!” He based it on two scriptures: one that says that it is God’s will that we be thankful for ALL circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:18); and Romans 8:28 which assures us that God can turn every situation (good or bad) into ultimate good. The king loved his friend’s positive outlook and took him with him wherever he went.
One day the king and his friend were out on a hunting expedition. As the king fired his gun at a pheasant that flew up from the long grass, the rifle backfired and blew off his right thumb. Looking at the king’s bleeding hand; his friend remarked as usual, “This is good!”
The king was angry and replied, “No, this is NOT good!” and proceeded to send his friend to jail for his insensitivity.
About a year later, the king was hunting all alone in an area that he should have known to stay clear of. Cannibals captured him and took him to their village. They tied his hands, stacked some wood, and were going to cook him in a big pot. As they set fire to the wood, they noticed that the king was missing a thumb on his right hand. Being very superstitious, cannibals never eat anyone who is less than perfect. So they released the king.
Walking home he kept staring at his right hand without a thumb. “This IS good!” he said out loud. He was reminded of the event that had taken his thumb and felt remorse for his shabby treatment of his friend. So he went immediately to the jail to speak with his friend.
“You were right,” he said, “it was good that my thumb was blown off.” And he proceeded to tell the friend all that had just happened. “And so, I am very sorry for sending you to jail for so long. It was bad for me to do this.”
“No,” his friend replied as usual, “This is good!” “What do you mean, ‘This is good?’ How could it be good that I put my friend in jail for over a year?” “Well,” replied his friend, “if I had not been here in jail, I would have been out there with you!”
In our SSTS seminars we share this story early in the sessions and for the rest of the time together holding up four fingers on the right hand (with a hidden thumb) communicates clearly the message: THIS IS GOOD!
RESPONSE: Today I will focus by faith on the potential good that God wants to bring out of the negative challenges I face in my life.
PRAYER: Pray that all persecuted Christians will respond to their daily challenges with this faith perspective.