Shining on the Evil and the Good

We often ask why bad things happen to us, but have you ever stopped to ask why so many good things have happened to you? I have recently found myself asking, “Why have I received so many blessings?” 

In the Bible, I found Matthew 5:45b, which says, “For [God] makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” Even for those who are evil, God still gives the blessings of rain and sunshine. If we read all of Matthew 5:43-45, He tells us to do the same. ‘“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.”’

So why has God blessed me or other followers of Christ? So that we may bless others, even if they are evil and unjust. In other places God says that a judgement is coming. Therefore, if they do not repent, the blessings given to evil people do not last forever. However, our part in this life, as God’s adopted children, is to bless. 

If you do not follow Christ, then the idea of God blessing the just and the unjust should be scary, yet give you hope at the same time. Why? Because it means that if life is going well it does not automatically mean that God is pleased with you. The hope that it gives is this, that just as God has been merciful in giving you life, provisions, and many blessings in this life in spite of the wrong that you have done (according to God’s law we have all done wrong), that He will give you grace and mercy that lasts forever if you believe in His Son Jesus Christ. 

Sun on Evil and Good

Giving by Taking

Have you thought lately about how God blesses us through what He takes away from us? I don’t just mean trials and burdens… I mean taking away “good” things.

The blessings He GIVES us are easy to see! Just think about the VOICE ’13 staff! Since we said goodbye in August; David & Anna moved to Nantou – Jerry & Ada moved to Pingdong – Ethan moved to Taichung — Audra had a baby – Zack got married – Brianne moved to Pingdong – I joined SYME in Taichung – Loren and Tina got married to each other!  😉

These are all added blessings that we naturally thank God for… but do we remember to thank Him for the process? The journey? For the things He takes away? – I’m sure each of them had to give up or allow God to replace something “good” in their lives before they received these new and wonderful blessings… but, at the time, they may not have known why they had to let go! They just had to trust Him.

Sometimes God takes things away in order to give them back to us in His way.
Sometimes He replaces good things with better things.

  • God restored Isaac to Abraham; strengthening and proving Abraham’s faith, while still fulfilling His promise of both descendants and a Messiah!
  • The Lord blessed Joseph’s life, used him to preserve the nation of Israel, and allowed him to see his beloved father and family again face to face!
  • God blessed Job with twice as much material wealth as before, spoke to him personally out of a whirlwind, and directed the story to be preserved so that we could understand His mind and ways better.
  • After the cross, the disciples received their Master back AS SAVIOR! Moreover, they and we will be in His presence for eternity!
  • Through Jesus’ sacrifice of power, glory, holiness, etc. He received the church as His bride and inheritance, the keys of the kingdom, all honor, glory, power… the list goes on!

It is much better to praise Him right away (Job 1:20-21), and choose the “good portion, which will not be taken away” from us (Luke 10:42) — relinquishing things of earthly substance in order to receive blessings that are of heavenly/eternal value!

Through times of loss, sadness, pain and disappointment, I have experienced some of the sweetest times of fellowship with God! I have been blessed by trials when I’ve consciously chosen to praise Him in faith, trusting that He was working for His glory and my good, even when though I didn’t understand.

Our hopes can change easily; but, if we seek to only have what God chooses for us, then our desires don’t ever need to change! Moreover, instead of attaining our goals, we can instead joyfully give those desires of our hearts back to Him for safe-keeping… if they are blessings He wants to fulfill, He can do so a hundredfold!

So why wait 2 years (or however long) until we understand WHY God has taken something away before we thank Him? Let’s do it now, trusting that it is a blessing from Him!

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” – I Thes. 5:16-18

A Giants Perspective


I recently was visiting a friend before her wedding and I couldn’t help but smile as I saw this big red board that she and friends have been writing on for the past year. They have made it a daily habit writing something that they are thankful for on the board. Each time the board is full, they erase and start all over with more words of thanks!

I loved the concept, and since I’m a very visual person it clearly displayed the scripture found in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18: “Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

God’s will is that we have an upward perspective. One that is continually in a spirit of thankfulness. It’s extremely hard to be discouraged about things not going the way you planned when you are remembering all the times that God has been faithful, protected you from danger, provided for a need, or sent someone to cross your path and encourage you just when you needed it most.

The act of gratitude begins with perspective, and with you. You have to decide whether to be the grasshopper surrounded by big-eyed giants, or be the giants admiring the grasshoppers. It’s about remembering the little things that give meaning to life.

God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Can you take one moment and tell the world one thing that YOU are grateful for?

I’ve already started the list below – Go ahead and add to it as things come to mind!