Your life story is full of good and bad events. As the main character, you are growing and changing throughout the story. The story’s author creates the setting, beginning, plot, climax, and ending. All stories contain key elements, and your life story is not any different. However, as the main character, you have little control over those elements. You did not get to choose the time and place you were born. Likewise, you did not get to choose your family or the people around you. As we grew, we got to make some choices. However, we also see many more situations happen that we have had no control over whatsoever. Eventually, we understand that an almighty author is at work.
The almighty author has a purpose for every event in your story.
If you’re like me, you question why the author writes certain events into your life. You probably prefer you could skip a few scenes or chapters. You may even wonder if you are the villain of your own story. While the author promises that all things will work for good (Romans 8:28), you question how the events you living through can be good.
I recently listened to a podcast on recent scandals at my alma mater. Gangster Capitalism Season 3 shares information they collected on Liberty University and Jerry Falwell Jr. The more I listened, the more I wondered why God would allow such awful events to continue. It is hard to imagine that God could use horrific situations for good. However, as I wondered how these events affected my life story and even more the life stories of those directly involved, I listened to a sermon on Acts 8-9. As I listened, God revealed a few important ideas in this scripture that can be applied to our life stories.
Your life story includes injustices.
In Acts 8:1-4, we read that a great persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem. Saul was going from house to house dragging men and women to prison. It is hard to imagine being put into prison for your faith. In addition, it was Saul’s goal to destroy the church. Yet, God used these events to scatter the church and allow the gospel to be preached in other areas. Did God cause Saul to persecute Christians? No. However, He allowed it and used it for His glory. Likewise, God can use people and their sins to fulfill His will. What appears to us as injustice can be God working for His greater good.
Your life story includes pain.
Secondly, God had the plan to transform Saul too. In Acts 9, as Saul continued murderous threats against the disciples, He set out to capture Christians in Damascus. En route, he encountered Jesus and then spent the next three days blind without drinking or eating (verses 8-9).
I recently sat beside my father-in-law the few days before he died. He knew he was at the end of his life and spent three days without drinking or eating. Therefore, when I read about Saul, I imagined that he also must have believed his life was ending. During these days, God sends Ananias to Saul. Then, Saul is given back his sight and is filled with the Holy Spirit. In addition, he is baptized, eats, and begins preaching that Jesus is the son of God (verses 18-20). Does God cause pain? No. However, He never wastes the pain that we experience.
Trusting the almighty author
Ephesians 2:4-10 sums up these ideas well. We can trust the author of our stories because He loves us and is rich in mercy. His grace saves us. We are his handiwork, created to do good works that God authored in advance for us. We may not understand why we have to experience injustices and pain in our life stories. However, we can trust that the author is using all the events of our lives for good.
Your life story will produce fruit
While we cannot trust the almighty author to write happy and sweet events, we know His Spirit will grow love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control through our stories. Our life stories can be fruitful. (Galatians 5:22-23).
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