Without Bad, We Wouldn’t Know Good

    Last week, I visited with a woman going through a difficult stretch and she said, “Nothing good has happened to me in the last 18 years.” I thought about that statement and replied, “Nothing good?” I asked her if her children were healthy and she said, “Oh yes, they’re great!” I asked, “Is that not good?” I then said, “Do you like the church you’re at?” She replied, “Yes, I love it.” I asked again, “Isn’t that good?”

I am not downplaying this woman’s situation in any way. I acknowledge that she has been through a lot of “bad” but I believe in anyone’s life, there is some good that can emerge from the bad. I believe that without bad, we would not recognize the good.

God never promised us that life would be perfect or that nothing bad would happen. In fact, Jesus is upfront about this in John 16:33 when he says, “In this world you will have trouble…” However, as I look back at all the worst periods of trouble in my own life, I realize they were the greatest periods of spiritual growth.

Because of the untimely death of my father two months before I was born, I suffered the consequences of his death throughout my childhood but if he had not died, I am not sure I would have ever known or accepted the love of my Father in heaven. Through a devastating job loss, I rededicated my life to Christ, and after a family trial a few years ago, I became more intentional about intercessory prayer and continue to see incredible results from my commitment to daily prayer on my knees.

When I was going through my most recent difficult stretch, I talked to a good friend about the struggle I was going through and she asked, “What do you think God wants you to learn from this?” I have never forgotten her words and I ask that question when things get “bad.” Usually there is a lesson to learn.

Call me a Pollyanna but because of past experience, I know that good will eventually emerge from the bad, which falls in line with the promise of Romans 8:28 when the Apostle Paul states, “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.” When we trust these words, we will always wait in anticipation for the good to be revealed and that alone will help us see beyond the valley we are in. Good is just beyond the horizon.

Categories: Archived Devotions


  • Susan

    When I am in a valley, I frequently seem to forget what the horizon looks like and somehow feel I am stuck in that valley. I really like the question your friend asked you. “What do you think God wants you to learn from this?” If I remember to ask myself this question, I think the valleys won’t feel so lonely.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.