When you think of the very worst things that could happen to you, you might think about Joseph, whose brothers threw him into a pit. If not for some traders headed to Egypt, they might have left Joseph there to die. But when he ended up as Potiphar’s slave, he was soon over the whole household. After he was unfairly accused by Potiphar’s wife, he was thrown into prison. However, if not there, he would have never interpreted the dreams of the baker and cup bearer. When the cup bearer finally remembered Joseph, he told Pharaoh about Joseph interpreting his dream; so Joseph ended up second in command in all of Egypt! In fact, Joseph ‘s fate ended up saving much of the known world from famine; so a lot of good came out of a lot of bad (Genesis 50:20).
Joni Eareckson Tada became a quadriplegic after a freak diving accident, but she attributes this tragedy to leading her to saving faith in Jesus Christ. Today this godly woman is an internationally known radio host but also a talented vocalist, an author of 17 books, and an advocate for disabled persons worldwide. She has become a voice for those who have no voice in society. Her “worst” had brought about the best for many disabled persons and, for her, eternal life.
The Jews had expected a Messiah that would take control of Judea and return them to power, which would mean the overthrow of the Romans. That’s what many had hoped Jesus would do, but they didn’t realize His kingdom was not going to be of this world, rather of the world to come. When Jesus disappointed the Jews, who sought to take back their land, they quickly turned on Him; so did most of Jerusalem. Even though He was declared blameless, He was crucified unjustly after a mock trial. This was how He gave His life as a ransom for many (Mark 10:45). What the world saw as defeat was the greatest victory ever achieved. The good that came from that evil is impossible to describe (John 3:16).
Zac Poonen is spot on in saying, “God can make the very worst things that ever happened in your life to work for your very best, if you have faith.” That’s just what the Apostle Paul said, writing that “we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Rom. 8:28).