I think we all recognize bad things that happen in our lives. Sometimes they come from our own mistakes or foolish actions. Sometimes they come from sin, either our own or that of another. But from wherever they come, one thing is for sure: God can make good of them.
Let’s take a brief look at an example from the ecology of God’s creations.
Forest fires are some of the most devastating incidents which nature can endure. They destroy both plant life and animal habitats. But what is amazing about forest fires is that they actually help a forest to grow better. In fact, there are some trees the seeds of which will not sprout until there has been a forest fire. So, in spite of the destructive and horrific nature of a forest fire, it can bring cleansing and renewal to a forest if the dynamics are correct.
However, there are more significant ways in which God turns bad to good. Let’s look at a less-known example from the scriptures. In Matthew chapter 1, it delineates the family tree of Jesus, if I can say it in that way. Take a look at verse 6. It says, “And Jesse begat David the king; and David the king begat Solomon of her that had been the wife of Urias;” It goes on through verse 16 to link this line to Joseph who was the husband of Mary, to whom Jesus was born. Perhaps you remember the story of David the king and her that had been the wife of Urias. Her name was Bath-Sheba. It was she whom David sought through much sin. The process through which David claimed Bath-Sheba as his wife was clearly evil in nature, but it is apparent from David’s later writings that he had a truly repentant heart. It was through this very same woman that Jesus came, or at least Joseph, who was the earthly father of Jesus. What was very clearly evil and wrong became very clearly good and righteous.
Some say that when a man sins and repents, he leaves a hole in his life which can never be repaired. Although he is clean from the sin, the effects of the sin remain. This is absolutely incorrect! When a man or woman has repented of a sin, the sin is completely gone, and not only is he/she completely clean, but God makes good of the situation because of the righteousness of the person after repentance. Were it not so, our lives would be full of irreparable holes, and the stain of sin would linger on our garments for the rest of eternity. Instead, God takes the consequences of the sins of the repentant and turns them to good, meaning that these experiences will give us just that – experience.
So when you make mistakes and make the tremendous effort that it takes to repent, remember that you will be better because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Your opportunities from that point may be different due to your decisions, but such is the case with any decision, not only those which deal with good and evil, for every time we make a decision we alter the course of our life and consequently the opportunities which will be presented to us. Naturally the Lord will bless us for being continually righteous, and we can avoid much pain and suffering thereby, but never think that you are less of a person for the sins which Jesus has washed away from you! They are gone, and God will turn those things to your good and bless you in full measure!