I know a couple who share freely about a devastating time in their marriage. But the focus of their story isn’t the hurt or the wounds they endured and/or inflicted. Instead, they talk about how God used that bad experience to reveal deep-seated issues which, once addressed, turned their marriage around for good. As a result, they emerged from that painful pruning closer to each other and to Him. Now, they speak about that difficult period with gratitude for all the good that has come from it.
God Promises Hope
Speaking of God turning good into bad, He once asked, “What do you see, Jeremiah?” The prophet replied, “Figs, some very good and some very bad, too rotten to eat” (Jeremiah 24:3). The people of Judah who remained after Babylon’s first Judean raid were the bad figs. Rather than choosing to heed God’s warnings, they turned to Egypt for help. But all of pharaoh’s horses and men couldn’t save Judah from utter destruction. Instead, Egypt too was judged. When all was said and done, Egypt would never again be a major world power.
What about the exiles? At first, they “sat and wept” by the rivers of Babylon (Psalm 137:1). But then a new perspective emerged. Jeremiah proclaimed that they were the good figs, who God “sent out of [Judah] for their own good” (Jeremiah 24:5 NKJV). God promised them a future and hope—including the restoration of their homeland.
God Can Turn What Seems Bad into Good
Sometimes life’s challenges are actually good blessings in disguise. As we go through hard seasons, God can use them to mold and grow us, turning those “bad” things into good.
He told the Israelite exiles that He would “build them up and not tear them down” (Jeremiah 24:6). It wasn’t a time to weep, but one to rejoice. God took something bad meant for evil and turned it around for good.
He does the same for you and me today!
Thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel; Like these good figs, so will I acknowledge them that are carried away captive of Judah, whom I have sent out of this place into the land of the Chaldeans for their good. For I will set mine eyes upon them for good, and I will bring them again to this land: and I will build them, and not pull them down; and I will plant them, and not pluck them up. Jeremiah 24:5-6 NKJV