Sometimes the way things are and the way we see them may be two different things. Since the fall of man all of us start our lives double-minded. We see and evaluate everything to be in one of two categories, either good or evil. This is a good thing because we need to understand the difference. But what if we could start to see how God is working good even in the most evil circumstances?
There’s an interesting story about King David found in 2 Samuel 16 where he and his mighty men find themselves at the receiving end of some pretty awful accusations. A man named Shimei, from the house of Saul, came out cursing and throwing rocks and dust at David saying, “Get out, get out, you man of bloodshed, and worthless fellow!” David’s men offered to stop Shimei saying, “Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Let me go over now and cut off his head.” Rather than simply giving the word to shut Shimei up, David said, “If he curses, and if the Lord has told him, ‘Curse David,’ then who shall say, ‘Why have you done so?”
I don’t know about you but this wouldn’t be my first response. You see David had come to a place where he fully understood everything in his life was in God’s hands. Nothing, absolutely nothing, came to him without God meaning it, even a man cursing him. Seeing the bad things in our lives as coming from a loving Father’s hand is much easier to take than stopping short and perceiving it to be coming from the enemy of our souls don’t you think? So learning to see through is the goal here.
Jumping ahead a bit to the story of Job we see a similar instance. As you read the story of Job you will discover God himself actually pointed Job out to Satan. In other words, Satan’s attack wasn’t a surprise and in fact it was meant by God. Job lost his children, livestock, barns etc. and then to add insult to injury his very own wife turned on him. She said, “Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die!” But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity (evil)?” Wow! Job had learned to see through the appearance of evil and understood God was in fact all powerful, and whatever evil or misfortune came his way hadn’t caught God by surprise. Job had learned God “works all things after the counsel of His will.”
Looking into the New Testament, we see Jesus standing before Pilate. Pilate has to make a decision concerning Jesus but as he questioned Jesus, and He didn’t respond. Pilate said, “Do You not know that I have authority (power) to release You, and I have authority (power) to crucify You?” Notice what Jesus said: He said, “You would have no authority (power) over Me, unless it had been given you from above…” Jesus, standing before a man who had the authority to declare His judgement, wasn’t out of sorts because He understood God was the ultimate source of authority and even the horror of the cross was ordained by Him. The next time you’re tempted to think God is MIA in you life, remember Jesus was directly in the middle of God’s will as He hung on the cross. Sometimes being in God’s will means experiencing unthinkable pain and feelings of abandonment.
In 2 Corinthians 12 the Apostle Paul gives us yet another example of seeing through evil to God and His purposes in it. Paul had a great experience where he saw and heard things he described as “inexpressible.” Then he went on to say, “Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me—to keep me from exalting myself!” Paul understood his troubles to be from Satan but at the same time he knew God was ultimately the one behind it. You see the devil is still God’s devil. In other words, the devil cannot act independently of God. Even though he is always up to no good God has a purpose and plan in all of it.
As Paul prayed to be released from his thorn, his messenger of Satan, God’s response to him was, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness.” So we see God’s plan is to express Himself through us, but we will be hampered as long as we are living with a divided consciousness. My hope is that we will begin to see with what Jesus called the “single eye” which means we know and understand that nothing, absolutely nothing, comes into our lives apart from God. We don’t go as far as to call evil good but we do start to see God actively engaged in all of life’s circumstances whether they are good or evil.