Not long ago I prayed Psalm 23 while jogging. These words stood out in my mind:
Goodness and mercy shall follow… verse 6
Times in my life when things have been hard and it seemed I would not survive came to mind. But as I reflected, I realized goodness and mercy did follow those hard times.
The Amplified Bible says it like this:
Surely or only goodness, mercy, and unfailing love shall follow…
God has brought good out of difficult circumstances, and He lets His mercy flow to me for the errors I’ve made in facing those hard times. Then He allows that mercy to flow through me to those who have hurt me.
Lately I’ve been facing rejection from someone I love. Some days I want to wallow in self-pity. Often revenge seems like a necessary path.
A Christian friend challenged me recently to praise God for my rejections.
So this week I did just that. I praised God for this person rejecting me over the years. As I did, I saw how God has used rejection for good. It became clear that His mercy flowed to me and through me as I was rejected. I saw that goodness and mercy did follow the rejections.
Here are some of the good things He has brought from rejection:
I’ve drawn closer to the Lord and learned how to handle rejections His way.
I’ve grown more compassionate toward those who face rejection.
I’ve learned that rejection from others is often not based in truth but has to do with their own insecurities, and I don’t have to take rejections personally.
I’ve learned to love like Jesus whom the Word says was “despised and rejected by men.”
Rejection has made my heart more tender and loving as I’ve submitted to Him.
I could go on and on with this list.
When I think of rejection, I can’t help but remember Joseph who was rejected by his brothers and sold into slavery. (You can read Joseph’s story in Genesis 37:1-50:26.)
The bottom line of Joseph’s rejection comes down to this statement.
You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. Genesis 50:20
If the brothers had not sold Joseph into slavery, he would not have come into a high ruling position in Egypt, and he would not have stockpiled food which saved his family and his people during a famine.
Joseph did what we need to do—cooperate with God even when life seems unfair and rejections seem harsh.
For Joseph goodness and mercy did follow his harsh circumstances. The same holds true for you and me.
As I reflect on my life, I see that goodness and mercy following has been the case in all of the hard times such as facing harsh rejections in my childhood, my marriage, and in other relationships as well as dealing with suicides of relatives and severe mental illness in other loved ones.
Goodness and mercy has always followed the harsh and tragic aspects of my life.
Today I’m celebrating that fact.
How about you? Do you have traumas from your past or even in your present that torment you? Will you thank the Lord for them and begin to see how He is using them for good? Will you receive and pass along His mercy?
Will you fully embrace Romans 8:28?
We are assured and know that…all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose. AMP
To hear more about “Goodness and Mercy Shall Follow,” listen to my radio show, “Hearts Set Free” at 9:00am EST on Sunday, February 2, 2014. Go to www.wtis1110.com and press “Listen Live” or go to my radio web page and listen to the show from the archives: http://www.wtis1110.com/hearts-set-free/