Friday, September 1, 2017
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When you get a couple of veteran airplane travelers together, before long you're going to hear some "war stories." In fact, you're about to hear one now. It was one of those days at the airport. I was scheduled on this morning flight from the West Coast back to the New York area with a connection in a Midwest city. When I arrived at the airport, I learned my flight was being delayed for about four hours. Well, that's not that uncommon. but it was killing all my options for getting home for a while. Another flight on the same airline had been canceled, so now there is this long line of us not-so-happy campers at the airline's ticket desk. We're there for an hour and a half in line. The longer we had to wait, the more options were slipping away. Well, I found I had to quietly pray and remind Jesus and me that Jesus is Lord. The men behind me were becoming increasingly vocal about their unhappiness, so being the crazy man I am, I decided to try a little humor and lightheartedness. Pretty soon, we were laughing at our situation instead of overheating about it.
When we finally reached the front of the line, one man said, "Hey, I'm glad we had someone like you in this line." To which I said, "Hey, you can't pick your situation, but you can pick your attitude." Well, when the ticket agent finally figured out a way to get me home, he said, "I think you owe me." Instead of a flight where I had to change planes in another city, he had gotten me a non-stop. Instead of arriving at 10:30 at night, I'd be arriving at 8:30. And as I was just about to board, the agent called me back and changed my seat assignment. I was First Class! I had a great meal, I had the room to get a lot of work done, and I had a divine bump-in with a flight attendant I knew from 18 years ago who really needed a pastor that night! Needless to say, I had no complaints about God's happy ending!
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Good News About The Bad Stuff".
That frustrating day at the airport, I saw God do again what He is so good at doing-allowing the bad thing to happen to us so He can do a better thing for us. There's no way I could have flown non-stop, first-class, and gotten in earlier that day unless the airline made it happen at their expense. They did, but only because of the bad stuff that happened.
That is one microcosmic example of how God loves to work in the lives of His much-loved children. In fact, we have His word on it that He is always working on the better thing to come out of that bitter thing. It's in our familiar word for today from the Word of God, Romans 8:28, sure enough. It's a statement you may know very well, but you might need to apply it to the hard things you're facing right now. Here's the rest of the picture beyond what you can see from where you are now. "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. For those He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His son… And those He predestined, He also called; those he called, He also justified; those He justified, He also glorified."
In other words, God's got a lot tied up in you! After working this incredible, detailed, eternal plan to bring you this far, do you think He's going to mess you up now? The Plan is still on course; it's still on schedule. And if there's bad stuff, be assured God's taking you through that so He can do something much better than you could have ever expected.
Look at the worst thing that ever happened-the Cross. But through that came the most beautiful things God has ever done. When my baby brother died when I was four, it looked like a senseless tragedy. But that death brought my whole family to Christ-including me-and indirectly, all the people that it's been our privilege to bring to Jesus over the years. Through the bitter thing, God is taking you to a better thing. If you depend on His promise to work this together for a greater good, you can choose your attitude-joy-even if you can't choose your circumstances.
Like me standing in that long airport line with dwindling hopes that day, maybe all you can see and feel is things are getting worse. But little do you know that at the end of this ordeal God's waiting for you with something that is more "First Class" than you could have ever dreamed!