Robyn Alsip Arce
This is NOT GOOD; how can God think it is?
I've heard many widows ask how they are supposed to find good in losing their husband or how God can think that losing their husband is a good thing for them. In some cases they’re even angry with God because they believe He does think it is a ‘good thing’ for them. How can He think something so painful is good?
Perhaps you’re in a situation where you wonder how any good can be found.
Let's visit this perspective because I think we may be confused about what God thinks is ‘good.’
Is God really saying losing your husband is ‘good for you’? Or rather - as His word tells us - that he can TURN IT for your good?
Romans 8:28 does not say everything that happens to us is good; what it says is that in everything that happens to us, God WORKS it for our good.
“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.”
He can take the things that happen, even if they are awful, and use them to bring something good for us.
There is such juxtaposition here for the widow: your husband is in Glory and that is good for him; but you are in pain and that is not good for you. I don’t believe God thinks your pain is a good thing; however, he does think that your husband being in Glory is a good thing. Can he take the pain that you feel now and turn it for your good and His glory? THAT, my friends, is the GOOD.
I don’t know that God thought Joseph‘s brothers throwing him in the pit was necessarily a ‘good thing,’ or selling him into slavery was a ‘good thing,’ or Potiphar’s wife lying and slandering him was a ‘good thing.’ However, He knew where He would eventually use Joseph and He could use those ‘not so good things’ to get Joseph to his destination; thus WORKING them for Joseph’s ultimate good. The end result was the ‘good thing,’ not necessarily each individual event that happened along the way.
“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”
Additionally, during every 'bad' thing that happened to Joseph along the way; Joseph remained faithful to God and participated in the transformation of his mind and heart. Joseph's heart had to be in the right place when his brothers came for help... a place where he would not need to seek vengeance, but could find grace to help them.
"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will."
Joseph remained faithful in the pit, in slavery, in Potiphar's house, in prison... not because he knew he would end up in the palace, but because he knew GOD.
Jesus wept for his friend Lazarus, even though he knew he was going to raise Lazarus from the dead.
John 11:33- 35
“When Jesus saw her [Mary] weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. “Where have you laid him?” he asked.
“Come and see, Lord,” they replied.
I think there could be an entire sermon to discuss why He wept, but certainly He was weeping for Mary and Martha's pain. He did not think their pain was a good thing; but what Jesus would do next was a good thing.
Our husbands went home the day and the hour that had always been appointed for them (...all the days ordained for me were written in your book. Psalm 139:16.) However, we suffer the consequences of that because we are left with an overwhelming void. Their death, in and of itself, although a great thing for our husbands, is not a good thing for us... it is a very painful thing. However, God can take our grief and pain and bring it around to something amazing.
When we can REJOICE for our husbands because of the truths we know about where they are and what they are experiencing... now THAT is a good thing. That’s how He can turn our mourning into dancing...
“You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy“
(See the truths about our husbands that we can rejoice in along with corresponding Bible verses in the pictures below.)
Even when I cannot imagine how something good could come from my current situation, I am assured that God is working it for my good. I'm grateful I know His heart toward His children - because I can trust that promise even when I cannot see it.
I may never understand why something happens, but I am grateful I know the heart of the the ONE who does!
That is where our Hope lies!
”For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.“
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.
Do not be wise in your own eyes;
fear the Lord and shun evil.”
1 Peter 4:13
“But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.”
“For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”
— Robyn Alsip Arce, © 2021
Most of my writing assumes the reader is a Believer and has a relationship with Jesus. When I refer to a widow's late husband, I am also assuming that he was a Believer and has made his journey home. If you are not assured of your standing with Jesus and that you will spend eternity in Heaven with Him, please reach out to me. I would be honored to help.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. The “NIV” and “New International Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.™