Years ago, a state legislature passed a law to assist storm victims. It barred insurance companies from denying them coverage, but the governor refused to sign it. He said he refused because it described storm damage as “acts of God.” To him, the language implied that we only see acts of God when bad things happen. He said God also acts in other amazing ways—to spare life and motivate people to serve victims. In truth, no one can ever fully understand God’s ways. Here is one example from the book of Numbers chapter 22. After God delivered ancient Israel from the land of Egypt, He led them to the east side of the Promised Land. The king of Moab was afraid Israel would attack and defeat them, so he sent for an internationally known sorcerer, Balaam. His message to Balaam was this: “Come and curse Israel so I can defeat them.” God warned him not to go on this mission. When He saw that greed was driving Balaam to go, God gave him permission, but warned him not to curse Israel, but to bless them. So God chose to use this ancient idol worshiper to accomplish His good purpose. God can use any person or anything to fulfill His purpose in the world, even though His ways are often unknown to us. At the same time, God invites us to humbly trust and submit to Him, so He can use us for His highest purposes. Only He can make all things work together for our good—those who love him and seek to do His will.

Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr. is the founder and chairman of UMI (Urban Ministries, Inc.). Under his direction, UMI has grown to be a leading publisher of Christian education resources for churches in the African American community. Read More

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