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Transforming Grace

To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.

Isaiah 61:3

As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.

Genesis 50:20

To advance China’s godless state, Mao Tse-tung unified all of China by nationalizing Mandarin Chinese, simplifying their writing, improving their infrastructure, and promoting literacy. And God has used that to create the fastest growing Christian population in the world.

To foreground Enlightenment ideals and emasculate religion’s power, the Continental Congress crafted the first amendment to forbid establishing a state religion while permiting religion’s free expression. And God has used that equality-liberty tension to orchestrate the most diverse and robust religious creativity in human history.

This is so like God. To take something intended for evil and make it beautiful. Just like He can cherish an adulterous king or disciple a smelly fisherman. He even makes a sin-sick sinner into His own child. What beautiful thing is God, in His immeasureable and undeserved grace, going to make out of today’s hardship? Satan can keep throwing rocks if he wants. God just uses them as our stepping stones.