[Originally published as God Likes to Create Beauty From Tragedy. It may not at first be clear why this is the right kind of article to share on Resurrection Day, but, it shouldn’t take long to recognize how this principle plays out in the grandest scheme!]
Every time I look at a majestic landscape—the kind that leaves you speechless—I can’t help seeing the Flood in it.
The whole world is filled with signs of erosion, sedimentary deposits, and major upheavals at a continental level. There’s so much, it makes it hard to even guess what the “very good” landscape God first created looked like.
I’m sure it was beautiful because God was pleased with it.
Today, though, many of us find the most delightful and inspiring places are the way they are because of the worldwide judgment God used to destroy that first land.
This got me thinking about us as people
We don’t look much like what we would have if Adam and Eve had turned their wills and hearts over to God. We have all been hurt by mutations, tough environments, and the sins of our family, others, and ourselves.
But God has made some amazing promises to us:
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
This verse isn’t just talking to people who live in Israel, because the first verses in Isaiah 61 were quoted by Jesus to explain why He came. Jesus came for every person who would believe in Him!
Here’s what Paul thought about all the bad things that happened to him. Some were physical, some were even memories of the rotten things he’d done:
Yes, I am glad to have weaknesses if they are for Christ. I am glad to be insulted and have hard times. I am glad when I am persecuted and have problems, because it is when I am weak that I am really strong. 2 Corinthians 12:10
Some things we go through aren’t going to show their true beauty until Jesus comes back.
These troubles test your faith and prove that it is pure. And such faith is worth more than gold. Gold can be proved to be pure by fire, but gold will ruin. When your faith is proven to be pure, the result will be praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ comes. I Peter 1:7
What do we learn about who God is from both the world around us and His promises in our lives?
God isn’t a waster. If He allows something to happen, He’s going to use it for good. Not everything will be lush, green, and fruitful like it would have been. But it can all be beautiful!
Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee: the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain. Psalm 76:10
And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, Revelation 5:6