Bible Society of South Africa

God can bring something good from sorrow – 8 February 2021

By Benescke Janse van Rensburg

Bible text(s)

5Why am I so sad?

Why am I so troubled?

I will put my hope in God,

and once again I will praise him,

my saviour and my God.

Psalms 43:5GNBOpen in Bible reader

5His anger lasts only a moment,

his goodness for a lifetime.

Tears may flow in the night,

but joy comes in the morning.

Psalms 30:5GNBOpen in Bible reader

13Then the young women will dance and be happy,

and men, young and old, will rejoice.

I will comfort them and turn their mourning into joy,

their sorrow into gladness.

Jeremiah 31:13GNBOpen in Bible reader

Sometimes bad things happen to good people. Why? Because we live in a broken world. Yet it is necessary that we remind each other that God is good and that He is able to turn the biggest tragedy into something beautiful. This is what Karen Swanepoel experienced.

Karen: “Two days before my 10th wedding anniversary, my life changed drastically when my husband, Schalk and two children, Jeanelle (5) and Juan (2) died in a car crash. I was the only one to survive.

“Trying to find meaning in such tragedy draws us closer to God. Due to my injuries, I was discharged from the hospital only after 24 days. Two weeks after that I strong enough for the funeral service for my family. The scripture used – and which became a promise to me to hold on to – was from Psalm 43:5: ‘Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.’

“One of the reasons I felt my life was spared was for my parents’ sake. They had already lost my sister in a car accident years prior, which was a huge blow to them. In my heart I also knew that God had a bigger purpose for my life. I decided to move to Mossel Bay to be close to my parents while I started my new life. Walking into a job immediately after 6 years at home with the children was a huge blessing. To have a purpose and reason to wake up in the morning definitely helped in my emotional healing.

“Three years after the accident, I sat in a coffee shop one morning when a man caught my eye. We started chatting. This was the beginning of many coffee appointments. One day, months later, this man, André Swanepoel, took out a handwritten piece of paper and put it on the table. After his divorce years prior, he asked God for a wife. He then listed qualities that he would like in such a woman. We looked at each other, in amazement at how well this list described me. André later told me that when we first saw each other, in his heart, he knew that God was telling him that I was the woman he had been waiting for.

“We got married when I was 40 years old. Although both André and I longed for a family, we knew our age counted against us. Yet there is grace with God. Two years later I was pregnant with twins – Desiré and Reynard. Looking back, I am eternally grateful knowing that God truly carried me during the hardest time of my life. He also fulfilled his promise that He gave me at the funeral from Psalm 43:5: ‘I sing a song of praise again because He is my Savior and my God.’ All glory goes to Him.”

Karen is right. God is close to us during difficult seasons. In Psalm 30:5 we read: “For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.” Also in Jeremiah 31:13 we read: “I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow.”

May we cling to God in hard times, knowing that He is still a good God. He is near to us and still able to bring forth something beautiful out of the greatest tragedy! God bless.

Prayer: Father God, thank you so much for carrying me in my greatest pain. Please help me to keep my eyes on You. I ask this in the Name of Jesus Christ. Amen

Bible Society of South Africav.4.13.12
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