"In respect to the gospel, the Jews are enemies of God for your sake; in respect to the election, they are beloved by Him because of the patriarchs." —Romans 11:28
An old saying says God writes straight with crooked lines. "God makes all things work together for the good of those who love" Him (Rm 8:28). God is omnipotent; so He even uses His enemies to further His plan (Prv 16:4). For example, Joseph's brothers heartlessly abandoned him in a cistern (Gn 37:24). As a result, he was forced to spend years in Egypt as a slave and then a prisoner. Yet God brought Joseph out of prison to lead Egypt through a time of severe famine. Joseph later told his brothers: "Even though you meant harm to me, God meant it for good, to achieve his present end, the survival of many people" (Gn 50:20).
God even uses man's direct opposition to advance His plan. Certain Jewish leaders were "opposing the Holy Spirit" (Acts 7:51) by condemning Stephen and stoning him to death. Yet God immediately used this tragedy to spread His Word "throughout the countryside of Judea and Samaria" (Acts 8:1) and soon even to the ends of the earth (see Acts 1:8).
Many first-century Jews did not accept Jesus as Messiah and Lord. It seemed the ministry of Jesus to His people (see Mt 15:24) failed. Yet God turned even this failure to triumph. The unbelief of certain Jewish leaders caused Paul to turn to the Gentiles, who "responded to the word of the Lord with praise" (Acts 13:48).
Place your trust in the Father's love, power, and ability. He is supreme and sovereign. "Therefore do not be perturbed" by circumstances, no matter how horrible. "Remain calm" and trust in your heavenly Father (1 Pt 4:7).
Prayer: Father, I put my life in Your hands (see Ps 31:6).
Promise: "Your kindness, O Lord, sustains me." —Ps 94:18
Praise: St. Charles showed heroic charity during a plague in Milan.
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 12, 2017
The Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil Obstat agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.