“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives” (Genesis 15.20 NIV).
Saint Patrick was not Irish, but he is now known as the patron saint of Ireland. How did this English young man make such an influence in Ireland during the fourth century AD? God was able to use what was meant for harm to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Saint Patrick’s real name is believed to have been Maewyn Succat, and he was kidnapped at the age of 6 and sold into slavery in Ireland for about 6 years. He finally made his way back home and dedicated his life to God.
He spent the next 12 years studying under his mentor, St. Germain, the bishop of Auxerre. When he became a bishop himself, he had a dream that the people of Ireland were calling out to him. He received the Pope’s blessing to return to the very people who enslaved him, and he began a massive spiritual awakening in the hearts of the pagan people. Not only did he win many souls to Christ (including both the rich and the poor), he established monasteries, schools and churches all over Ireland.
Because of Saint Patrick’s time as a slave in Ireland, he knew the language and culture and could preach to the people in a way that made sense to them. He had so much zeal for the Lord that even after being arrested many times by the Celtic Druids, he still continued his quest to win the hearts of the Irish People with the Good News of Jesus. Although many legends have been added to this special holiday, Saint Patrick’s Day began with an evil done to a child that God turned into good.
We live in an imperfect world, and God sometimes allows bad things to happen to His children, but we must always remember that God is fully capable of making “ALL THINGS” to work out for our good (Romans 8.28). The Bible is filled with stories of God transforming a horrible situation into a triumphant testimony. When we trust God and stay obedient to the fruition of His plan, we will get a front row seat to how He supernaturally transforms our pains and hurts into our biggest victories. God will make us into a blessing from the curses we’ve been given if we simply trust and obey Him.
Questions: Has God ever turned your pain into a blessing? Looking back on your life, do you see how God has woven your heartache into His greater plan for your life? How does your experiences both good and bad help you to be victorious today?
“Just as you, Judah and Israel, have been a curse among the nations, so I will save you, and you will be a blessing. Do not be afraid, but let your hands be strong” (Zechariah 8:13 NIV).