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10 Incredible Ways God Works for the Good of Those Who Love Him

One of the most encouraging verses in the entire Bible is found in Pauls letter
to the Christians living in extreme persecution in the city of ancient Rome. Paul says
it like this:
Romans 8:28
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those
who are called according to His purpose.
This passage brought me great hope for the first time when I was just a teenager
and was experiencing some extremely difficult hardships at the time. And now that I
have several more decades of life under my belt, I can say this passage means even
more to me now than it did as a teenager. At this stage of my life, it is much more
than hope. It is experience.
Id like to share with you ten amazing ways Ive found that God works things together
for good in our lives, even when we wouldn't have expected it.
1. He Provides
One of the most amazing things I have discovered over the years is that God truly
provides even in the midst of extraordinarily difficult circumstances. And He generally
does so in ways that I never would have expected. Many times He has taken me
through a path of loss only to bring me into pasture of abundance. God gives, and
He takes away. But I have always found that He ends up giving me more than He
has taken. And most of the time, He would not have been able to bless me if He had
not first taken away those things I thought I needed at the time.
2. He Changes Hearts
God actually has the super-amazing ability to change hearts. At times he has
changed my heart to conform with His perfect plan. At other times I have seen him
change the hearts of others in order to accomplish His will in my life. The kings
heart is in the hand of the Lord. Like the rivers of water, He turns it wherever He
wishes (Proverbs 21:1, NKJV).
3. He Protects
Even as God protected the Children of Israel in the midst of the plagues in Egypt, I
have seen God protect my family and other Christians who have been in the midst of
extreme hardship. There have been times in my life in which I have felt like I was
experiencing a set back. But after allowing time to sort things out, I was able to see
that God was actually taking me out of the way of a greater harm that could have
befallen me. He was truly protecting me.

4. He Empowers
Another profound thing I've seen over the years is that God has the ability to
empower me through challenging events in a way that I never could have
experienced otherwise. God will never leave us or forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6),
and He tends to give us the greatest amount of his divine power when life is in those
darkest hours.
5. He Befuddles the Enemy
When you feel that someone is tormenting you, and they just seem to be "getting
away with it," you can dismiss that notion from your mind. Even when you cannot
see what God is doing, you can rest assured that He is at workeven in the hearts
and minds of your enemies. Justice reigns, and He has the ability to confound the
works of the wicked.
6. He Strengthens
A famous theologian once made the statement, "Whatever doesn't kill us will make
us stronger." OK, that was not actually theologian. It was Arnold Schwarzenegger!
But God clearly uses adversity to make us stronger. The key is to run TO God and
not AWAY from Him in times of trial.
God has used trials to strengthen me over the past several decades to the point that
I can now withstand hardships that would have crushed me when I was a young
man. I am thankful for His spiritual strength which He has imparted to me through
those trials.
7. He Builds Your Character
Nothing purifies our character and motives quite like the fiery furnace of trials and
tribulations. And it is important for you to know that we all NEED that type of refining.
God uses pain to turn us into clean, pure vessels for His use.
8. He Heals
Just as God allowed Lazarus to die so that He could demonstrate His power over
death by raising him back to life (John 11), at times God allows us physical maladies
so that He can heal us for His glory. He is the Great Physician and has the ability to
heal when that is what is best in your particular situation. And I have seen His
healing in ways that have convinced me that He is truly in control.

9. He Develops Your Wisdom

I don't have an exact measuring tool here, but I would estimate that 90% of the
wisdom I have gained over my last several decades of adulthood have come during
hardshipand not when times were easy. When we are dialed in to God, He can

use pain and difficult times to help us to learn about life in ways that we never could
have experienced in times of bliss.
10. He Gives Purpose and Direction
God often gives us direction and purpose by pointing us on a certain path in the
midst of hardship. God ultimately called me to pastoral ministry due to hardships that
I experienced when I was younger. I know many counselors who were called to
counseling after they had experienced seasons of deep pain. I know of
youth/childrens ministry workers who were called to ministry after they went through
difficult times in their own youth. God can pull you through the storm and into a bright
new day of ministry like you've never experienced thus far in your life.
God is good, and He can work all of the events of your life into a great masterpiece
if you let Him.

jaredontv 4 months ago

since the day I said yes to Jesus Christ, I have hated my sin struggles ever since...
but there are some addictive sins that I have a very hard time avoiding... Im a single
38 year old guy that lives alone with no family around anymore... masturbation is a
huge struggle for me, and it scares the hell out of me when some theologians say
that Im not saved as a result of certain addictions that still remain in me..
Aron Holmes 3 months ago
Jared.. when you have a true repentance of the heart and ask for the forgiveness of
God, He casts your sins as far as the east is from the west, He blots out your
transgressions! Never to remember them again. Read Psalm 51! Father God, please
give my Brother in Christ strength to overcome these temptations, Lord Jesus,
please take them away from him. Thank you, In your name Jesus, Amen! Glory to

Ideal Candidates: This plan is geared for someone who has been exercising at least four times a
week for at least two months, averaging at least nine miles a week with a long run of three miles.
Before you start this plan you should be able to run 30 minutes without stopping.
Plan length: 8 weeks
Weekly routine: 4 workouts, 1 day rest, 2 optional cross-training or rest days
Weekly Mileage: 8.5 miles-12.5 miles
Long Runs: 3 miles-4.5 miles
Quality workouts: Hills; Fartlek (loosely-structured speedwork that can be done on a track, road, or

How to Run a Faster 5K

You've been running regularly for some time and have completed a few 5K fun runs.
But now it's time to step it up and take this distance seriously. Here are some tips to
help you beat your personal record when running 3.1 miles.
During Training

Add speedwork: If you want to run a faster 5K, you have to practice running
faster. Coach Andrew Kastor recommends adding 80-meter sprints into your training
schedule, and here'shis plan for running a faster 5K in four weeks. Remember:
sprinting can be hard on the body, so make sure to start off with shorter sprints and
build up to the full 80 meters, especially if you're new to speedwork.

Add short uphills: Hills require strength and endurance, so if you practice
them during your training, you'll develop speed and muscle power, and just as
with plyometrics (jump exercises), hill sprints will increase flexibility in your muscles
and tendons, which reduces your risk of injury. In your training, tackle shorter steep
hills (about six to 10 percent incline). Sprint up for 10 seconds, then walk downhill
backwards to avoid pressure on the knees. Repeat, eventually building up to eight
10-second sprints. It's a surefire way to stronger, faster legs.

Incorporate strength training moves that target your shins, calves,

quads, glutes, and core: Running alone won't increase your speed. You need to
strengthen the muscles that make you move so your actions will be more powerful
and more efficient. Incorporate variations of squats, lunges, step-ups, calf raises,
bent over rows

Become familiar with the route: Obtain a map of the 5K course, and if the
route is open (like in a neighborhood or wooded trail), practice running it to
familiarize yourself with the hills, curves, and mile markers. Knowing the course in
advance will give you confidence and an added advantage over runners who are
running it for the first time.

On Race Day

Nourish and hydrate: Eat a low-fiber meal that contains protein and easily
digestible carbs. Make sure it's under 200 calories and eaten one to two hours
before you run. My favorite is peanut butter on a banana, but find what works for
you. Drink 14 to 20 ounces of fluid two to three hours before you run.

Warm Up: It may only be 3.1 miles, but if you warm up with some brisk
walking or light jogging 25 minutes before the race, you'll not only prevent injury, but
your muscles will also be ready to go once the race begins.

Start out strong: That's right. Recent research shows that approaching the
first part of the race at a slightly faster than your normal pace will actually result in a
shorter overall time.

For uphills: Proper form is key. Keep your head and chest upright and your
shoulders and hands relaxed (no clenched fists). Take shorter strides and push off
and up, not into the hill to add spring to your movements, while keeping your feet
close to the ground. Don't make your legs do all the work pump your arms to add
power to each step. Gaze up the hill to where you're going rather than at the ground.

It helps you see the progress you're making, which motivates you to keep going.
Tackle the first two-thirds of the hill at a slower, relaxed pace, and then accelerate
toward the end.

For downhills: Use gravity here and allow your body to take a longer stride
with each step. Relax your leg muscles and focus on leaning forward into the hill and
landing softly to avoid jarring your knees and other joints.

For flats: Focus on moving efficiently and with minimal effort. You can
achieve this by shifting your shoulders slightly in front of your hips, allowing gravity to
naturally pull you forward. Capitalize on this forward momentum to conserve energy
while increasing your pace on flat sections of the race without much muscular effort.

For curves: Pay attention to turns in the course and move over as soon as
possible to hug the curves, shortening the distance.

Finish strong: Knowing the course is extremely helpful as miles aren't always
marked on 5Ks. Take a negative split approach to the race, which means once you
hit the halfway mark, begin to pick up the pace (passing runners will give you an
added boost of confidence). For the last quarter mile, go for the gold and sprint to the
finish line.

Monday: 2-4 miles easy running
Tuesday: Off/Total rest
Wednesday: 2-4 miles easy
running, plus 4-6x 80 meter sprints
minutes, easy to moderate effort
Friday: 2-4 miles easy running
Saturday: Off/Total rest
Sunday: 3-5 miles easy running,
plus 4-6x 80 meter sprints
Notes: Be consistent with training. Run
easy 3 times this week. Try and run on dirt

minutes easy to moderate effort
Tuesday: 2 mile warmup, 4 x 1/2
mile at a moderate/hard effort with
3 minutes recovery jog between
reps, 2 mile cooldown
Wednesday: 3-5 miles of easy
running plus 4-6 x 80 meter sprints
minutes easy to moderate effort
Friday: Off/Total rest
Saturday: 2 mile warmup, 3 x 1
mile repeats at a moderate to hard
effort with 3 minutes recovery jog
between repeats, 2 mile cooldown
Sunday: 4-6 miles of easy running

Notes: Adding in repeats will help elevate

your speed and fitness level.

minutes easy to moderate effort
Tuesday: 2 mile warmup, 2 x 1
mile at a moderate/hard effort with
2 minutes recovery jog between
reps, then 4 x 1/2 mile at a
moderate/hard effort, 2 mile
Wednesday: 4-5 miles of easy
running plus 4-6 x 80 meter sprints
Thursday: Off/Total rest
Friday: 3-4 miles of easy running
plus 4-6 x 80 meter sprints
Saturday: 2 mile warmup, 2 x 1.5
mile repeats at a moderate to hard
effort with 3 minutes recovery jog
between repeats, 2 mile cooldown
Sunday: 5-7 miles of easy running
Notes: Biggest training week, running 5
times. Be sure to eat at least 60 minutes
before you run.

minutes easy to moderate effort
Tuesday: 3-5 miles of easy running
plus 4-6 x 80 meter sprints

Wednesday: 2 mile warmup, 6 x

1/2 mile at a moderate/hard effort
with 2 minutes recovery jog
between reps, 2 mile cooldown
Thursday: 3-4 miles of easy
running plus 4-6 x 80 meter sprints

Friday: Off/Total rest

Saturday: Race day!
Sunday: Off/Total rest
Notes: It's important to "taper" this week,
you have a fun weekend ahead!