In most things in life, the law of cause and effect prevails. We reap what we sow, Dr. Jimmy Scroggins, lead pastor of First Baptist Church of West Palm Beach, said Wednesday.
Yet at times, God chooses to circumvent or subvert the law of cause and effect in our lives, he said.
"God sometimes, because of His grace, brings good out of evil," said Pastor Scroggins, who spoke to students in chapel at Palm Beach Atlantic University.
"God in his mysterious providence has the unique supernatural ability to work through the worst decisions that we can make or the worst circumstances that we encounter … and give us grace and goodness and mercy in spite of it."
As an illustration, he cited the Old Testament story of Jacob, his sons and his favorite son Joseph.
In the story, Joseph rises to a position of power and shows mercy to his brothers, who had abused him and sold him into slavery years earlier. In Genesis 50:20, Joseph says, "You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives."
"God is not in the business of payback for his children. God is in the business of 'bringback' for his children," said Pastor Scroggins, who serves on PBA's Board of Trustees.
When Jesus died on the cross some 2,000 years ago, God took the sins of the world and laid them on his son, he said.
"My life is an open book to God. He forgives me because of Christ," Pastor Scroggins said, adding that the forgiven are obligated to extend grace to others.
"Grace means you give somebody what they don't deserve, just like God does for you and like God does for me."