Reflections – 2015.10

All Things For Good

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.”
– Romans 8:28

So, Paul is saying to his fellow Christians, all things work together for good.  I am wondering, do you believe this?  Have you personally experienced it as true?  Do you wish it was true in your current situation?  Doubts and struggles within and troubles and difficulties without can cause us to wonder, to wrestle with God’s purposes in our lives, to wonder if and how things might “work together for good.”

The 17th century minister, Thomas Watson, knew of this wrestling and commented: “There are two things which I have always looked upon as difficult. The one is, to make the wicked sad; the other is, to make the godly joyful.”  In an effort to encourage the second thing (making the godly joyful), Watson wrote a little book on Romans 8:28.  It is now known as All Things for Good, and is available as part of the Puritan Paperback Series.  I have been personally encouraged by this book.  If you would like a copy, I will get one for you.

I don’t think “making the godly joyful” was just a 17th century challenge though.  I watch people struggle with anxiety and depression, with internal doubts and external problems, with faith wrestlings, with the weight of worldly desires and serious temptations.  The data seem to suggest that a joyful Christian life is just not possible.  But I believe that it is and I believe that Watson has tapped into the “secret” – that there is joy for the believer who embraces the truth of Scripture and particularly of this one, Romans 8:28.

I would like to test this theory on you.  Starting October 4th in our evening worship service (6:00 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Aberdeen), I will be teaching a nine-week series based on this verse, with some help from my long gone friend, Thomas Watson.   Here are the weeks and the topics:

October 4 – The Best Things Work Together for Good for Those who Love God
October 11 – The Worst Things Work Together for Good for Those who Love God
October 18 – Why All Things Work Together for Good for Those who Love God
October 25 – But What Does it Mean to Love God?
November 1 – Do I Love God?
November 8 – Some Really Good Reasons to Love God
November 15 – But What Does it Mean to Be Called?
November 22 – And How Should I Live as a Called Person?
November 29 – And What is God’s Purpose in Calling Us?

Will you please come out and reflect on this marvelous verse of Scripture with me?  For those of you who have children, nursery is provided and we have started a Sunday School for elementary age kids that will meet during the evening service.  In addition, high school students will be transported from the Hilton to the Hannas’ for youth group.  If you have not been in the habit of worshipping on Sunday evenings, now would be a great time to start.  I am looking forward to our time together!

Yours In Christ,

Pastor Don