Monday, September 18, 2006

All Things Working for Our Good

For various reasons, the past week has been difficult. However, God is reacquainting me with a sweet gospel truth that I know well but am gladly reminded of.

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers."
(Romans 8:28-29)

From Beside Still Waters, C.H. Spurgeon elaborates on this passage of scripture better than I ever will...so I'll let his timeless words speak to us.

"Everything that happens to you is for your own good. If the waves roll against you, it only speeds your ship toward the port...You gain by loss, you grow healthy in sickness, you live by dying, and you are made rich in losses."

"Could you ask for a better promise? It is better that all things should work for my good than all things should be as I wish to have them. All things might work for my pleasure and yet might all work my ruin. If all things do not always please me, they will always benefit me. This is the best promise of this life"

I often think that what will make me happy is to have things work out according to my desires . Yet, this isn't what will bring me lasting joy. Spurgeon reminds me that it is actually far better that things work for my good than to have things work as I wish. My wayward heart doesn't always believe this but the promise of Romans 8:28 is indeed "the best promise of this life".

Spurgeon also speaks to God's purpose in the midst of difficult circumstances.

"Sometimes a storm brings people to their senses and arouses their consciences until they cry to the Lord. At other times, serious business losses bring such distress that people are driven to seek riches that are more enduring than gold, a competence that is more reliable than profits, and a comfort that is more genuine and lasting than wealth."

His recommended response? Humble submission to God's purpose accomplished through our trials.

"Submit cheerfully. there is no affliction that comes by chance....Not a drop of bitter ever falls into our cup unless the heavenly Father's wisdom places it there. We dwell where everything is ordered by God. Whenever adversity must come, it is always with a purpose. And, if it is God's purpose, should I wish to escape it?"

Whatever your struggle this week or next, I trust this meditation on "the best promise of this life" will encourage you.

4 comments:

Meng said...

I am slowly reading "lost in the Middle" which you got me. Great book!

The chapter on David's heartache with Absalom's challenge was most encouraging. Psalm 88 (darkest psalm) in contrast to Psalm 4, David's response speaks of a peace and joy in a sovereign God.
"I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety." amen

andre said...

Meng,

Glad you're enjoying it - I think Paul Tripp is unusually gifted in mapping gospel application to real life issues.

Jessica said...

Charles Spurgeon is one of my favorite preachers. Oh, that there's a dozen like him today... Thanks for sharing this encouraging entry!

andre said...

Jessica

Thanks for taking the time to post a comment. I am learning more about Spurgeon's writings. I've found Beside Still Waters particularly encouraging.

I think there's a resurgence of interest in Puritan writers like John Owen and Jonathan Edwards but their writings can be tougher to digest. I find writings of "puritan hearted" preachers like Spurgeon much easier to read through.

Unfortunately, contemporary preachers that preach like Spurgeon are few and far between.