The true Christian's blessedness
“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” Romans 8:28 (NLT)
(Adapted from C.H. Spurgeon’s sermon preached in 1857.)
All things work together for the Christian’s eternal and spiritual good.
And yet I must say here that sometimes all things work together for the Christian’s temporal good.
You know the story of old Jacob. “Joseph is not, and Simeon is not, and you will take Benjamin away; all these things are against me,” said the old patriarch.
But if he could have read God’s secrets, he might have found that Simeon was not lost, for he was retained as a hostage – that Joseph was not lost, but gone before to smooth the passage of his grey hairs into the grave, and that even Benjamin was to be taken away by Joseph in love to his brother.
So what seemed to be against him, even in temporal matters, was for him.
You may have heard also the story of the man headed to be martyred who was always saying, “All things work together for good.”
When he was seized by the officers of Queen Mary to be taken to the stake to be burned, he was treated so roughly on the road that his leg broke; and they mockingly said, “All things work together for good, do they? How will your broken leg work for your good?”
“I don’t know,” he said, “but for my good I know it will work, and you shall see it so.”
Strange to say, it proved true that it was for his good; for being delayed a day or so on the road through his lameness, he arrived in London in time enough to hear that Elizabeth was proclaimed queen, and so he escaped the stake by his broken leg.
He turned around upon the men who carried him, as they thought, to his death and said to them, “Now will you believe that all things work together for good?”
We are called upon to rejoice in our sufferings, not for their own sake, but because of the outcome. If we, like God, knew the end from the beginning, we would laugh in the midst of our trials, as we shall later.
“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment.
For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.” Romans 5:3–5 (NLT)