Thursday, January 25, 2007

The Best Promise of This Life

At our workplace, as in all of life, we will undoubtedly encounter difficulties from time to time. Sometimes difficulties arise from our own mistakes...on other occasions, it's due to direct opposition from others. At times, there's no one to "blame" - it's just a matter of the confluence of unfavorable circumstances.

Whatever, the source of difficulties, this familiar verse has been a comfort to me amidst them.

"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 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.

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