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Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Your God rules for you

Look Deeper by Rev. Jacob Hanneman

We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, for those who are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28)

In today’s lesson Paul gives us one of the most quoted passages in the Bible. It ranks right up there with “God so loved the world …” and “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” Here Paul tells us that “all things work for the good …” 

This passage is usually quoted when someone is going through a tough time in their life. We much more want to think that life is always going to get better than worse. 

But is that what God is saying? Is he telling us that everything bad in life is going to get better? Is this promise even for all people? 

It helps to understand why Paul said what he did. Paul spoke these words as added assurance to God’s people in Rome that they never had to question God’s love for them. As all people know, life isn’t easy. Life is filled with some highs but many more lows. 

When we face our down and painful moments God’s people can be tempted to think that God is mad, punishing me, or doesn’t care. Paul is saying that this isn’t true. 

Your God loves you. How can you tell? He promises to use whatever happens to us in life for our eternal good. Ultimately our God wants his people in heaven. He died on the cross and rose again so we can go to haven. He also rules everything in our lives by using every event that happens, good or bad, to direct us to him and his forgiveness so that his salvation never leaves his people, even if that means the pain we feel never leaves.

What a comfort it is to know that we are always on our God’s mind and heart. When we go through tough times, God isn’t punishing you, he isn’t angry with you or getting even with you, and he hasn’t forgotten about you. No, he is working for you so you can be in heaven. 

This is a promise that he gives to his children only. Note, that this for those who love God. If someone doesn’t love God or has rejected him, the events in their lives isn’t for their good or to secure heaven for them. Instead it is to remind them that they are not standing secure before God. 

Are you going through one of life’s down moments? What message is God sending to you? Well, ask yourself this question. What is my attitude towards God? 

Have you been led to believe and trust that no matter what, your God loves you and cares for you NOT because you “did your best,” “was a good person,” “go to church all the time,” or “do things the right way,” but, instead BECAUSE your God is full of love and mercy and BECAUSE he died on the cross, paying for all your sins of imperfection?  

And, out of thanks for what he has done for you, you desire to conform your life to his will even if that means you will be unpopular, you have to say no to the wants of the world, our families, friends, and pride, and you must suffer physically, because your God means that much to you?

If you said yes, praise God that he has led you to do so and rest assure that this promise is for you. If not, then it is time to review your life and find out again what it is to be Christian so that you don’t miss out on all your God’s promises which he wants to give to you dearly.  

For God’s children, there is never any reason to doubt. Our God is always ruling for us! 

Happy to know that my God has my back for my good! Just like you!

Jacob Hanneman is pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in Terry.

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