Today In Church History
1779 English founder of Methodism John Wesley wrote in a letter: 'Chance has no share in the government of the world. The Lord reigns, and disposes all things, strongly and sweetly, for the good of them that love him.'
“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, ESV)
This is the comfort and hope of a true child of God. Our confidence and comfort does not lie in the belief that Christians are exempt from sorrow or suffering. Pain remains a glaring reality in the life of God’s children.
Our hope and confidence comes from the fact that our God is too wise to make a mistake, too loving to be unkind, and is too omnipotent to be thwarted. Our God weaves everything that transpires in our lives together for our ultimate good.
The “good” in this verse does not mean that everything that happens to you once you become a Christian is going to be comfortable, pleasurable, or profitable. It refers to the on-going conformity to Christ-likeness. It is referencing a closer fellowship with God and the accomplishment of God’s eternal purpose.
The one character in the Bible that seems to have grasped this truth and illustrated this truth was Joseph. When confronting his brothers after having been abused by them and then sold in to slavery by them, and having experienced slavery, prison, and false accusations said this, “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.” (Genesis 50:20, ESV)
When suffering, sorrow, pain, disappointment, and/or evil befall you, do not despair. Remember that a very loving and very wise God permitted or directed those things to take place. Your confidence and hope is in His glorious and majestic character and nature. Look for the big orange and black sign that says “Caution: God is at Work! God is at work using the pain and suffering in your life for your benefit and to further His eternal purpose.
We may not see those benefits or recognize His purpose immediately. Several years passed from the time Joseph’s brothers treacherous actions until his appointment and actions secured the salvation of his family and the land of Egypt. Joseph trusted His God.
How about you? Will you (not can you) as a born from above child of God trust your God? Where is your confidence and hope? Is it in the philosophy of this darkened and deceived world that promise and promotes a utopia? Or is your confidence in the living omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent God of our Fathers?