If God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31b)
Somehow I know more about living than I did..say..50 years ago. I have, in relative terms, had a wonderful, happy, fulfilling life. Now as I face what is likely the twilight days of my life I have a very short list of regrets. Of course there are things I would do differently had known then what I do now. But accepting that I only knew then what I knew then I usually did OK and didn’t become my own worst enemy on many occasions.
The familiar phrase written above from Romans 8 is a profound statement. I advise reading the passage, in fact the whole chapter, to assure that you get the context. Here, the Bible is talking about the big picture of a whole life. The idea is that even in the middle of our worst trouble God is present and making things work out for us. He never is only a spectator, he is always working in us, on us, and for us.
Yes, it’s true for you too, if you love God. The greatest problems you will face can become the genesis of some of your grandest blessings. When we are standing face to face with darkness and despair we can never at that moment see the future plans God has for us. But He does have other plans.
I have had my share of trouble and I’m not immune to more. But, consider things from the perspective of an older man with some battle scars.
Could I as fully appreciate the unconditional love and acceptance of my Heavenly Father had I not felt rejected at times by my own human father? And could I find such joy in the unselfish devotion of a wife had I not been rejected and abandoned by one? Could I appreciate the blessing of good health and life to the degree I am able had I not experienced the pain of the sudden death of my wife Jeanine at the age of 44? And I wonder if I could be as compassionate toward those who have shined and then fallen had I not once been where they are?
The scriptures admonish the wise to take heed when he is standing because anyone can surely fall. (1 Corinthians 10:12) Your life might have been smooth sailing so far but if you live long enough the seas will get rough. Don’t fall into the trap of looking down your nose at someone who just hit rock bottom, there might be a place there reserved for you.
If you will walk with God, trusting and obeying the best you can, He has your back! When the doctor says, “I’m sorry, it’s malignant”. Or when the officer says at the door, “I have bad news..”, even in those times you can be assured that God has not been taken by surprise and is able to make cancer and every other disease, marriage failures and business failures, and even your sin all work out for your good in the end of it all. I am the man I am today not because of a series of successes, fantastic relationships, perfect abundance, and text-book health. No, I have been shaped by brokenness, failure, disappointment, grief, rejection, and personal sin. And of course all of the wonderful good things and good people who have contributed in some way to my life. But, back of all of this is the ever abiding presence and plan of an almighty God who has promised.
So when the bad news comes, take it with grace and dignity, and pray that God will have the final say. I recently heard a song by Vince Gill titled “Threaten Me With Heaven”. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NiQhOZ6BE_I) Part of the lyric is, “..what are they gonna do? threaten me with heaven?” Think about, if you belong to God that’s the worst anyone can do. I just wonder what the good doctor would say when after he had told someone they had only two months to live if they replied, “What are you trying to do, threaten me with heaven?”
Walk with God, trust his promises, do the best you can, and embrace every day of your life, both the good and the unpleasant. Every day is God’s gift to you so honor him in it without regard to the circumstances. He will see you through.