Romans 8:28 - And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.
We live in a world of tumult and tension on all sides. Whatever we might think of as the "good ole days" seem to be further back than most of us can remember. Then again, the days of yesteryear weren't always the best of years. We all have our own regrets and grief when we look back at the days of our lives gone by.
Whether we're downtrodden by our own sins or by the vagaries of life working against us, there's more than enough sadness to go around. Only in Christ can we find the true explanation for human sorrow. Tear Jesus away from the hearts and hopes of humankind, and you will leave them the haggard victims of their own sins, convulsively groping their way through a mist-covered world.
Only One can heal the spiritual wounds of mankind, rebuild broken spirits, feed famished souls—Christ, our blessed Savior. He has been down the road we're traveling; He has experienced what it means to be human. He has "borne our griefs and carried our sorrows"; "He was crushed for our iniquities; upon Him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with His wounds we are healed" (Isaiah 53:4a, 5b).
In short, view the life that you live in Christ from whatever angle you may, and you will exult in the divine truth, "all things work together for good." As the painter employs dark, somber hues to emphasize the presence of light, so the shadows in our lives serve to sharpen the illumination of God's love for us. When we see the face of the finished and holy design created by Christ, the Master artist of our destiny, all doubt as to the wisdom and the love of God will vanish.
By Jesus' blessed atonement, by His suffering, bleeding, dying, by His glorious resurrection, we have peace with God through faith in His Son as our Lord and Savior. You also have heaven's pledge "that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us" (Romans 8:18b).
In this knowledge, you can raise a hymn of thanksgiving to God even in the darkest night; you can rise from life's knockdowns with a new and fresh hope; and you can even face death yourself, with the invincible courage that exults that you are "sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:38b-39).
WE PRAY: Heavenly Father, life is full of sorrows; lift us up beyond them as we trust in Your Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
Taken from "Christ Solves the Mystery of Our Sorrow," a sermon by Rev. Dr. Walter A. Maier, the first Speaker of The Lutheran Hour
1. What do you think about when you look back to the "good old days"?
2. Is there a danger with looking back too much, especially if your view is that they were so much better than today?
3. Why is it we can be thankful to God no matter what period of life we're in?
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