Pastor Shawn Hannon
Hope Lutheran Church Arcade, NY
Let’s get to the chase. Last week was not the week I thought it was going to be. It started with an early goodbye to a colleague. On Wednesday I walked into the office to find the carpet in my office saturated with water and still spreading, and two different members of the church I serve had health crises. It’s Friday as I write this, and TGIF has new meaning. Not that it’s the weekend (woo-hoo!), but simply that this week is over. Seriously, thank God.
Perhaps you’ve had a week like that. Or maybe it was just a day. Maybe it was a month, or even a pretty bad year. We’ve all had times in our lives where things simply did not go our way.
When I’m going through times like this a certain scripture usually comes to mind. Paul wrote it the Christians who lived in Rome. He said, “We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). All things work together for good.
I don’t know what will come of my early goodbye or flooded office or worry for my friend’s health, but I do know that nothing is unredeemable with God. I know, because I consider what God has been able to do in me. If God saved me—chief of sinners—God really can work all things for good! There is nothing that God cannot redeem and restore and work for good.
Sometimes people understand that text to mean that God makes bad things happen in order to work good. That’s not the case. God doesn’t need to do that. Bad things have a habit of happening all on their own. The good news for us, is that every time they do we have a God who is already at work turn things for good.
It’s why Jesus called the hungry, the poor in spirit, and the persecuted the blessed ones in Matthew 5. Because God turns things for good.
It’s why even though all of us have wined and fallen short of the glory of God, Romans 3 teaches us that we are justified by God’s grace. Because God works all things for good.
And it’s why at the end of a particularly lousy week, I chose hope over despair. Because I believe that God works all things for good.
So no matter what you have, are, or will go through, know this. Nothing is beyond God’s redeeming. Nothing is too broken or painful for God to make new. Not for those who believe.
For more inspiration and insights from Pastor Shawn’s past columns, please visit www.jamestowngazette.com and click on the Faith Matters page. The Jamestown Gazette is proud to present our county’s most creative and original writers for your enjoyment and enlightenment.