Redeeming the Bad

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

This is one of my favorite verses in the Bible.  Although some have used this verse to talk about God’s intentional will in all things, for me it is a verse about the reassurance that even if people do or experience things that are outside of God’s will, God can take these things and bring about something good.

In a sense, it is about the redeeming power of God.  God can take the evil of this world and redeem it in a way that brings about good.  It does not make the evil good but, God can work it in such a way that good comes out of it.

For those of you who have heard me preach over the years, you know the story of my nephew who was diagnosed with cancer only a couple of days after he turned two and died when he was three.  You know that I do not believe that any child getting cancer is within the intentional will of God.  But you also know that God took the evil of my nephews’ death and led my sister into becoming a Hospice Chaplain where she was able to help many people through their process of grief when they were facing end of life issues within their own families.

Do I believe that my nephew died from cancer so that my sister would be led into Hospice Chaplaincy?  Of course not.  But I do believe that God took something that was completely evil and redeemed it to bring good about in people’s lives.

All things may not be good but, God can take all things and work them together for good when we turn these things over to God.

Pray with me:

Redeeming God, I give you the broken things in my life knowing that you can redeem them and bring about good.  Give me the strength to not despair in the evil that I see but, instead, rejoice in the glory that will come.  For you have won the victory over sin and death, and through death, you have brought eternal life in your Son, Jesus the Christ.  AMEN.

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