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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Skip Heitzig » Skip Heitzig - The Steady Hand of a Caring God

Skip Heitzig - The Steady Hand of a Caring God

Skip Heitzig - The Steady Hand of a Caring God
Skip Heitzig - The Steady Hand of a Caring God
TOPICS: Heart and Soul, Book of Romans, Safety

Good morning. Anybody here go to the Balloon Fiesta this morning first? Any hands up? One did. Is that it? Any more? Oh, a couple of you guys did. Good. Enjoyable? Yeah, you know, where we are here, at Osuna Campus, when you come down Osuna for the first service, the balloons today were right around this area. And as they were going up, I couldn't help but think and look forward to what Paul wrote about in Thessalonians, "the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, voice of the archangel the dead in Christ will rise first. Those of us who are alive and remain will be caught up together to meet the Lord in the air." I'm looking forward to that ride, even if I don't get a balloon ride before heaven.

Would you turn in your Bibles, please, to the book of Romans Chapter 8 verse 28. We have been in the book of Romans for 17 weeks. And we are now in Romans Chapter 8. And we are looking at one of the most famous verses ever, "and we know that all things work together for good to those who love the Lord and to those who are called according to his purpose." Let's have a word of prayer together.

Father, we are all experiencing different things in our lives. Know exactly what those things are. We may be sitting next to someone who is in deep distress or he or she are flying high because something great happened to them. But Father, we pray that whatever things we are dealing with, we would walk away today with confidence that we serve a caring God and our lives are in Your steady hands. We pray, Lord, that our faith would increase and, that because of that, our lives would be on firm ground. In Jesus' name, amen.

Life sometimes feels haphazard. It feels random. It feels like it doesn't make sense, you don't know why you're going through what you're going through. You don't know why a loving God would allow you to go through what you're going through. You just don't get it. There was a man who lived in a flood zone and a flood came. He was down in Louisiana. As the waters were rising and there was a mandatory evacuation, he decided to stay put. So he climbed up on top of his house on his roof. The waters were getting higher up to his ankles. And a neighbor came by in a little rowboat and said, I'd love to give you a lift out of here. And the man smiled and said oh, no, I trust in the Lord. I'll be fine.

So he stayed. And the waters rose a little bit higher and a little bit higher up to his waist. And a man in a motorboat came by and said, I'd love to give you a lift out of here. And the guy goes oh, no, God is faithful. I'm trusting Him. He's going to provide. So he went off. And the waters kept rising higher and higher up to his chin. He's now on his tiptoes. A helicopter came in, swooped down. The pilot let a rope down and announced, grab a hold of the rope. I'll save you. And the man looked up and said, nope, don't need any help. God's got this covered.

So he was treading water now for a couple of hours. When he finally died and he was in heaven, he complained to God. And he goes, Lord, I don't get it. I had such trust in You. What went wrong? I don't understand. And God said, yeah, I don't understand either. I sent you two boats and a helicopter. Aren't you glad that God never says yeah, I don't understand, that God never says, oops, God never declares, uh-oh? That's not part of his vocabulary. Romans Chapter 8 Verse 28, and we're going to look at 28, 29, and 30, but principally 28, is one of the most famous verses of scripture ever penned. Most of you know it by heart. It has brought comfort to millions of believers for centuries.

This one verse will help you go to sleep at night when nothing else will. Oftentimes, I've just repeated that to myself in dark moments. In fact, it always makes the list of the most popular Bible verses. I looked at a list recently, this week, of the top 10 most famous Bible verses to Americans. Romans 8:28 was number four. It always makes that list. However, preaching on a famous verse of the Bible can be a little intimidating, simply because everybody knows it. They've already internalized it, they've memorized it. You know its meaning. You've applied it to your lives.

But I found that it can be very rewarding especially if you treat it like it's a precious jewel. And we're going to look at Romans 8:28. And we're going to just turn it around slowly, letting it catch the light, so to speak, of God's glory on each facet of truth, word for word. It is an important verse because not all things are good. And to say all things are good would be a fallacy. It is wrong to say, for example, the death of a child, that's not good. Cancer is not good. Suicide is not good. War is not good. Terrorism is not good. Rape is not good. Sex trafficking, all of those things are not good. But and yet the verse says, "and we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to his purpose."

We have before us, in Verse 28, a Grand Canyon of scripture with incredible, breathtaking views that covers absolutely everything in life. RA Torrey called Romans 8:28 "a soft pillow for a tired heart." Isn't that a great description? A soft pillow for a tired heart, how many times have we rested our souls on the promise in this verse? Someone once said, "if the whole of scripture were a feast for the soul, then Romans Chapter 8 is the main dish." And I would add to that and say Romans 8:28 is the entree, it's the main feast.

Now, let's kind of go back and get our bearings. The theme of Romans, we have seen is the gospel, the righteousness of God, and the meaning of the gospel. The first few chapters however, plummet us downward. It reveals the wrath of God before it reveals the grace of God. So in chapters 1, 2, and 3, Paul consigns the entire world as being unrighteous under God's judgment, religious and non-religious, Jew and Gentile. Then chapters 4 and 5 gives us the fix. The. fix is faith. That if we simply believe like Abraham, he was the prime example, he believed in God. It was accounted to him for righteousness therefore a person who believes is justified. That's the theme of those two chapters.

Then chapters 6, 7, and 8, there is no condemnation. We're adopted children of God by faith. We are free from the law. The law doesn't make things better. It makes things worse. And now we're at the very pinnacle. We're like at the top of the mountain and we're looking over this panorama of the comprehensive view of the care of God, how much God cares. I've called this message the steady hand of a caring God. And we're going to probe this verse, all three of them, but primarily Verse 28. And I want you to notice with me six facets of God's care, six facets of God's care. Number one, the certainty of God's care, look at the phrase, the first part of it, it says, "and we know." Stop there, "and we know."

There is a ring of definiteness in Paul's language. He's not scratching his head going, well, I think, I hope, maybe. He goes, "and we know." Kenneth Weist, the Greek scholar who translated the New Testament in one of his versions also was a contributor to the NASB, said this should be translated this way, "and we know with absolute knowledge." We know it with absolute knowledge. 32 times in Paul's epistles he uses this phrase, "and we know," Five times alone in the book of Romans. And we know, that's the certainty of God's care. Now, there's a lot of things in life we don't know. The Bible says that. For instance, in Verse 26 of Romans 8, Paul says we don't always know how to pray as we ought.

Also, we don't know why certain things happen to us. Remember in the Old Testament, one of the prophets named Habakkuk who wondered why God would allow the things to happen to his own countrymen. And he said, "how long, O Lord? " How long, why will you be silent over this? Why is this happening? Also, James Chapter 4 says, "for we do not know the things that will happen tomorrow." The patriarch Isaac declared, "I do not know the day of my death." Jesus said, "you do not know the day or the hour of your Lord's coming." So there's a lot of things the Bible says we don't know. But there are certain things we do know or we should know. And one of them, and it should never be a question in our minds, is that God loves us, God cares for us. 1 Peter Chapter 5:7, "cast all your care upon Him because He cares for you."

And so Paul begins this verse speaking about God's care, "and we know." Listen, dear believer, never abandon what you do know because of what you don't know. There are certain things you don't know. You can't figure it out. You can't see why. But then there are other things you do know. During those times, gravitate and hold on to the things you absolutely know, even when there's other things you don't. You can be a no-so believer rather than a so-so believer. You can be a shouting Christian rather than a doubting Christian. You should be an exclamation point and not a question mark with your head bent over. We don't need hope so, think so, maybe so, perhaps so salvation. We need a know so salvation. This is certain. You can lay your head on the pillow of the certainty that God cares for you. That's the first facet.

Now we take this gem of Romans 8:28 and we twist it a little bit. After the certainty of God's care, we have the comprehensiveness of God's care. Because notice what he says, "and we know that all things work together for good." I cannot think of a statement that brings more assurance, more joy, more confidence to the Christian than this. Now, be careful. He does not say we know that all things are good in and of themselves. Because that would be an absurd statement in view of natural disasters that happen, human tragedies that occur. Nor does the text say that God will keep us from bad things.

I know that that is a teaching in the faith-teaching community, that God loves you and he won't let anything bad happen to you, and that if you're a Christian you'll always have health and prosperity, and he'll heal you from every disease. If that were so, you would have people converting to Christ for all the wrong motivations, all the wrong reasons. And the Bible never promises that.

Notice again, it does not say some things work together for good to those who love God. It'd be easier, perhaps, to believe it if it did. It doesn't say that nor does it say most things work together for good. Nor does it say all good things work together for good. Nor does it say all prayed about things work together for good. It says all things. The Greek word, all things. And guess what it means? It means all things, "all things" literally actually means all things. That is, there are no qualifications. There are no limitations. There's no confinement. The point he is making is nothing is beyond the overruling, overriding scope of God's providential care.

I love how George Mueller put it. George Mueller, I've told you about him before. He ran several orphanages in Bristol, England all by faith, didn't have always financial, the wherewithal to run these things. But he was a man of great faith. Of Romans 8:28, he said in 1,000 trials it is not 500 of them that work for the believer's good, but 999 of them and one besides, his way of saying all things. Now, what is included in all things? Of course we know it means all things. But what's included in context here? Well, remember back in Verse 17, we covered that last week when we were together? He said, if we suffer with Him we'll also share in His glory. So it speaks of suffering in the present world.

Down in Verse 23, Paul writes, "we ourselves grown within ourselves as we are waiting for the final redemption of our body." So we know it includes all things like suffering in this life and the groaning that comes because of it. William R Newell writes, "dark things, bright things, happy things, sad things, sweet things, bitter things, times of prosperity, times of adversity, all things." But don't misread the verse. The idea is not that all things just happen to work out for good on their own. The idea of this verse is behind the all things is a God who is the prime mover, who is causing all those things.

In fact, the new American Standard Bible translates it that way. "For we know that God causes all things to work together for good." That really is the sense of this verse because it's in the active voice and it's in the present tense. So it speaks of an ongoing activity that is orchestrated by God. The verse would be better translated, we know with absolute certainty that God, on an ongoing basis, is causing everything to be working together for good to those who love God. So it's not a statement of fate, that things are just going to work out on their own. It's a statement of faith, that God is providentially overruling in all things for his plan.

Here's a related verse, another famous verse in scripture, one you love as well, Proverbs Chapter 3 verses 5 and 6. "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path." Doesn't matter what's going on in your path, what obstacles are on your path, if the path is straight or twisted. He will direct your path. Most every one of us has heard of PTSD. It's been popularized over the last 10, 15 years, post-traumatic stress disorder. It's something that happens when a person is exposed to a traumatic event. Sometimes they will experience that and they will exhibit certain behaviors based upon that trauma. And so it's called post-traumatic stress syndrome or disorder.

But the world of psychology has tapped into another condition they're talking about now. They call it PTG, post-traumatic growth. And what they have noted is this is a positive psychological change experienced as a result of adversity. And it is due to a shift in thinking and relating to the world that is the result of a traumatic event. According to this field of experts, 2/3 of trauma survivors experience PTG, post-traumatic growth, whereas only a small percentage actually experience post-traumatic stress syndrome, PTSD. So their point is for most of us, adversity is healthy. It's good. It changes the way we think. We grow as a result.

Now, you add to that psychological condition the truth of this verse, that there is a personal God behind it all orchestrating those events, directing our steps in our path, all things, you have a great place of confidence. The certainty of God's care, we know. The comprehensiveness of God's care, all things. Let's look at a third facet. Let's turn that diamond a little more. The cohesiveness of God's care, he said, "we know that all things work together." Stop there. Work together, two words, one word in the Greek language, sunergeo, sunergeo.

If you're trying to write that down, I don't know why. But sunergeo is the word from which we get our word synergy or synergism, sunergeo. Synergy, it's the interaction and cooperation of two or more things. It is the working together of various elements to produce a result greater than the sum. So it's not that you just have all these random things that happen. It's that God superintends the mixture of all things. So it's the right combination. Here's an example.

A few weeks ago, somebody did me a great, wonderful honor of giving me home-grown tomatoes from their garden. I brought them home. And after church, after third service I cut into a few of them and I ate them. They were delicious. But I put poison on them. I didn't die. Well, we wouldn't call it poison. We call it salt, sodium chloride. But do you know that sodium, in its pure elemental form and chlorine, in its pure elemental form will kill you? It's poisonous. However, in the right combination, sodium chloride, it's actually beneficial. It enhances taste. It brings out the flavor. It could kill you in one form but in another combination form, it can be beneficial.

God can do that. There are certain things in life in and of themselves are evil, horrible, bad, terrible. They're not good. But in God's chemistry lab, when He puts it in the crucible of omnipotence and He mixes it just right, He can give it back to us and it's actually healing, helpful. So Paul can say we know that all things work together. That's God's chemistry. Now for a moment, I want you to compare two worldviews. One is from an Old Testament guy named Jacob. One is from this New Testament guy named Paul the Apostle. Jacob and Paul had similar experiences. Bad things were happening in their lives. Jacob had his son kidnapped. He thought his son was dead. That was Joseph. There was a famine going on in the land. His boys were misbehaving. He had a lot of bad things happen.

Paul the Apostle also had bad things happen to him. He was falsely accused, put in prison. He was in Caesarea Prison for a couple of years, then went to Rome, was facing a trial before Nero. He had all sorts of bad things happen. Jacob, when the bad things happened to him, this is what he said. "All things are against me." When all these things happen to Paul, Paul said, "all things work together for good to those who love God." Two different viewpoints. I've met a lot of believers who live where Jacob lived. Everything is against me. Everybody's out to get me. Things aren't turning out right. Or all things work together for good. What's the difference? The difference is a perspective based on eternity.

Romans 8:28 must be interpreted from the eternal perspective, not the temporal perspective. Because you're looking at what's going on around you, I don't get this. I don't know why God will allow this to happen. There is a law of physics that basically says energy in the universe is never lost. It is always transformed from one state to another state. I think it's the same way in human experience. I think nothing is ever lost entirely, that God uses it to accomplish His purpose. Most all of us have heard the story of Jim Elliot, the missionary to the Auca Indians. Now, here's a group of missionaries who planned, and prayed, and strategized, and had a heart to reach these people down in Ecuador. And one day, a mission team, Jim Elliott and four others, went out to share the gospel. They were all killed. They were all murdered.

When that happened, and it was pretty significant news, their sacrifice seemed like a senseless tragedy. It looked like a total waste of human life. That's because they were interpreting it, not in the light of eternity, but just temporarily. However, in God's chemistry lab, there was a purpose. You see, each one of those tribespeople eventually came to know Jesus Christ. The gospel was planted into that tribal culture and to this day is thriving in that tribal culture. Several years ago I actually met the man who put the spear into Jim Elliott. He's a believer. He's the leader, or he was. Now he's in heaven. Now, just picture this, in heaven right now is Jim Elliott, those four other missionaries, and the murderers of them all around the throne of God, looking back at the event and probably saying, it worked together for good. Don't you agree?

Romans 8:28 must always be interpreted in the light of the eternal perspective, not the temporal. So the certainty, the comprehensiveness, the cohesion of God's care, let's turn that diamond a little bit more, the culmination of God's care. "And we know that all things work together for good." Let's consider those two words, "for good." Notice what it doesn't say. It does not say, and we know that all things work together for our comfort. Because they don't always. Certain experiences are very uncomfortable. It does not say we know that all things work together for our ease, or all things work together for our prosperity, or all things work together for our physical health. Know this, though, God is always working toward a supreme good as God defines good.

50 years ago, a young woman at the time named Joni Eareckson who is now Joni Eareckson Tada was paralyzed in a diving accident in the Chesapeake Bay. For 50 years, she's been chained to a wheelchair as a quadriplegic. She's an ardent, vibrant believer in God, in God's plan, in Jesus Christ. Her faith is not shaken. She was asked the question, why? Why does God allow suffering? Now, I'd want to hear her answer. Wouldn't you, somebody who's been a quadriplegic for 50 years, why does God allow suffering? Listen to her short but profound answer. She said, and I quote, "God allows what he hates to accomplish what he loves." That's profound. "God allows what he hates to accomplish what he loves."

The Christian is not naive about suffering, and pain, and heartache, and tragedy. We know what Jesus said. He said, "the rain falls on the just and the unjust. The sun shines on the just and the unjust alike." Job, who suffered greatly, said, "the Lord gives and the Lord takes away." We know we're not automatically healed as Christian believers. We know that sometimes God calms the storm for us. But usually, He calms us in the storm. Most typically, He lets the storm rage around us. But He keeps us calm. Jerry Bridges writes, "God never allows pain without purpose in the lives of His children." He never allows Satan, nor circumstances, nor any ill-intending person to afflict us unless he uses that affliction for our good. God never wastes pain. He always causes to work together for our ultimate good, the good of conforming us more to the likeness of His son.

Did you hear that last part? God has a goal, conforming us into the likeness of His son. I want you to read it for yourself. Verse 29, "for whom He forknew, he also predestined to be conformed to the image of His son." Why is this happening to me, God? I want to make you more like Jesus. That's why. I want your life to be sweeter, and richer, and better, and deeper. And so that's the good. I look back on every trial. And I believe God had my highest good in mind. There's parts of it I still have questions about. There's some black pixels on the screen for me. And I go, what's up with that thing? Why that part of it? I don't get it all. I don't get it all. But I'm OK with that.

You know what James said? He said, we should even get to this point, "count it all joy, brothers, when you fall into various trials." Oh, come on? Who do you know that does that? I'm so happy I'm going through a trial. Why would you be excited about that? Because God has got something up His sleeve. Count it all joy when you fall into various trials knowing that the trial of your faith produces patience. Let patience have its perfect work, that you might be complete and entire, lacking nothing. God has something going on.

I've always loved the illustration of a simple bar of steel. A bar of steel worth $5, if you make it into horseshoes, is now worth $12. If you take the $5 bar of steel and make it into needles, hypodermic needles, sewing needles, it's now worth $3,500. When you make it into balance springs for fine watches, that $5 bar of steel is now worth $300,000. What makes a $5 bar of steel worth $300,000? What increases the value? I'll tell you what, heat, beating, twisting, more heat, more beating, more twisting. And the more it goes through those contortions, the more valuable it becomes. I think, like us, what makes us more valuable? The trials of your faith produce patience. Let patience have its perfect work. So that is the culmination of God's care for good.

Let's twist that diamond a little further. Let's look at Verse 28 from another angle, the condition of God's care. And we know that all things work together for good. Here's the condition. Here's the audience, not just to anyone and everyone but to those who love God, I know that most of you do, to those who are called according to His purpose.

You see, we can't take Verse 28 and just quote the part of the verse we like, "we know that all things work together for good." Because that's not what it says. It's given to someone. It is to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. In other words, it's for believers. That's just a simple definition of a Christian. It is the definition of a Christian from two different directions, the human direction, those who love God, the divine direction, those who are called according to His purpose.

God's definition of a Christian is you're called according to His purpose. Our typical definition of a believer is we love the Lord. The fact that we love the Lord is proof that we are called according to His purpose. But it's the same truth from two different directions. He's simply describing a believer.

Now, Romans 8:28, there are so many biblical examples of that principle proven true in so many different lives. I was going through the scriptures this week. And I thought of several examples. I thought of Noah, Jacob, Moses, Esther, Job, David. I thought of the census in the New Testament Book of Matthew. I thought of Paul's arrest and trial. I thought of Barnabas and Paul in their conflict with each other in the book of Acts. All of them, you can take an insert Romans 8:28 and you can see it. But I'm going to leave you with three examples that show Romans 8:28 three different ways, all of them very famous examples, two out of the Old Testament, one out of the New.

Number one, Joseph: Joseph was a young man who was misunderstood, who was the victim of jealousy from his brothers, who had bad thing after bad thing happen to him. Sold as a slave to the Midianites. Knights Midianites sold him to the Egyptians, placed in a home as the servant, falsely charged of rape by Potiphar's wife, thrown into pharaoh's prison, left there, bad, horrible things happened.

But when he met his brothers at the end of the story, when they came before him and he revealed, I'm the guy you sold years ago as a slave, and they started shaking in their boots, like we're dead meat. He said this, "as for you, you meant this for evil. But God meant it for good to save many people alive as it is this day." That's Romans 8:28 in the book of Genesis.

"You meant it for evil. God meant it for good to save many people alive as it is this day." Here's the fruit. Here's why all those bad things worked together to be really, really good. Because the truth of the matter is, though they were bad, evil things that happened, if Joseph were not a slave, he never would have interpreted pharaoh's dream, which means he never would have been raised up in leadership to be the second most powerful man on earth.

Those bad things that happened were synergized by a loving, caring God so even Joseph could say, I know you meant it for evil. But God meant it for good. That's the first example.

Second example is when the Jews went into captivity in Babylon. Babylonians came into Jerusalem, sacked the temple, destroyed the temple, burned it with fire, killed people, took several of them captive, thousands of them captive to Babylon. It was horrible. It was evil. It was wicked.

Jeremiah wrote a letter to those captives. He wanted them to know God's heart behind it all. And he wrote these words, "I know the thoughts I have toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of good, not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." To give you a future and hope.

You know that verse. You love that verse. Do you realize the context of that verse was when all thee evil things were happening, God wanted them to know he's got something up his sleeve. He's going to work it together to give them a future and a hope. So Joseph, captivity.

The third example, which is, to me, the best example of all of Romans 8:28, is the cross of Jesus Christ. What could be worse than killing God? That's the worst day in human history. Falsely accused, kangaroo court, put on a cross, bleeding, stapled to a Roman place of execution. Yet it was the best thing that ever happened. "For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten son, that whoever believes in Him would not perish, but have everlasting life."

In fact, Peter, writing of the event of the crucifixion, mixes in one verse both human responsibility and divine sovereignty. He writes in the book of Acts Chapter 2, "Jesus, Him being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and slain." Yes, there is a culpability that you have in doing this. It was wrong, what you did.

However, God for-ordained it. He knew about it. He planned it. He gave His son. And Jesus gave His life. And what was so bad happened to be so good for those of us who believe that that's enough. Faith in him is enough to get us from Earth to Heaven.

John Stott wrote these words, "I could never believe in God if it were not for the cross. In the real world of pain, how could one worship a God who is immune to pain?" Then he says, many times in Asia I've been into Buddhist temples. And I've looked at that huge statue of Buddha in repose... his legs crossed, his hands together, his eyes closed with sort of a restful little smile. Obviously detached, obviously aloof from all the pain in the world. And he says, I see that. And then I close my eyes and in my mind, I look to the cross. And I see Jesus hanging in agony and misery, with spikes through his hands and feet, and blood coming down his face. And he said, that's the God for me.

Our sufferings become more manageable in the light of a cross, not a Buddha in repose. He felt it. He experienced it. He knows how something so bad can become something so good for those who trust in Him. That is Romans 8:28. Now, there's one final facet I want you to look at in closing. I've given you five. The sixth is the continuation of God's care. I want you to see a big scope now. Look at verse 29 and 30. And we'll just briefly look at it. "For whom he forknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His son that He might be the first born among many brethren." Moreover, whom He predestined, these He also called. Whom He called, these He also justified. And whom He justified, these He also glorified.

Now we get a wide panorama of God's care. Now we get the big picture. We go from eternity past to eternity future, from predestination and election all the way to glorification. These are the five golden links, you might say, in the chain of God's sovereign care. Look at them. He forknew. He predestined. He called. He justified. He glorified. Those five conditions take you from eternity past to eternity future. But get this, four of them are past tense. One of them hasn't happened yet. He forknew us. He knew us in advance. He predestined us. He chose you in Christ before the foundation of the world. He called you. That was the day of your salvation. You said yes, you received Christ. He justified you when that happened. We've talked all about justification.

But look at the last one. Whom He justified, these He also what? Glorified. Well, guess what? That hadn't happened yet. You're not glorified. I'm looking at you. You're not glorified. Hadn't happened yet. I'm not glorified. You can see this. This is not glorified. But God writes about it past tense. Why? That's how sure He is that it's going to happen. Your glorification is as certain to God as Him choosing you before the foundation of the world, and electing you, and calling you, and justifying you. The next step, glorification, done deal to Him.

So that is the continuation of God's care. It didn't just stop with the trial you faced last week. It's going to happen. And He'll continue to display His care forever. There was a father and his son putting a puzzle together. The son, the boy, looked at the puzzle. There were dark pieces and light pieces. There were big pieces and small pieces. And he was trying to figure it out. And he couldn't do it. He quit in frustration. His father came in whistling, smiling. Put the puzzle together in no time.

Little boy, still frustrated, said I don't get it. How could you do it and I couldn't do it? The Father said, I knew what the picture was like all the time. He said, I looked at the front of the box. I saw the picture and the puzzle. Son, you only saw the pieces. Right now, you might be holding a pretty dark piece of your puzzle. It's a dark pixel on the screen. I don't know why this piece. Where does this go? Why would God allow this to happen? He sees the whole picture. Are you OK with that?

The question you need to answer in leaving is, are you OK with knowing that He knows? You don't know. You can't figure it out. But He's got the big picture in mind. Are you OK with that? Because Job, who lost family, and health, and bank account was OK with that. He wasn't OK with the bad stuff. But he ended up by saying this, "though you slay me, I will trust you." I don't get it. I don't understand it. I don't know why. But I don't need to know why as long as I know You because I know that You care and I know that all things work together for good to those that love God. And Lord, I love you and I trust you. And though You slay me, I will trust.

That's where we must leave whatever we're dealing with today as we leave here today. Father, we do that. We close in prayer. I'm saying that we don't understand all that has happened or is happening to us. We don't know why. We understand that there might be a purpose in certain things. But this? And because we don't know, we are talking to the only one who does know. We certainly never want to abandon what we do know because of what we don't know. We know You. We know You care. We know You love us. We know that with that certainty. We can rest.

Father, I pray that we would grow, that at the end of the trial that we're facing, that there would be PTG, post-traumatic growth, not just because of a natural psychological phenomenon of readjusting to the world around us, but readjusting in faith to the God who is overseeing all things. In Jesus' name, amen.

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