Explanations for the “This is Good ” Reading
My name is Ken Hart. Our church started providing Daily Devotionals at the end of 2014. It has my been my privilege to put them together over this time period and I am thankful for the opportunity to continue with this ministry as we go forward. The Devotionals run Monday through Friday. Back around Thanksgiving I started posting stories on holidays and weekends. Stories are a big part of my work world. I have been a hospice Chaplain for over 8 years and the people I care for relate very well to stories. Going forward for a while, I thought I would post some of these stories on Saturdays and share on Sundays how I apply them to those I care for. The kind of needs I address day after day are universal and I am confident that the things I share on weekends will be helpful to everyone. This sharing coupled with the weekday Devotionals will give us something to relate to every day of each week.
Yesterday’s post is the fifth story I use in my work that I wanted to tell you about. Yes, the king’s friend would have been cannibal stew if he hadn’t been in jail, just as the king would have been, if not for his missing thumb. A missing thumb and a year in jail are pretty tough experiences and yet if the men in our story were told up front that these things would become the means for their lives to be spared, they would accept thee lesser outcomes readily. But herein lies a dilemma of life; we face tough experiences without knowing ahead how things will play out. We are much more oriented at such times to say “this is bad” than we are to say, “this is good.” Truly, at such times we cannot begin to see the good of these things that come our way and to be forthright, we don’t really think there could ever be any good come from such tough experiences.
Could the friend of the king in our story be right about boldly addressing things in life with the words, “this is good?” He was certainly justified in doing so with the two tough experiences that saved his life and the king’s life. But would he always be right in addressing everything in this way? Romans 8:28 says, “God works all things together for good to those who love him and are called according to his purposes.” This verse is not saying that all things are good, but rather that God uses all things for our good. Perhaps, this is the spirit of the words of the king’s friend; not that a bad thing is good, but rather good will come from the bad thing experienced.
If we think of it in this way, then it all becomes a matter of faith. Faith leads us to look for how God is at work using all things for our good. When faith brings this assurance to us we rest easy. Even if it turns out that we don’t see, this side of glory, the good God is working out for us, we will gain a deep and abiding sense of well-being when we rest securely in God’s comprehensive care.
Once again we see the workings of faith in God. As a hospice Chaplain I consistently talk about faith in two ways. First, faith is the assurance that God loves us and is with us in Spirit every moment of every day he gives to us and is always helping us get through life in the best way possible. In whatever we face, God majors on producing in us a great sense of well-being by providing the peace and comfort of his presence. Second, faith is the assurance that in addition to his being with us in Spirit while we are here, we will be with him forever in Heaven someday when he is ready for us and says, “come on home.” These assurances are a great source of peace and comfort for us.
The stories I share with the people I visit, allow me to share again and again this two-fold understanding of faith from different angles. Each week I will share them with you and it is my hope that the lessons of faith gained from them will bless your life in special ways.
Posted on Sun, February 11, 2018
by Ken Hart