By: Pastor Jarren Rogers
“Trust the past to the mercy of God, the present to His love, and the future to His providence.”
– Saint Augustine
Have you ever found yourself at the end of your rope? Where it seems as if all of the forces of life and the hardships of your circumstances are battering you from every side. When the world looks dark and your heart is crushed. When loneliness and sadness consume your every thought. Where it seems like bad thing, after bad thing, after bad thing comes at you and you just can’t seem to catch a break.
Can I tell you this morning that there is hope? When we are reclaimed by God, He promises to be with us, even though our darkest days.
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior” (Isaiah 43:1-3)
We serve a God who not only reclaims our souls and is with us through the tough times, but He promises to reclaim our dark days and use them for Good
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28).
God wants to work all things for good. Your good days and your bad. Your proudest moments and the moments you’re most ashamed of. All of it can be worked for good.
Your bad days become a testimony of God’s goodness. Your shame-filled days become a testimony of God’s grace. Your best days become a testimony of God’s blessing. No day is lost in God’s book. Every day can be reclaimed by Him to be a part of the greater story of His reconciling work in all of creation.
I remember, ever since I was a kid, my mom kept this white, ceramic angel on a shelf in our house. It was the type of statue that your eyes would pass over and you’d instantly forget when you entered our house. When I was in high school, my family’s house burnt down. It was one of the hardest days in all of our lives.
After we put the fire out, we began to dig through the wreckage to see if anything could be recovered. Most everything was lost, but it didn’t take too long before we uncovered this small ceramic angel.
It was no longer white. It was stained and chipped and smelled like smoke. But my family kept that angel. It still sits on a shelf in our house.
Sometimes, I feel like we each are a lot like that angel. Each of us has had dark days. We’ve had rough patches. We’ve been chipped and stained. But God is able to reclaim us out of the ashes of our broken pasts and give us a new purpose. Just like how the chips and stains on that angel are a testimony to the grace of God that brought my family through that trying time, our chips and stains are a testament to the work of God in each of us.
Parents: Explain to your children how God works all things for our good.