Twenty-First Sunday after Trinity – Thursday
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God. – Romans 8:28
“I will do this or that” – thus you determine to speak and to purpose in your mind. In matters pertaining to this life you, to a certain extent, have a free will. And yet, God, who rules all things, also governs your doing according to His counsel and aforethought. “O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps” (Jeremiah 10:23). “What a strange accident!” someone may say when something occurs in a strikingly unexpected way, something fortunate or unfortunate. But, my dear Christian, nothing is accidental. What might seem more accidental than the falling of a hair from off your head? “But the very hairs of your head are all numbered [numbered by God]” (Matthew 10:30).
The almighty and wonderful God guides all things by His counsel, the greatest as well as the smallest, with absolute surety of purpose, as with a million reins. “What a misfortune!” you may say weepingly when something grievous befalls you. But there is no real misfortune for the children of God. Children of God receive all things – all things, do you hear? – from the gracious hand of God. Hence nothing can be a real misfortune. Everything must be a blessing. “As for you, ye thought evil against me, but God meant it unto good,” said Joseph to his brothers (Genesis 50:20).
In short, all things must work together for good to them that love God, to the children of God, within whom the love to God in Christ is kindled through faith in “the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). All, yes, all things must work together for good to them: what they do of their own proposing, what they might call accidental, what seems to them a misfortune, indeed, even the sins they have committed must work together for good to penitent, believing children of God. Oh, dear child of God, continue to love your gracious God, who first loved you in Christ Jesus, continue to walk in His ways, continue to trust His promises, and know that all things must work together for good to you. For good? Yes, especially toward the end that you remain a believing disciple of Jesus until the end of your stay in this world.
PRAYER. – My dear God and heavenly Father, keep and preserve me, through Thy precious Gospel and Thy Sacraments, as Thy dear child, and continue to work out all things, at the present and in the future, for my spiritual and eternal good, I pray this in the name of Him who loved me and gave Himself for me. Amen.