“He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” – Romans 8:32
Life sometimes feels like an endless parade of problems, doesn’t it? It seems like as soon as we get through one sticky situation, another comes rolling in quickly on its heels. Some of the issues we encounter are due to our own sin, foolishness, or negligence. Bad decisions have consequences! Others fall into our laps through no clear fault of our own. Sometimes things just happen! But regardless of their cause, problematic situations are ever faithful to complicate our lives.
They also tend to consume us, don’t they? We feel like our souls cannot find rest until we first resolve the dilemma that is robbing us of the trouble-free life we so desire! When we wake, our thoughts immediately gravitate toward the obstacle we are facing. As we perform our daily duties, our minds are preoccupied with the issue at hand. When we try to go to sleep, our worried hearts race with “what ifs.” We fixate on the problem and obsess and fret over it as if our fixation, obsession, and fretting will eventually fix the problem.
I’ve got good and bad news for you (and for me) today: it won’t.
This is bad news in that it makes us feel incredibly weak and vulnerable. We like to believe we have more control over things than we actually do. Sure, there are often steps we can take to work toward resolving a problem. But even in such cases, there comes a point where we have to throw up our hands and say, “I’ve done all that I can do and have zero control over what happens next.”
However, the good news is that we have a kind and sovereign God who is: 1) always working for our good in every trial, and 2) faithful to eventually deliver us from every trial. Did you see Romans 8:32 quoted at the top of this article? If God did not spare his own Son—the object of his fiercest love—but gave him up for us all, why would he now withhold his kindness, power, and provision from us?
Oh, if only I could really believe he does not withhold these things!
I often feel like God finds it difficult to be gracious to me. I am so sinful, so foolish, so undeserving. Why would he want to be for me? Why would he want to help me? Why would he want to deliver me? In Romans 8, Paul is reminding my anxious, slow-to-believe heart that God has already overcome the tremendous obstacles of my sin and demerit. Accomplishing my redemption was his most difficult, most painful, and most costly work. But he has done it! He crushed his beloved Son to reconcile me to himself.
I think Paul is arguing that every good thing God does for me now is easy in comparison to what he’s already done for me at Calvary. If he was willing to give his Son for me while I was still a rebel, now that I am reconciled to him, how much more willing is he to graciously shower me with his kindness, power, and provision? He doesn’t sit back and say, “Alright, I’ve fixed your biggest problem. But you’re on your own with the rest!” No! I think he says, “I’ve fixed your biggest problem, and, now that you are one of my own, I will gladly work every other dilemma you face for your greatest good!”
The Lord may not solve my problems in the same way I would solve them. And he may not do it in the time frame I would like—perhaps my deliverance from some situations will not come until I depart from this world and enter into glory (Philippians 1:19-21). But he is: 1) happily willing and able to flip every bad situation over on its head and cause it to serve my joy in him, and 2) faithful to be with me in the midst of my trouble. I really can find rest in him as I wait on him to perfect that which concerns me (Psalm 138:8).