The Novel, A Tale of Two Cities, opens with those immortal lines,
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times
I suppose that pretty much sums up life. It has its highs and it has its lows. There are times when we rejoice, and times when we despair – and all the shades of hope in between.
And into that, God speaks.
Sometimes I think Romans 8:28 in its traditional form is one of the hardest verses in the bible:
“We know that in all things God works together for good with those who love him”.
That can be really hard to hear when you are struggling – that God is working for good in this terrible situation you are caught up in. What’s that all about?! I know it in my head, yet feeling it in your heart in the middle of a crisis is not always easy.
But reading to the end of the passage it begins to sink in:
If God is on our side, can anyone be against us? (v31)
Can anything separate us from the love of Christ? Can trouble, suffering, and hard times, or hunger and nakedness, or danger and death? (v35)
The answer is a resounding no! God is always with us. He is bigger than anything that happens to us. His love is always there, always loving, always on our side. Life may throw its stuff at us, that is part of living, but God remains with us.
And we can come to the place where,
In everything we have won more than a victory because of Christ who loves us. I am sure that nothing can separate us from God’s love–not life or death, not angels or spirits, not the present or the future, and not powers above or powers below. Nothing in all creation can separate us from God’s love for us in Christ Jesus our Lord!(v37-39)
Praise God for that! For it is true, even when we cannot feel it. When we can neither feel nor love God, he is still there. He has won the victory and is holding it for us.
There will be the best of times, there will be the worst of times, but they are all God times. He loves you and journeys with you through pain, anger and crisis, through joy and success.
Thank you Lord,
that you are always with me.
Through success and failure,
pain and pleasure,
struggle and ease –
the best of times
and the worst of times –
and every shade in between.
that when I cannot see you,
you can see me,
you hold me
and care for me.