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Summary: 3 Lessons in how to deal with bad things happening to good people.

“A Lesson Worth Learning”

Romans 8:28

Saturday January 28, 2006 at 8:37 am

That’s when the Lord gave me this message, a message He wants you to hear. That was just one day and three hours ago. Up until that time, I knew not what I would say to you this morning

In the past, I would have fretted…worried, about what I should preach. I would have tried to ‘recycle’ an old message, or tried to force a message into my heart and onto my lips. But, in recent time, I just wait…wait until God gives me something to say.

For you see, a recycled message isn’t always best. A forced message can be difficult on the ears and the heart. But, when I wait on the Lord… to supply His Word, then my brothers and sisters, the message is right on time!

So, Saturday January 28, 2006 at 8:37 am, came…and brought with it a Word from the Lord.

At that time, Sis. Thompson called me and shared the news that one of our members, her sister-in-law had passed way. In all honesty, I was prepared for such, seeing that Sis. Vanessa had been in the ICU of Baptist for the past 2 weeks. I had visited her and her family there many a times…prayed with them…prayed for her. So, this news, although sad, was not a surprise.

But, Sis. Thompson went on to say that there was more news. Sis. Vanessa had a twins sister, who had a daughter, and this daughter was lost early Saturday morning in a house fire. Within the course of one day, two souls…united by blood…had past from life into eternity.

There I sat… in the parking lot of this church…preparing to lead a Men’s Bible study…searching for the words to say that would ease the pain…searching for something, anything, that could somehow example “WHY”! Yet, after 22 years in the ministry, words seemed so violently uncomforting. Yet and still the Lord just told me to pray with the Thompson’s, and that I did.

In the course of my prayer, at 8:37 am, the Lord gave me this message. With the phone against my ear, and a certain emptiness in my voice, I prayed for man, and listened to God.

What I prayed is personal, and should not be shared with others. But, today, I can share with you what God said to me… He said, “All things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

I thought in my heart, these words may be true, but I cannot speak them NOW! They’ve been used too many times. They may be true, but they won’t ease this pain…this pain is too raw and open….too real!

However, if these words of Romans 8:28 are not for such a time as this, …then when? The reason they’ve been used so much, church family, is because they’ve been needed so much. If I won’t speak them, then who will?

· The doctor at the hospital?

· The news reporter at the burning house?

· The funeral director or coroner?

No, church family, it’s my job…my responsibility …to speak the Word of the Lord…even the parts that I might not fully understand or appreciate.

So, this morning, I want to share three Lessons that I believe are worth your time to learn… And learn well. Though brief in their statement, they take a lifetime to truly value.

The first lesson is called, A Lesson in Compilation. Compilation simply means ‘the act of compiling or put together”. As Christians, we should learn, and learn well, that God puts things together in our life, for our good.

Verse 28 tells us that “all things work together for good…” I know you did, but I’m gonna ask any way…did you see that word ‘all’? The Bible says ‘all’ things work together for good.

But, God must not have known the extent of the word ‘All’. He must not have known the ramifications of saying ‘all things work together for good’

· God must not have known the pains of watching a loved one die!

· He must not have known the agony of hearing the words, “He’s Gone”!

· He must not have known the grief of the living,… having to say ‘good-bye’ to the dead!

· He must not have known any of these things when He wrote the words of ‘All Things’.

But, yes, church family, He did! He knew it, from the foundations of the world, through the death of His Son, Jesus Christ. You see, God knew every pain that you and I would bear, and then some, before the earth itself was created. Revelation 13:8 tells us that every name, …of every Christian… is recorded in the book of life. But this verse goes on to say that this book belongs to Someone, …the Lamb, …Jesus Christ. And, in the mind of God, this Lamb was slain for you and for me, before the foundation of the world was laid.

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