In this sermon, Pastor Neil preaches on how the current crisis in the world presents opportunities to trust God. Here are some excerpts:
In the disruptive moments of life – and surely this is one of those moments for us collectively (for our families, for our church family, for our nation, and for people and nations around the world) – the affirmations and promises found in Romans 8 can refresh us and sustain us. They can deepen and strengthen our faith in the goodness, sufficiency, and sovereignty of God. They can remind us that extraordinary circumstances such as these presented by the coronavirus and all its ripple effects constitute opportunities for us to trust God. Which is what I want to encourage you to do in these days:
Though Romans 8:28, in particular, has been a “go-to” verse for countless Christians, there is a danger of misunderstanding its meaning. In his book Gold in the Making, Ron Davis calls it “the best loved, least understood verse in the Bible” (63). Whether that is hyperbole or not, the possibility of misunderstanding Romans 8:28 is a clear and present danger. So let’s take a closer look at it…
In all things. We take God at His Word, we believe God because of who He is, because of what He has done for us in the incarnation, life, suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus – through whom He brought salvation, forgiveness, life, peace, joy, and purpose out of the most unspeakable evil, injustice, and suffering.
… We know… that the promise of Romans 8:28 – that in all things God is at work for the good of His people – is for those who love God and have been called according to His purpose. Our love for God, of course, is preceded by and rooted in His love for us. 1 John 4:19 says: “We love because He (God) first loved us.” We love God because He loved usfirst. God doesn’t love us because we love Him. God’s love for you is not contingent on your love for Him. He loved you first. He loved us first. There is nothing fickle about His love. His love for you is unchangeable, which means there is nothing you can ever do to cause God to stop loving you.
We love God because He first loved us and demonstrated His love for us in giving His Son as our Savior, as the one and only atoning sacrifice for our sins. Your love for God is not a kind of merit badge that earns God’s love for you. No. Our love for God is simply the grateful response of our hearts to the wonder of His deep, deep love for us….