For Lord’s Day, January 29, 2012
Jesus spoke to us last Lord’s Day evening in Romans 8:28-30 about our unbreakable, irreversible union with Him that is based on His forelove for us and thus His purpose and plan for us most certainly being worked out in our lives for eternal life. We learned therefore that God is indeed working His good plan for you in everything — including the evil things.
If we can appreciate this lesson, we can live with more peace and deeper hope and greater expectation. A powerful example is shared by Marcus Loane in his book on Romans 8, entitled The Hope of Glory (this is in our library), about John Chrysostom’s terrible death. Chrysostom was an Early Church father who was renown as the “Golden Tongued” preacher at the impressive St. Sophia Cathedral in Constantinople. Considering his exalted reputation for godly gifts and powerful preaching as a man of influence, it is sobering to see how he ended his days, and how he embraced the humiliation of it all alone:
He was driven out of Constantinople [for preaching against the vanity of the emperor’s wife] to become an exile in a lonely village in the Taurus mountains where he passed a wretched winter of suffering and privation. At length he was compelled to set out once more on foot with two guards who were chosen for their harsh and callous spirit. It took three months to reach Comana Pontica and the journey was a lingering martyrdom for one whose strength was now worn out. The guards hurried him on without a pause until they were forced to halt for the night at a wayside chapel. He asked again for a further respite in the morning and was driven out for three or four miles [in a blizzard with lack of warm clothing] until he collapsed with fever. They managed to retrace their steps as far as the chapel, but death was close at hand. John Chrysostom passed peacefully away as he voiced the words of his favourite doxology: “Glory to God for all things, Amen.” Men who give the glory to God for all things find that all things minister together in God’s plan to work out for them a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.
May we have this kind of resolve and peace at the end of our life, no matter how it ends. And let us trust that such new resolve in peace in this promise begins with what we do next as we step away from our computer screen.
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.(Rom 8:28).