What is needful?

By Dave Henning / February 14, 2014

“You fearful saints, fresh courage take;

The clouds you so much dread

Are big with mercy and will break

In blessings on your head.”- God Moves in a Mysterious Way, v. 5 (LSB, 765)

As Timothy Keller concludes Chapter 13 of Walking with God through Pain and Suffering, he states that the Old Testament story of Joseph shows us that everything that happens to us- even the little things and the bad things- are part of God’s plan for us.  Pastor Keller adds that it’s very seldom we even glimpse a millionth of the ways God works all things together for the good of those who love God.  Yet we can be assured that He is doing so and will not abandon us.

The author quotes a classic pastoral letter from Anglican minister and author John Newton:

” . . . everything is needful (necessary) that he sends; nothing can be needful that he withholds. . . . When you cannot see your way, be satisfied that he is your leader.  When your spirit is overwhelmed within you, he knows your path; he will not leave you to sink.  He has appointed seasons of refreshment, and you shall find that he does not forsake you.  Above all, keep close to the throne of grace.  If we seem to get no good by attempting to draw near him, we may be sure we shall get none by keeping away from him.”

We’re tempted to believe and voice that God will bring no good out of our vocation loss.  We wish God would give us a full explanation.  Yet often God’s grace grows more through our difficulties than our triumphs.

Today’s question: How does John Newton’s letter offer a fresh perspective on Romans 8:28?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “The refiner’s fire”

About the author

Dave Henning

Leave a comment:

Call Now Button