by Clarence E. Macartney

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All Things Work Together for Good (7 of 18)

The Greatest Texts of the Bible

Clarence Edward Macartney

Romans 8:28

And we know that all things work together for
good to them that love God.

In the conclusion of his great book Tess of the
d'Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy describes the ending of
the life of that unfortunate young woman. She had
slain the man who had seduced her, and, judged guilty
by the law, was to be hanged at eight in the morning.
Her husband, Angel Clare, and her sister stand outside
the walls of the grim penitentiary, waiting for the
hour to strike. Their eyes are fixed on the flagstaff
of the tower. Presently the clock strikes the hour of
eight. Slowly a black flag goes up on the flagstaff,
and then comes down. Knowing what that means, Angel
Clare and his companion kneel on the ground as if in
prayer. Hardy brings the scene to a close with this
sentence: "'Justice' was done, and the President of
the Immortals, in Aeschylean phrase, had ended his
sport with Tess."

That is one view of life and of what happens to us in
this life and how it happens. We are just the sport of
the grim and inscrutable President of the Universe. We
are the playthings of fate and of chance.

But there is another view of life, and of what happens
to us in this life. We have it here in these words of
Paul, where he says that we are in the hands of a wise
and beneficent God, who has a deep interest in our
lives and arranges and rules the events of our life so
that all things work together for our final good.

"All things work together for good to them that love
God." No verse in the Bible claims more than that,
covers more territory, offers more hope and comfort.
If what this verse says is so, then every cloud has
its silver lining of hope, and every event in our life
is capable of producing final and lasting good to our
souls. Men hear that verse, and at once there are
different reactions. On ...

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