I was online Saturday night and I saw a friend of mine typing excitedly in the theologyweb forum, “SAINTS WIN! SAINTS WIN! SAINTS WIN!” I care nothing about sports really, but I thought I’d have some fun with this obvious reference to football and said something like, “He must have just read Rev. 21 and 22.” I then continued with comments like “Yes. The saints do win and it is worth celebrating.”
However, that thought kept coming to me. It wasn’t just seeing “Saints Win.” It was seeing “SAINTS WIN!” I wondered if I had ever really taken the time to consider that that is how the story ends. The saints do win.
There are some truths that are obvious that we just seem to forget. If we remember them, we do not realize the impact. How much could be said on what a difference the resurrection of Christ makes or the incarnation or creation ex nihilo or salvation by grace through faith. Each of these doctrines should leave us in absolute wonder throughout the day. We say we believe them, but do we really realize them?
The saints winning is such a point. This one hits us home because we live in a world where we do undergo suffering. We all have mountains that we are trying to climb in our lives that are weighing us down. We all have struggles we’re trying to get through. Who among us has not once looked to the heavens and asked “Why Lord? Why?”
Our answer if we believe the Scriptures, is to trust the author. The saints do win. This is the reason why we should not hold back at the problem of evil or have it keep us in terror. G.K. Chesterton in his work “The Man Who Was Thursday,” describes a character in a way that if you saw his ugly side, you thought there was no way there could be any good, yet if you saw his beautiful side, you knew there had to be a reason for the ugly.
This was not meant as a strict parallel of God. G.K. Chesterton did say that this book was to be considered “A nightmare.” However, I do believe there are many that look at the world this way. They see suffering and cannot begin to fathom that there is so much goodness here as well. We should be the people who see goodness and think “Yes. It is because of this that we know there must be a reason for suffering.” Are we to know this reason? Not always and in fact, rarely. The reason is there though and we should trust that.
All things work together for good to them that love the Lord. Please notice first what it is. All things. It doesn’t say “All good things” and it doesn’t say “All things are good.” It says “All things work together for good to them that love the Lord.”
All things work together then for the saints, for these are the people who love the Lord. If you are a member of the body of Christ, then you are included in this group.
If you are not saved in fact, then you are not truly doing what you can about the problem of evil as you are not dealing with the evil nearest to you, the evil in your own heart.
The answer to the problem of evil then is that the world needs saints. We need to be saints who will trust in God that he is working all things together for good and to bring as many people into the fold so they can be a part of that good.
And it is best to be part of that good. It is best to participate in the glory of God. As C.S. Lewis has pointed out, you will bring glory to God somehow. John the apostle and Judas both brought about the plan of God. One did it knowingly and willingly and the other one didn’t. Either way, any action will bring about the glory of God. Why not make it a good one?
Of what good is it to do an evil act? You will harm those around you and you will harm your own soul as well. Each action you do helps to shape you and your view of God. If you treat sin lightly, then you are treating God lightly. In our world today, it is good that we celebrate the love and grace of God, but let us not forget other attributes like holiness and justice. Hebrews 12 reminds us that our God is a consuming fire and how the Israelites were afraid to approach him including Moses. Yes. We can boldly approach the throne of grace and should, but let us be clear on who we are approaching. He is not just a grandfather in the sky. He is God Almighty, maker of Heaven and Earth.
Thus, let us do good for the glory of God. Why should we fear anything either? We are on the winning team. Whatever suffering we undergo in this life, it will work for our good. As Kreeft has said, our worst day here will seem like a bad head cold from the viewpoint of eternity. We have all eternity to live in bliss and joy. The temporary suffering we have here is nothing in comparison to that.
Go out then! Be a saint! Remember, you are on the winning team!