Sermon Notes for Sunday, August 6
He Wastes Nothing, He Uses Everything
by Tanner Fox
For those of you reading this blog, I don’t think I need to spend any more time talking about how devastating abortion can be. This past Sunday, Dr. Swanson spoke to one of the most difficult topics of our time. Not only was he strong in his defense of a pro-life stance, but he also spoke to the issue with great care and empathy. For as we all know, it is more than simply an issue worth choosing a political side over, as it involves real people in really difficult situations. My prayer is that the truth of God’s word would wash over our hearts and minds and sanctify our thoughts in the matter so much so that we recognize the beauty and gift that is human life.
As Dr. Swanson shared about the suffering of the women and men who have experienced abortion, he said one simple phrase that resonated with my heart… “God does not waste our pain.” This resonated deeply in my soul, and took me back to a moment a few years ago when one of my professors said something quite similar, “God wastes nothing, and He uses everything.”
God does not waste. He is perfectly efficient in all that he does and that includes the way in which he guides, directs, and ordains things to come about in our lives. I think back on my own experience through pain and suffering, including my parents’ divorce when I was six years old. There was no greater longing in my heart than for a Mom and a Dad who loved each other and for our family to be “normal.” At the time of their divorce, my parents were not believers. My soul ached for each of them to know Jesus.
Fast forward five years later, and in separate circumstances, the hearts of both parents were wooed by the Spirit. Jesus called them to himself, and they bowed to him as Savior and Lord in their lives. Not long after that, they fell in love with each other once again, remarried, and began to have more children.
I could not have scripted any piece of this story on my own, and no one would choose brokenness for themselves. But on this side of the suffering, I can assure you that God did not waste a moment of my pain, he did not waste a single tear that I cried. He drew me closer to himself each step of the way and redeemed a lost family and made us into a new creation.
My story is one of brokenness unto restoration and redemption, but I know that is not always how it goes. More often I think we perceive the suffering that we endure to be meaningless and it is easy to decide that the blame belongs to God. The reminder for us today is this: Jesus Christ on the cross is a definitive statement from God that he is not indifferent towards sin, evil, pain, and suffering. He subjected his only Son to the unimaginable physical pain of the cross and the devastation of separation from the Father to declare to the world that sin, pain, and death would not have the final word in this world.
While this profound truth may not give reason or rhyme to the immediate suffering we face in this moment, we have the glorious promise of the coming day of Jesus Christ. Revelation 21 tells us that in the day of Christ’s return, the old order of things in which pain and death reigned will pass away and the new order will arrive. Christ will wipe every tear from our eyes and live and reign with his people for all eternity. So take time today to reflect on the future. Though it hasn’t come to pass, there will be a day that all sad things will come untrue as Christ restores creation.
C.S. Lewis - “[Some mortals] say of some temporal suffering, "No future bliss can make up for it," not knowing that Heaven, once attained, will work backwards and turn even that agony into a glory.” The Great Divorce - Chapter 9
Tanner Fox is the Minister for Mission at First Pres. He’s a recent grad of Reformed Theological Seminary and holds deep affection for people, movies, sports and Jesus Christ. As Minister for Mission, he leads the charge to help you love and serve the city and the world. firstname.lastname@example.org