Part 1 of 9
It all came crashing down for Thomas Watson in 1662. He was among one of the 2,000 pastors who were ejected out of their homes and their churches for not signing the Act of Uniformity. A year after being forced to resign from shepherding his beloved church, Watson wrote the short book titled; All Things Work for Good. It was a reminder for himself and his people that they may know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose (Rom. 8:28). This verse is a divine cordial (medicine, or warmth) for God’s people. Watson serves us well by guiding us through this glorious verse that will guide and guard us through anything for the glory of God.
This series of blogs will give a chapter by chapter overview of this book for the purpose of aiding the reader to know the certainty and the excellence of our privileges as believers. I encourage you to let each part of this amazing verse be a medicine to your soul as we go through Watson’s book chapter by chapter.
Watson reminds us in chapters one and two that ALL things work for good to the godly. In chapter one he looks at the BEST things in our lives and in chapter two he will look at how even all the WORST things work for good to the godly.
As people who love God, we have some of the most amazing privileges. Each one of them are like a drink of cool water when in the desert. Watson lists 8 of the best things that work for good to the godly:
- The attributes of God. It is only God’s power that upheld Daniel in the lion’s den and the Hebrews in the furnace. It is only God’s wisdom that guides and counsels us. It is the goodness of God that is the means to make us good. Out of His goodness comes mercy and so many other blessings. He cannot stop being powerful, wise, and good. This all works for our good.
- The promises of God. The promises of God deal with our guilt (Hos. 14:4), great troubles (Ps. 91:15), and outward wants (Psalm 34:10). As Watson says, His promises are springs of joy. They are food for faith; and that which strengthens faith works for good (Ps. 119:92).
- The mercies of God. The mercy of God makes the sinner proud, but it humbles the saint. It melts the soul and dissolves its heart in love towards God which bears the fruit of thankfulness, obedience, compassion for others, and other spiritual mercies.
- The graces of the Spirit. Watson says, “Faith and fear go hand in hand. Faith keeps the heart cheerful, fear keeps the heart serious. Faith keeps the heart from sinking in despair, fear keeps it from floating in presumption. In addition to faith and fear, it is hope, meekness, and love that are the saints’ graces that defend like a weapon, elevate like wings, enrich like jewels, and refresh like a cordial (medicine).
- The angels of God. We do not often think about it but the angels of God work for the saints in our life (Ps. 91:11), death (Luke 16:22), and on judgment day (Matt. 24:43).
- The communion of Saints. As stones in an arch help to strengthen one another, one Christian by imparting their experience heats and quickens another (Heb. 10:24).
- The intercession of Christ. When you are sad or have been hurt, it can be hard to focus, especially in prayer. When we are weak and can hardly pray for ourselves, Christ is in Heaven praying for three things. He prays that we would be kept from sin (Jn. 17:15), for progress in holiness (Jn. 17:17), and for our glorification to the end (Jn. 17:24). Watson points out that when we pick a bouquet of prayers to present to the Father from the garden of our lives, our prayers are a mix of weeds and flowers. It is Christ who takes the weeds out before handing the prayer to the Father. It is such a great gift that He takes away the sins out of our prayers as He presents them to the Father! He always lives to make intercession for His people (Heb. 7:25-28).
- The prayers of Saints. Prayer accomplishes much. Prayers prevail over sickness (Jms. 5:15), victory over enemies (Isa. 37:4), delivery out of prison (Acts 12:5-7), and forgiveness of sins (Job 42:8).
Even when life is crashing down around us as we deal with rejection, ejection, or hurt, God is taking these 8 and many other great things in our lives and working them for our good. It will do us good to drink deeply and meditate on them.
Q#1. As you look at the BEST things in your life, which one stands out to you and why? How can a better understanding of these BEST things enrich your walk with the LORD?
In Part 2 of 9, we will look at the WORST things in our lives and see that they work for good to the godly.