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All Things Work for Good

November 08, 2021

When all seems lost, God is close at hand.

All Things Work for Good

By Katie Pearson

“So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife….and she bore a son. Then the women said to Naomi, ‘Blessed be the LORD, who has not left you this day without a redeemer, and may his name be renowned in Israel! He shall be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age, for your daughter-in-law who loves you, who is more to you than seven sons, has given birth to him.’ Then Naomi took the child and laid him on her lap and became his nurse. And the women of the neighborhood gave him a name, saying, ‘A son has been born to Naomi.’ They named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David.” – Ruth 3:1–5; 4:13–17

At this point in the story, both Naomi and Ruth have lost their immediate family and relocated to Naomi’s homeland, Bethlehem. Out of love, Naomi tried to convince her daughter-in-law to stay behind, but to no avail. Ruth’s devotion to her mother-in-law overrode her desire for stability. This departure would permanently separate the young widow from her people and religion. We can only imagine the identity crisis that both women faced as they relocated to begin new lives. Yet out of love, they stayed together.

When have you lost something so precious that it felt like you lost everything? Death can wreak havoc on our lives, but for believers, it never has the last word. Even through our pain, God can soften our hearts and open our eyes to see his hand moving on our behalf. The story of Ruth is a beautiful example of choosing love over fear, despite the devastation of significant loss. What was the outcome?

Ruth’s devotion to Naomi and her desire to know the God of Israel bring her immediate provision—through a new husband, Boaz—but eternal provision as well—through her grafting into the bloodline of Christ. For Naomi, who at one point was hopeless (Ruth 1:20–21), the Lord provides comfort through Ruth, a faithful group of friends who offer godly perspective, and a grandson who will one day offer protection and provision in her old age. When all seems lost, God is close at hand.

Profound loss brings deep grief. But in our despair, the Holy Spirit helps us persevere in love, hope, and belief. The book of Ruth reminds us that believers play a role in God’s greater story. As we walk by faith in his promises, he strengthens our faith in his eternal kingdom and provides refuge and comfort to meet our immediate needs. In every chapter of Ruth’s story, and in our lives today, we know that “for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).

Response:
Lord, when all seems dark and hopeless, it’s hard to know where to turn. Help me to wait faithfully for your promises, extend love to those around me, and hope expectantly for your return. Amen.

 

Related Resource:

A Living Hope

Could you use some hope right now? Join Peter’s first audience—“elect exiles” undergoing persecution—and experience the apostle’s powerful call to follow Jesus in the midst of life’s challenges, knowing your Living Hope is not a distant one, but a daily, glorious, life-giving reality! This unique six-week small group Bible study, A Living Hope: A Study of 1 Peter, helps you uncover the priceless promises written specifically to the struggling and the hurting, with pastoral gentleness and bold confidence for the future. This study of 1 Peter will help you become utterly convinced that Jesus is the only sure, true, incorruptible, and permanent hope for you.




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