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One of my favorite movies is Shutter Island. What I love about it (without giving anything away) is that the whole time you’re watching you think you know what’s going on, but then at the end you learn that nothing was as you thought it was. It has a great twist ending. Even though nothing can beat the amazement of watching it the first time, it’s still fun to go back and rewatch it, especially with other people who have never seen it before. Now that I know the twist, I watch it in an entirely different light. I know what’s really going on, and I notice the little hints that point to the deeper reality. I can watch it now without the skewed perspective that the director imposes on it.
Is there a time in your life that you can look back on and see God’s hand at work even though you were unaware of it at the time? In the midst of life’s troubles (and during the good times, too), it is difficult to see God’s hand at work in our situation. We only see part of what’s happening, and this gives us a skewed perspective. Just as there is more than meets the eye in Shutter Island, there is more going on than we realize in our lives. We have a skewed perspective of our circumstances because we don’t see the twist ending. However, God’s word gives the solution to our skewed perspective; it tells us what the twist ending is before we get to the end of the story. God is at work in everything, good and bad, and is working it for our good (Romans 8:28). Even when we can’t see how God is at work in our lives, we can still trust that He’s working. I’ll be the first to admit that this is hard. It doesn’t come naturally to us. We have to learn to see God’s hand at work, and we have to learn to trust Him even when we can’t see His presence. Thankfully, the reality of His presence in our lives is not dependent on whether or not we are aware of it. Because of all this, we should seek to cultivate the kind of faith that sees God’s hand at work in the midst of our pain and in the midst of human sin, and the kind of faith that trusts in God even when we don’t understand what He’s doing.
Scripture: Esther 1:1-22
Sermon: God Redeems Us Even When Sinners Sin