You prayed but it didn't work out

Brazil’s football team and everyone associated with them, famously, pray a lot. This evening they were torn apart by a combination of German superiority and their own many weaknesses in the World Cup that they were hosting and borderline-neurotically desperate to win. Some people, innocent Christians and sceptical non-believers, might wonder what is up with that.

As it happened, I was listening yesterday to a talk by Timothy Keller that addressed this issue of whether believing in Jesus means your life will go well or not, based on Romans 8:28-30

"And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified."

It's a brilliant piece of teaching, dealing with an area of life so emotive for many Christians: their expectations. It's summarised in three points and goes deep into each one:

  1. Our bad things turn out for good.
  2. Our good things can never be lost.
  3. The best things are yet to come.

You can listen to it here, and you should: the truth in it is actually more incredible than a semi final finishing 7-1.