Romans 8:28 (NIV)
28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to his purpose.
This is a personal favorite and has been the source of strength for many trials over the years: the loss of a job, unexpected medical conditions that seem to have no rhyme or reason, financial investments that disappear overnight, political unrest throughout the world. It’s more trouble than we could even hope to make sense of alone. And yet this passage shines forth like a beacon of light during a stormy sea. Reflect on the components of this simple set of words and resolve to truly appreciate the impact of their simplicity, eloquence and peace.
“And we know” The first three words express a feeling of confidence; not of hope, but assuredness
“that in all things” All things. Period. Not just in the good things. Not just during sunny days. Not just in peace time and tranquility. But in ALL things, good or bad,
“God works” Take a moment to try to comprehend the magnitude of these two words. God, the creator of the universe, the Father of time, the One and Only who created the perfect plan of salvation for all fallen human sinners, is at work whether we realize it or not. He is at work whether we understand it or not. And, as a side note, it’s not our responsibility to understand everything that God does. He understands. And that should be enough.
“for the good” What good can come of pain? It’s not for us to question, but to have faith. Perhaps the strengthening of your faith is the ultimate purpose that God has in mind during your time of trouble. Do you have enough faith to let go of your worries and turn them over to God, knowing with confidence, that He is in control and is watching over and holding you right in the palm of His hands?
“of those who love Him” It’s so easy to say we love God, but if we have any conscious at all, we could probably catalog dozens of times that we willfully turned our back on Him in the last 24 hours. But where is your heart? Do we feel remorseful for the times we turn away? Because that’s what is really the issue here. We are all fallen sinners, saved by Grace, but it’s in our human nature to fall short of God’s greatness. We most assuredly do love Him, in spite of our shortcomings, when our hearts truly feel the remorse for the times we turn away.
“who have been called” Have you ever heard God’s calling in your heart? It’s the most awesome and humbling experience imaginable. That out of the billions of humans to ever walk the face of this earth, God contemplated your life and your purpose and selected you to be one of His chosen people.
“according to His purpose” And this last statement bring the scripture full circle. As Disciples of Christ, we live our lives according to God’s purpose. And with this in mind, we can rest assured that everything – good and bad – happens to ultimately bring God glory. The larger the struggle, the sweeter the victory. And our victory, which has been provided as a completed gift, is everlasting life in paradise with God and His one and only Son, Jesus Christ. This is the perspective that should, no matter how stormy our troubles may seem that we have life everlasting in paradise, keep our worldly struggles in perspective and peace within our hearts.