It's All Good
One of my favorite Bible verses is Romans 8:28. If you're not familiar with that passage, here's what it says: “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.” The reason I love this verse so much is because of the hope it gives to those of us who call ourselves children of God. And because it’s such a hope-filled verse, it's one I regularly use when I'm talking with fellow believers who are struggling.
However, over the years as I've shared this verse with folks, one of the biggest obstacles to them believing the truth of the verse is that it's an easy passage to misunderstand. Here’s what I mean: at first glance it's easy to hear what the Apostle Paul is telling us about God making everything “good”, and stopping there. Then, using our definition of “good” we go on to conclude that what Paul’s saying is that believers won't struggle or face challenges in life. Then, when life IS hard, we think the words of Romans 8:28 are untrue, and we can feel disappointed in the promises of God. But the reality is that we’ve just misunderstood what Paul is trying to tell us.
In Romans 8:28, the word Paul uses for “good” speaks to our eternal benefit, not a temporal one. In other words, Paul's is saying that ultimately everything will work out for the spiritual good of believers. So this verse speaks to the fact that God doesn't waste anything when it comes to our spiritual well-being. Instead, He takes every incident in our lives - both the good and the bad - and weaves them together to strengthen us spiritually. That's why we can look at the challenges in our lives as good things because we know God will use them for our benefit according to His purposes.
So, what are His purposes for us? Fortunately, Paul answers that question in the very next verse, where he writes: “God knew His people in advance, and He chose them to become like His Son, so that His Son would be the firstborn, with many brothers and sisters.” One of God’s primary goals for us is that we will be like Christ. So everything that happens to us God will use to accomplish that purpose.
This is such an important concept for us to understand because it helps us realize that God’s not working to make us happy, but instead, He’s working to make us holy. And while that might be hard to accept, it's a reality we're called to grasp because when we do, it allows God to work out His purposes in us. God wants us to trust Him fully and completely to work everything out for our ultimate – and eternal - good.
So today, let's ask God to help us trust His plans for our lives. Let’s ask Him to help us see the challenges in our lives as ways for us to grow spiritually, and not be disappointed by that. And then let's trust Him to use those challenges for His purposes, and for what is truly ultimately good for us.