ROMANS 8:28-30: “And we know that for those who love God, that is, for those who are called according to his purpose, all things are working together for good. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that the Son 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.” (ISV)
OBSERVATION: Do all things really work together for good? These wonderful verses in Romans 8 may seem to be a distant reality during times of great difficulty, loss, or challenge. In the midst of the storms of life we may wonder – ‘How can this be true of my life?’. There is one thing that growing older gives a person, it is the gift of perspective. And it is this gift of perspective that allows one to see the wonderful promise and reality of these verses.
My life is no different than anyone else’s. It has been filled with times of joy and wonderment, and times of suffering and great sorrow. I have suffered physically, spiritually, and mentally. I have lost loved ones, and dear friends, much too soon. Disappointment has been a familiar friend, and the vision I had of my life when I was younger, does not look much like the picture of the life I now see. So how can I proclaim that this promise is true? It is because I have learned to look at my life through different eyes.
I have learned to see my life through God’s purpose.
God’s purpose for my life is not comfort, blessing, or happiness. God purpose for my life is to be made into the image of Jesus Christ – from the inside out! Everything that this life has to offer is temporary and already passing away. God is trying to work within us those things that will last for eternity. In the scope of life, although I am 61 years old, I am merely in daycare. 61 years, when compared to eternity, is not even a single grain of sand on the ocean. And yet, like most, it seems as if it is EVERYTHING! When I face struggles in this life, I feel like it is EVERYTHING! And yet, Romans 8:28-30 reminds me, it is simply God’s refining of my life and my heart. He is doing a far greater work in my heart through it all.
And then it hits me – this is how He works everything together for good!
The Lord takes everything that this life has to offer, and He redeems it toward His eternal purpose for our lives. This is only true for those who love God, who are called according to His purpose. And He is calling all men and women to Himself through faith in Jesus Christ. To those who embrace Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and Lord, they discover this wonderful truth. Not everything in life is good, that is for sure. Yet, the God who is Good, takes everything in our life and works it out for our Eternal Good!
- “For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that the Son 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.”
Note the progression – foreknew, predestined, conformed, called, justified, glorified! Through it all – our destination is to share in the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ. God has called us to glory and freedom through Christ Jesus! In this life we are being changed and transformed into the image and nature of Jesus Christ – from glory to glory, degree by degree. Robert Schuller once said in reference to this – “Inch by inch, anythings a cinch!” That may seem a bit corny, but it really is true. God is changing us moment by moment, day by day, inch by inch.
He is transforming our ashes into beauty, our sorrow into joy, our sin into righteousness, and He is pouring out the oil of joy, the wonderful power and presence of the Holy Spirit upon us!
Now – when I face a mountainous challenge, disappointment, or sorrow – I am learning to look at it through the lens of Eternity. What I face today is not the end. It is just the journey. And I do not journey alone! Jesus has promised – “And lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age!” There are many dreams and goals that I still hold in my heart. I do not know if I will be able to finish them in this lifetime. But that does not disappoint me, for I have an eternity with Jesus Christ to fulfill all of the purposes He has for my life.
He is truly working ALL THINGS together for good in my life. And this perspective gives me strength and confidence as I journey through this life!
- “That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 NLT
Lord, keep my eyes focused on those things that will truly last forever!
In Jesus Name!