“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”
This is a wonderful verse placed in a critical chapter in the Bible. It is critical because it is concerning our destiny! And what does this verse mean when it says that “all things” work together for us, even for “good” (what is this good?), to those who “love God”, and even to those who are called according to “His purpose”. Here are some thoughts on these particular items:
For Good: This verse is often misinterpreted to mean that the Lord will bless us in material ways. Does the ‘good’ refer to the well-being of our soul? Actually, to find out what good means, we must look at the subject of this section of the Bible, which is revealed in verse 29. Our destiny, predetermined in eternity past, is that we would be matured sons of God, conformed to the image of His Son. Therefore, if God’s purpose is fulfilled through us, then good has occurred.
All things: Just as it takes nineteen years for a human to become matured into an adult, it takes time for us to be matured into sons of God. Here’s where the ‘all things’ comes in. All things are all persons, all matters, and all things in our life. God sovereignty arranges our situation to mature us to be His sons. Sometimes we go through really, really hard things, and we ask God, “Why?” At the time, there doesn’t seem to be a reasonable answer.
God’s wisdom is far reaching and ours simply is not. The hardest environments and situations are those that will mold you the most into the image of His Son. These situations are those ones in which God will be able to “rearrange your inner furniture”, so that He can make His home more in your whole being. This is good because it fulfills God’s eternal purpose. But hold on, there is one caveat.
Love God: We must love God. That’s our job. There’s a verse in a simple song I often enjoy:
Give yourself to love the Lord.
Do not care for anything else;
Just love Him! Do not care!
Give yourself to love the Lord!
If we would just love Him, then all the things in our life, whether good or bad to our soul and body, whether they cause us joy or sorrow, will work out for good. To tell the Lord, “Lord I still love You”, when you face the biggest disappointment of your life is so precious and intimate to Him.
Christ will be formed in us through our loving God in these situations and the very element of Christ will be worked into our being, making us vessels that can be useful to fulfill God’s purpose. If we love God, we can be confident that everything past, present, and future will work together for the good of God’s eternal purpose.
His Purpose: All these things that are going on in our life are not without a meaning – God has a purpose, according to which He has called us. God’s salvation is not meaningless, and it is not for us to be happy or have a good life(with Him) – God’s purpose is to work Himself into us, into every part of our being, until He is lived out in us and expressed through us in a corporate way as the Body of Christ!
As we love Him, then all things work together for good – for His purpose being accomplished in our life. And His purpose is the best thing that could happen to us – we are made to contain God, enjoy God, and express God together with the other believers He has placed us with! [guest post: sister Sharon]