"All Things Work Together For Good?" Let's Explore!!
Good Morning! I pray you had a very Blessed weekend! Today, I wanted us to discuss the incredible truth behind a phrase that we throw out there quite frequently. Maybe, like me, you have been around some hard circumstances lately. In the midst of those difficult situations you may have heard someone say, “Don’t worry, All things work together for good!” Now, while this phrase is said with the best of intentions and can bring much hope, it can also be confusing and angering to those who are facing great tragedy in their lives. This phrase elicits questions like, “WHAT things work together for WHOSE good?” If we try and quote this phrase outside the context of the surrounding scripture we make it seem as if ALL THINGS, meaning Every Situation and circumstance, will end up being GOOD!! This simply is not true in every situation, in fact, many situations. To the mother who just lost her child, the situation itself will never be GOOD. To the young woman who was raped, you cannot tell her that the actual event was “worked out” to be GOOD for her. This is the danger of taking scripture out of context. When a friend of mine was told they only have months to live, you cannot tell me this is or will be a GOOD situation while on this earth. There is, however, an incredible, irrevocable promise that CAN fill us with hope for our souls. Listen to the actual verse this phrase is quoted from.
“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!” – Romans 8:28
I want us to consider a couple vital truths found within this passage. First, “We KNOW!” This IS our promise from the Lord. This is something that we can count on with Absolute certainty! No matter what, we can know this truth for sure! What is this truth? That IN ALL THINGS, GOD WORKS!! Do we see the important emphasis here! This scripture is saying that IN ALL THINGS, God WILL BE WORKING!! It is telling us that no matter what the circumstances are that we will face, no matter how difficult or how wonderful, God WILL be working!! When we stop short and simply say, “All things work together,” we leave out some of the foundational elements that allow us to stand solid on this incredible truth! You see, I would argue that this scripture is not saying that ALL things, Every situation, will end up being GOOD, but it IS saying that IN EVERY SITUATION, IN EVERYTHING that we will face, GOD, Himself will be at work FOR our GOOD!!! That is a Truth that we can stake our life on! I can tell you that when I was a girl and my family fell apart there was nothing GOOD about that situation. It was devastating, and we still deal with the natural consequences of those events. That being said, what I will also tell you is that IN the very MIDST of ALL those THINGS going on in our family, God was still POWERFULLY Working in my life and the lives of my family members! When we can accurately relate the truth of this scripture it will no longer sounds pithy, and uncaring, but it will fill us with strength and hope!
Let’s look at WHO this promise is offered to and WHAT the GOOD is that God is going to be working out in us. The last part of this scripture tells us WHO God will be working for. The answer is, “Those who Love Him, and who have been called according to His purpose!” In short, ALL those who have put their trust in the name of Jesus! All those who LOVE God, and who have been called, according to God’s purpose, into the family of God! Those are the ones for whom God will be Working GOOD IN ALL THINGS! The final question we should be asking is, “what is the GOOD that God will be working?” We need to ask this because the culture we live in has a whole list of GOOD that we should strive for in our lives. I have heard people say to me that the “GOOD” God wants for them is to be Wealthy and Healthy. Is that the GOOD God is talking about here? In order to understand this answer we need to look at the surrounding verses of this passage which have been talking about waiting for the hope our eternal glory. It is challenging for us to wait patiently for what we are hoping for. It tells us that the Spirit helps us when we are weak by praying FOR us. Then it tells us that IN ALL THINGS GOD WILL WORK FOR OUR GOOD! Right after this, in verse 29 it says, “For those He foreknew, He also Predestined to be CONFORMED TO THE IMAGE OF HIS SON!” It goes on to describe the many ways He is and will be conforming us to the likeness of His son! What is the GOOD that He is working in us? BEING CONFORMED TO THE IMAGE OF HIS SON!! There is NO Greater GOOD than that! You see, IN Every circumstance, no matter what it is, God will be working in our lives to make us more like His Son! In ALL THINGS he is still at work in us, transforming us into the likeness of Jesus Christ! And we know that He who began a good work in us will be faithful to complete it! That is why this section can conclude by saying, “If God is FOR US, WHO can be against us?” There is no person, no situation, and no circumstance that can ever stop the work of God IN us!! He will be faithful to complete it! He is FOR us, and there is NOT ONE who can be against us! When we understand all this we can boldly say to ourselves and to others, “I know this situation is So hard right now, I know this is difficult, but I can tell you with certainty that IN ALL THESE THINGS, God IS WORKING for your GOOD. He is still at WORK on your behalf conforming you to the image of His Son, until the Glorious day He brings us home!” That is a Promise worth believing!
Scriptures to Meditate on: Romans 8:26-31, Philippians 1:6, Psalm 138:8