We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him. (Romans 8:28)
The title of today’s word of encouragement, when understood, will transform your life in a way you cannot imagine. It certainly transformed mine.
As a new believer, when I was first exposed to the biblical truth of the sovereignty of God — the fact that He is in complete control of all things, at all times, and in all places — I struggled to see God working for good in all the chaos that was swirling in my life. At the bare minimum, I supposed, God was either too busy to care about my little, insignificant life, or perhaps He simply made a few mistakes along the way. But when a caring Bible teacher took the time to explain today’s verse to me, the scales began to fall from my eyes and I learned to trust God in every aspect of my life, even the chaos and waves of challenge that were washing over me.
The first thing my teacher explained to me was what this verse does not teach; I frequently remind our congregation that Romans 8:28 is not teaching that all things that happen are good. There is a great deal of bad that happens in this life, things that cause suffering and sorrow. The second thing I learned was that Romans 8:28 is teaching that even the bad stuff that happens is under the complete control and care of God, and He has promised to use all of it for the ultimate good of those who love Him . . . even me! God works in all things to accomplish His ultimate plan and purpose — not just in my little life, but in the entire universe.
Finally, I needed to absorb the truth that God is more focused on my holiness than my happiness, a truth that is emphasized in Romans 8:29 — “Those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of His Son.” My teacher explained that if God’s ultimate goal in my life is to conform me to the likeness of His Son — and often that conforming process includes seasons of suffering — then holiness, not happiness, is His primary purpose for my life.
These three truths were foundational to my understanding that God doesn’t make mistakes. What we might think is a “mistake” is actually ministry from the hands of our Maker. God is working all things together to make us more like Jesus. God takes the good, the bad, and the ugly to chisel away what is left of the sinful self in order to reveal more and more of our Savior, Jesus Christ, who dwells within us through His Holy Spirit.
So when you look back on your life and see the chaos, the confusion, and the challenges, remember that God doesn’t make mistakes. His works are perfect, all His ways are just, and He does no wrong (Deuteronomy 32:4). No, in all things, He is working to make you more and more like His Son. And that is a very good thing indeed!
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!