Summary: In the midst of a crisis it becomes easy to forget God's promises.
It a plain and simple fact of life, if you’re breathing you will experience a crisis of biblical proportions. Maybe your crisis is a divorce, or a job loss, or foreclosure, or the death of someone close, or a prodigal child, or the betrayal of a close friend, or abuse, or you are told those dreaded words “It’s cancer”, or perhaps it’s just the ebb and flow of daily living. What are we supposed to do? Where are we supposed to turn when crisis comes? God’s word is full of great promises and perhaps one of the most comforting is:
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
There are five things present in this promise that we need to remember as we go through the crisis of our lives:
#1 God hasn’t left us in the dark. –
Paul begins this powerful verse with the proclamation that the promises of this passage are something “we know” to be true. It’s not just pie-in-the-sky. It’s not a fanciful wish or something we have to guess at. There’s confidence. There’s trust. There’s a deep abiding faith present in the words “we know.” We are not left to speculate about course of our crisis we know from the outset that God is working it all for good. He is intervening in your crisis to use every part to work His plan and your ultimate good.Does that mean that we will know all the inner works of every situation? Of course not but in this passage God is saying, “I want you to know right now, your life, your crisis is under My control. No matter how things might appear in the immediate, trust Me, every thing’s gonna be alright.”
#2 It’s God’s job to workout it out for good. –
Do you want relief from devastating stress, or debilitating anxiety, or demoralizing worry? Do you want all the paralyzing fears of life to end today? Here’s the solution… let God do His job. It’s God’s job to make everything work for good, not ours. It doesn’t matter how hard we try we can’t make all things work together for good. It doesn’t matter how much we worry about the outcome of situations, it ain’t going change a thing. That’s Jesus point in Mat 6:27 where He said, “which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?” So in a crisis let’s remember that’s it’s God’s job to work together all things for good, not ours.
Perhaps so much of our anxiety and worry comes from not understanding what the good is that God works out for those who love Him. The good doesn’t necessarily mean a life of ease, or a new job, or healing, or restoration things lost, or an overflow of money, or any material thing. The good that God brings out is found in 8:29-30, it’s spiritual good that God wants to bring out. Notice the spiritual good that God works out: “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.” (Romans 8:29-30)
Did you notice the good that God is working to bring about in our lives:
- Conformity to the image of His son - Above everything else in this life, God wants us to be like His son. Paul constantly urged his listeners to be like Christ, to conform to the image of the Son (cf. 1 Cor 11:1; Eph 5:1-2; Php 2:4-5).
- Our glorification - In the context of this verse it seems that the good is our glorification in heaven. So we would say that God is working all things for good so we can go to heaven (cf. Col 3:4; 1 Pet 4:13-14).
With a proper frame of mind about what God’s good is, then we can lay down the worry and let God conform us into the image of His son while He works out all things for the good of our glorification with Him in heaven.
#3 Our Job is to Love God. –
If it’s God’s job to make all things work together for good then our just is just simple love Him. That’s it. Plain and simple is it not? Love God and He’ll work to see that all things in your lives will work together for the good of conforming you to the image of His son and the glorification in heaven.
We shouldn’t be surprised that God simply wants us to love Him. When asked what was the greatest commandment, Jesus replied, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment.” (Mat 22:36-38) He also said, “If you love Me you will keep My commandments.” (Jhn 14:15)