Summary: God allows and uses everything that happens in our lives for our good.
In the early days of our country a weary traveler came to the banks of Mississippi River for first time. There was no bridge, of course. It was early winter, and the surface of the mighty river was covered with ice. Could he dare cross over? Would the uncertain ice be able to bear his weight?
Night was falling, and it was urgent that he reach other side. Finally, after much hesitation and with many fears, he began to creep cautiously across surface of the ice on his hands and knees. He thought that he might distribute his weight as much as possible to keep the ice from breaking beneath him. About halfway over he heard the sound of singing behind him. Suddenly a man, driving a horse-drawn load of coal across the ice came flying by him singing merrily as he went his way. Here he was -- on his hands and knees, trembling lest the ice was not strong enough to bear him up; then came the man, his horses and sleigh, and his load of coal, upheld by the same ice on which he was creeping! Source: James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited; Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 1988.
This is sometimes how we treat God’s promises. They are as sure and solid as can possibly be, but because of our scary circumstances, we timidly tremble forth upon them as if our belief in them somehow will determine their reliability. Nothing could be further from the truth! God’s promises are solid because of Who God is. We are to CONFIDENTLY go forth because God is loving and good and His Word will never fail us! We can confidently Trust His Promises!
After I was saved I was like this guy crawling along ever so timidly wondering if I was safe in my new life in Jesus. God assured me of His Promise to finish this Work that He had started in me using a Survival Kit. He led me to Philippians 1:6, “Being confident of this very thing; that He who began a good work in you will perform it (carry it on to completion) until the Day of Christ Jesus.” Many times this verse has encouraged me by assuring me that God is always at work on our behalf; He will FINISH what He has STARTED in us!
That is what God is promising us here in verse 28 only in more detail. He is assuring us that we (His children) can know that everything that happens in our lives, whether it is good or bad, He knows about, He allows and He uses for our good, while we wait for the Day of Jesus’ return or our home going – whichever comes first.
Some very awful things can and do happen to us here and they are truly awful. For example, tomorrow is the sixty-first anniversary of D-Day, which was truly awful. God is not saying these things are not awful or that they don’t cause terrible suffering for us. What He is saying is that these things are not worth comparing to what awaits us. This is said to encourage us, not to diminish our sufferings.
Are you confident in God’s Provisions and Promises? Or, are you timidly crawling across the days of your life fearing you’re going to fall through any minute?
A. This Promise is for BELIEVERS Only!
1. WE Know – Who are “we?” We are “those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose.” His Purpose is to enter into a personal and intimate and eternal relationship with us through His Son, Jesus Christ. God created you and one day invited you to enter into a personal relationship with Him through Jesus. When you did, you became a believer and ever since you have been on the receiving end of this promise!
A Sunday School Teacher had two new boys in her Sunday School class one day. In order to register them she had to ask their ages and birthdays. The bolder of the two said, ’We’re both seven. My birthday is April 8, 1976, and my brother’s is April 20, 1976.’ ’But that’s impossible!’ she said. ’No, it’s not,’ answered the quieter brother. ’One of us is adopted.’ ’Which one?’ asked the teacher. The boys looked at each other and smiled, and the bolder one said to the teacher, ’We asked Dad awhile ago, but he just said he loved us both, and he couldn’t remember any more which one was adopted.’ By our faith in Christ we become Jesus’ adopted brothers and sisters--adopted sons and daughters of God. As fully adopted and accepted children, we share the same blessings as His Son, Jesus. (Source: James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited; Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 1988.
2. We KNOW – This word means to know something is true by experience. God’s Holy Spirit confirms this truth to be true in us as we live this new life in Jesus. Paul explained this is 1 Corinthians 2:14-16 when he said, “The man without the Spirit does not accept things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man’s judgment: "For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?" But we have the mind of Christ.”