Summary: Life is unpredictable. One moment everything is fine the next it’s helter skelter. What do you do? Where do you turn? How do you keep from losing it? How do you keep from giving up? When life gets crazy we need to understand that God is up to something go
GOD IS UP TO SOMETHING GOOD
INTRODUCTION: Show commercials. Sure; it’s funny when it’s not happening to you. Life does come at you fast sometimes. Life is unpredictable. One moment everything is fine the next it’s helter skelter. And we’re not laughing. What do you do? Where do you turn? How do you keep from losing it? How do you keep from giving up? We are in good hands, but it’s not because of Allstate. When life gets crazy God is up to something good.
1) Rom. 8:28, “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.” Breakdown: “and we KNOW”. Paul doesn’t want us to wonder whether or not God is working, he wants us to know that he is. There may be times in our life where it seems God is absent from a particular situation he isn’t. God is working. He’s not being silent, he’s not ignoring our situation; he’s not deaf to our pleas for help. He is at work even if it’s behind the scenes. Paul wants us to become solid and unquestioning; he wants us to look at God working in our situations as a sure thing, a reliable thing. We don’t guess, we don’t wish; we know. In this knowing there is faith, there is trust; there is hope. One of the reasons we can say we know is because of what God has done in the past. We remember how God worked things out for the good in a previous situation. This will help us today when the situation we face is different and we’re tempted to doubt. “in ALL things”. We don’t have to wonder if God is going to work in this situation-he will. Whether it’s something as major as a natural disaster and we wonder how God could bring any good out of it or if it’s something as trivial as a broken shoelace and we wonder why God would work in it. In all things, great and small, God works. The question might arise, ‘what about sin? Does God work our sin out for the good too?’ This verse is not saying that God will work in our sin to bring about good things. That would be putting sin in a positive light. God does not want us to sin. There can be good that could come after my sin if I repent from it and learn from the experience. However, this does not mean that God wants me to sin so that good would result. He wishes that I wouldn’t sin in the first place. Paul already refuted sin being cast in a positive light earlier in chapter six (6:1-shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means!) “GOD works”. We need to recognize who is working. Things don’t work out for good because of karma or by chance; they work out because God has orchestrated that they work out. Also this is a challenge for humility. Typically, the problem is that in all things WE work (or we try to). We try to work things out according to our own understanding or our own timing and we eventually mess it up. However, if we allow God to work and we get out of his way or we allow ourselves to be subject to his leading and directing then things will work out the way they are supposed to. And we need to keep in mind, as Isaiah 55:8-9 tells us, that God’s thoughts and ways are not like our thoughts and ways. We don’t have his wisdom; we don’t have his insight. Therefore we need to step aside and let God work. The way God works often times doesn’t make any sense in the moment but later we see how he orchestrated events or how he worked in a negative situation to bring about great things. That is important for us to keep in mind when troubling circumstances come our way. “For the GOOD”. Don’t believe the lie that God is working against you. God never works for the bad; everything he works in is for the purpose of bringing about good things; even if it’s discipline. Hebrews 12:11, “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” Even in discipline God works to bring about something good. “Of those that LOVE him”. There is no promise of God working for the good of those who are against him. God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. The guilty will not go unpunished. But for those who love God, for those of us who want to do his will, he will work out every situation for the good. We wonder how God could bring anything good out of a tragic situation. We can be confident that if we love God all things will be worked out for good. We can’t go wrong in loving God. “Who have been called according to his PURPOSE”. We who are born again have been called by God to live according to his purpose. His main purpose is stated in verse 29-that we would be conformed to the likeness of his son Jesus. In that main purpose are his specific purposes that will help to bring us to that end. God doesn’t will that we would accomplish our own purposes in life. We gave up the right to accomplish our goals, our will and our purposes when we surrendered to his Lordship over our lives. When we responded to his calling we said at the waters of baptism, “Take control of my life. Your will be done in me and through me from this day forward.” Everything that happens in my life is not good. However, God can take the bad things that happen and turn them around to bring something good out of them. Part of the good that would come out of it would be the development of our character. And part of the good that would come out of that would be for others to see that character and be drawn to God.