Summary: God has promised to sovereignly and faithfully use your sickness, your problems, your pain, your heartache, your needs as well as the good things that are happening in your life to conform you to the image of His Son.
These verses speak of God’s Faithfulness – “good” (v.28c, 29) God is faithful to complete the job of making you like Christ, despite what happens in life.
Explanation: These verses do not teach us that everything that happens in our lives is good. That’s absurd! Humanely speaking, there’s very little good about the death of a child, about divorce, infertility, accidental death or despair.
Definition: What is this “good” that Paul notes here? We must define it contextually. The answer is found in verse 29. “…To become conformed to the image of His Son”.
Application: God has promised to sovereignly and faithfully use your sickness, your problems, your pain, your heartache, your needs as well as the good things that are happening in your life to conform you to the image of His Son. He will not waste one thing, one experience, one conversation if it means making you more like Jesus as a result. He is faithful!
Quotation: C. S. Lewis, who held a chair in Medieval and Renaissance Literature at the University of Cambridge in England and authored many books including the powerful Mere Christianity, said: “God works on us in all sorts of ways: not only through what we think as being our religious life. He works through nature, through our own bodies, through books, sometimes through experiences which seem (at the time) anti-Christian. But above all, He works on us through each other (p.163).” Life has a way of keeping us on the run and driving us to our knees. Just when we think we’ve mastered an area of life, something happens and throws us off balance again and into another learning and Christ-like shaping experience.
Illustration: There’s a big market for codfish in the Northeastern United States. However public demand placed a problem on the shippers. First, they froze the cod, but the cod lost its flavor. Second, they shipped them alive in tanks of water, but the cod lost its flavor and texture. Finally, they were placed in tanks of water with their natural enemy! The cod were chased all over the tank! They arrived at their destinations, just as they were freshly taken out of the Atlantic. I think God allows things in life in order to hold us accountable and to keep us from loosing our spiritual texture and flavor.