Summary: A sermon examining the fact that God's idea of good and ours may not always be the same.
God's Promise Concerning The Greater Good
There is an old story about a shipwreck where many men died, in fact there was only one survivor. When the sole survivor reached a small, uninhabited island, he prayed for God to rescue him, but help didn’t come. Eventually he built a hut out of driftwood for protection from the elements. One day he returned from scavenging for food and found his hut in flames, the smoke rising into the sky. Angrily he cried, “God, how could You do this to me?” The next morning he was awakened by rescuers. “How did you know I was here?” he asked. “We saw your smoke signal,” they replied. (Source:https://momentswiththelord.wordpress.com/2015/01/18/trust-in-him/)
What that man thought was a horrific tragedy was actually a blessing in disguise. God never tells us that things will work together when we want. Nor does He promise us that things will work out how we want. But through His Word God promises us that God says that "all things work together for good"
Romans 8:28 (says) ...we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
Often when you are going through a time of great trouble someone may seek to encourage you by quoting this verse. But if we are honest, sometimes we just don't want to hear it! Sometimes we may not even believe that "all things work together for good". Sometimes we enjoy wallowing around in self pity and at times we just want to feel sorry for ourselves.
Then there are times we look at situations and ask, "HOW CAN ANY GOOD COME OUT OF THIS?" You may not see any way that it is possible for good to come out of your situation when you are laid off from work, or when the repo man has come for the car, or when the eviction/foreclosure notice has been served.
When you receive the divorce papers in the mail you may seriously question how any good can come from such heartache. When your child has become a drug addict or an alcoholic you may ask "how is it that all things work together for good?" When the test results come back and you have a terminal illness you may cry to God and ask "how is it that all things work together for good?" It may be hard to see how God is going to bring good from you losing a spouse, parent or child.
Often when we face these very trying times we tend to go beyond questioning God and begin to blame Him for our circumstances.
It is important for us to understand that God's idea of "good" is not the same as what we would call "good". God is working the events of our life together for our final, eternal, ultimate good. We tend to focus on the here and now, God focuses on the here AND the hereafter!
Sometimes troubles come directly from God for the purpose of strengthening our faith. Other times troubles come as a result of sin in our lives, our Heavenly Father will chasten His own. (Ref: Hebrews 12) There are many reasons that we face times of difficulty. Regardless of why you are facing troubles... the good news is God can use these things for our good.
Some of you are facing extremely difficult situations at this very moment. It has often been said that you are either in a storm, coming out of a storm or headed into a storm.
Many of our brethren have turned from God. Troubles came and they began to face doubt and discouragement as a result they became bitter and even angry with God. Perhaps you are on the verge of reaching that place as we speak. I hope that before you leave here you can find encouragement through God's Word.
There are others who are not bitter or angry with God but you just want some answers. You just want to know WHY??? Some would say that there is no answer to this question.... THEY ARE WRONG! There is an answer, in fact there are several answers and they are found in the Word of God.
Romans 5:3 ...we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; 4 and patience, experience; and experience, hope:
James 1:2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; 3 knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
I believe that Romans 8:28 is one of those passages that answer the question, "why?" But this verse does more than answer the question, this verse gives us a promise. I would like to examine this verse and consider the thought "God's Promise Concerning The Greater Good". - Let's begin by examining: