Summary: Evil is present in our fallen world, but God is able to turn every circumstance into long range good. However we need to realize that He is not working just to make us happy, but to fulfill His long range purpose.
THOUGHTS ABOUT THE PASSAGE:
A farmer went to his banker and announced that he had bad news and good news. “First, the bad news...” “Well,” said the farmer, “I can’t make my mortgage payments. And that crop loan I’ve taken out for the past 10 years—I can’t pay that off, either. Not only that, I won’t be able to pay you the couple of hundred thousand I still have outstanding on my tractors and other equipment. So I’m going to have to give up the farm and turn it all over to you for whatever you can salvage out of it.” Silence prevailed for a minute and then the banker said, “What’s the good news?” “The good news is that I’m going to keep on banking with you,” said the farmer. (Bits & Pieces, April 30, 1992)
From verse 28 we can be sure that God works in “all things” and not just in isolated incidents for our good. This does not mean that everything that happens to us is good in itself. Evil is present in our fallen world, but God is able to turn every circumstance into long range good. However we need to realize that He is not working just to make us happy, but to fulfill His long range purpose. Also this promise is not for everyone. It can be claimed only by those who love God and are called according to His purpose. This is only for those who have trusted in Christ, and not in life’s treasurers; those who look for their security in heaven, not on earth; and those who learn to accept, not resent pain and persecution in this life, because God is with them.
The Holy Spirit is the believer’s continual Prayer Helper, and shares the burden we have. God is at work in the world, and His workings are for our ultimate good and for His glory. He predetermined that we would be like Christ one day. Predestination applies only to saved people, because the Bible does not teach us that God predestines people to be eternally condemned. If they are condemned it is because they refuse to trust Christ. (We find this taught in John 3:18-21). In verses 29-30 believers are those God foreknows, and those He foreknew. He also predestined them to be conformed to the likeness of Christ. He called, and when they responded to His call and received salvation, He justified them, and He also glorified them. To be glorified is another way of saying that the children of God will be conformed to His Son, and that is God’s ultimate purpose for each one of us.
Today the Holy Spirit helps me pray, and I can know God works all things together for my good. The things themselves may not be good, but God harmonizes all together for my good because His purpose is to bring me to perfection in His presence. Today would be a good time for me to thank God for working all things together for my good and for His glory.