Self-Improvement Stew: Understanding How God Works All Things for Our Good
We are probably all familiar with Romans 8:28. “We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God – those whom he has called according to His plan.”
Some Key Phrases in Romans 8:28:
- “All things” – that means everything that occurs in your life whether it is good or bad. It doesn’t say He causes the bad things – He can’t, because He is good. Some of the negative stuff in our life we cause ourselves. The choices we make. The actions we take. The attitudes we possess. Some is caused by others and some by the archenemy of our souls – the devil.
- “Works together” – God takes it all… the good, the bad, and the ugly and He works it all together. He takes things that in themselves aren’t very good and brings out of it something good.
- “For…those who love God” – It’s not for everybody. It’s for His children, those who know Him by faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. It’s important that you are sure about that, because God isn’t synergizing the events, the circumstances, and the situations in your life for good, if you don’t love Him.
When the contrary winds come, when the adversity strikes, when the trouble begins, when the suffering happens, when the negative circumstances pile up – it can knock the spiritual wind out of you. You might feel like you want to give up. You need to be fixed in your belief of who God is – He is good. He works good for you as His child. He does only good for you. You and I may not understand “how” at that moment. We may not be thrilled with the experience – far from it. But we can keep “running” if we are convinced of who God is in our life.
Singer and author Sheila Walsh, former co-host of the 700 Club and one of the speakers with Women of Faith, in an interview with Leadership Journal shared a profound story…
“Our paradigm of what a Christian life is supposed to be hugely affects whether we become bitter or not. So many of the people I work with are dealing with disappointment. Disappointment with themselves—and I sure understand that—disappointment with other people, and disappointment with God because he doesn’t do what we think he’s going to do.
I got one of the most interesting letters at the 700 Club from a young woman in her mid-twenties who had cancer and MS. She said, ‘Sometimes I watch your program and I’m helped, and sometimes I want to take my shoe off and throw it through the screen.’
I was so fascinated by her honesty, I called her. We became friends. One day she said, ‘One of the things I hate about what you do is you always present people whose marriages get better in 10 minutes, people who get healed, people who have the nice, packaged answers.’ She said, ‘What about people like me who are dying and still love God? What about people who take very few steps, but every step leaves a big impression in the snow because it costs every ounce of strength they have left?’
She changed my perspective. Christianity is not this nice ‘everything’s going to work out okay’ attitude. When you think of Christ at the tomb of Lazarus, he wept because it wasn’t supposed to be like this. He had spoken this beautiful world into existence and it was so broken, so messed up. I think one of the greatest gifts we can give is just a dose of reality that life down here is disappointing, that God doesn’t always give us answers, but he does always give us himself.”1
I don’t know the details of the disappointments some of you are feeling in your life. You may feel like you can’t go on, like you are without strength. I want you to remember if you are Christ’s follower, He is with you. He hasn’t abandoned you. He will never leave you. He is walking through the valley with you. And however you got to where you are, however things have closed in on you, He can and will work good for you as you submit your will to Him.
- Sheila Walsh, “Inevitable Disappointments of This Life,” Preaching Today, 2002, , accessed March 28, 2017, http://www.preachingtoday.com/illustrations/2003/january/14142.html.
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