And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. Romans 8:28-30
I'll admit that this is my go-to verse when life seems to be falling apart and I have no idea why or how it's ever going to get better. It's such a comforting verse, isn't it? It doesn't tell us that things will immediately get better but it does tell us that whatever we are going through
- Has a purpose
- Will be resolved in a good way
There's THREE very important things I want to point out about these verses.
First the word ALL. God says that ALL things work together for good. That pretty much encompasses everything, right? How about your health, money, finances, job, marriage, relationships, ministry, car, house? Are those included? But what about things like tragedies, deaths in the family, divorce, severed relationships, prodigal children? What about those? I believe--and I believe the Lord has confirmed this both in Scripture and in my heart--that when He says ALL, He means everything that affects you. Everything in your life, good or bad, blessing or tragedy will ultimately be worked out for good. I don't know about you, but that brings me the greatest peace and comfort.
The working out for good may not be in our lifetime. I know that's hard to hear but remember God is outside of time. He sees the beginning from the end. There is no way we could ever understand what God is up to or how all the pieces fit together. We may see some parts of our life work out for good while we are still alive, but there will also be many things that we will witness the completion of in eternity. That's fine by me! As long as it gets worked out for good. Yet I only say this because some people wait for God to work something out in this lifetime and then when He doesn't, they get mad and turn away.
However, there are some conditions associated with this verse. In fact, through Scripture you'll find that most of God's blessings, including salvation, have conditions that we must meet. My apologies to the hyper-grace people, but please read your Bibles. Even to be saved, we must receive Jesus, confess with our mouth that He is Lord and believe in our hearts. If we don't do that, we ain't saved. Sorry.
What are the conditions in the above verses?
- We must love God
- We must be called according to His purpose
Condition 1: We must love GodHow do we know we love God?
“If you love Me, you will keep and obey My commandments. John 14:15
That's pretty simply, eh? It doesn't mean we don't mess up now and then. We all sin. But this means that we do our best everyday to follow the Lord and obey Him. John said it another way in 1 John 5:4
For the love of God is this: that we habitually keep His commandments and remain focused on His precepts. And His commandments and His precepts are not difficult to obey. Amplified version
Condition 2: We must be called according to His purposeHow do we know we are called? And what is His purpose? Paul explains that very nicely in the rest of the verse. Notice how Paul says that God "predestined" us to be conformed to the image of His Son, Jesus. That is the purpose for which we are called, so that over the years as we walk with Jesus, as we obey and love Him and keep on the narrow path, we are slowly being changed from our sinful wretched human natures into the holy nature of Jesus Himself. God's ultimate purpose is to create holy children whom He adopts and loves. Here's 2 more verses that prove that point
For He delivered us and saved us and called us with a holy calling, a calling that leads to a consecrated life—a life set apart—a life of purpose, not because of our works or because of any personal merit—we could do nothing to earn this, but because of His own purpose and grace which was granted to us in Christ Jesus before the world began. 2 Timothy 1:9
awaiting and confidently expecting the blessed hope and the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, who willingly gave Himself to be crucified on our behalf to redeem us and purchase our freedom from all wickedness, and to purify for Himself a chosen and very special people to be His own possession, who are enthusiastic for doing what is good. Titus 2:13-14
So, do you want ALL things in your entire life to work together for good in the end? I mean really for good... for a good you couldn't ever have imagined, it's so GOOD? Then, meet the conditions! If you have met them and are meeting them, then believe God at His Word. He WILL make everything work out for your good in the end. Hold Him to it. He never lies and He never goes back on His Word!!
I don't know about you, but in this crazy world, that is SO comforting to me!