November 02, 2020
"And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose."(Romans 8:28)
There are over 7,000 promises in the Bible that are given by God to man. This promise is one of epic proportions because it stands at 20,000 feet looking over the whole course of a believer's life. It explains the correlation of good and evil. It gives hope for the Divine weaving that is going on in the entire tapestry of our lives … a tapestry with both dark threads and light.
This is self-evident but ponder it for a moment. Paul does not say "Man causes" and there's a reason. Man is absolutely incapable of causing "all things to work together for good." It is beyond his ability, way above his pay grade. Only God can do what Paul is about to explain.
Sit on these two descriptive words for a moment. Not some or most, but all. There is not one thing in the believer’s life that escapes these two words. Scan the entirety of your life and you will see both good and evil, light and dark, frequent, expected things and occasional, random things. Hard things and easy things. You will see people in that list. Those who have loved you and those who have terribly hurt you. Every person in the timeline of your life falls under the category of "all things."
Look further and you will notice the dark things in our sin-wrecked and sin-damaged world. They too are not missed in these two words.
If you are beset by a moment or a season of some of the hardest things of life or the most evil remember that every word of God's Scripture is inspired by God. Nothing is in His Word by chance. Realize that each Scripture’s simplest, most clear meaning is the meaning, for God is writing to us in a way that we can understand. And then, bolstered with that understanding, let these two words sink in about your current and past circumstances. "All things." The Faithful Promiser says “All.”
"to work together for good."
Here is the genius of the promise. This is the place where we fall on our face in worship before our Sovereign God. In His God-ness and goodness He weaves all things together for those who love Him into a one-word conclusion: "good." Nothing can frustrate this for no one and no thing has power beyond the One who created all things. They are under His feet. And so, for those who are "loving God and called according to His purpose" He unites multiple forces—both good and evil, light and dark—and brings them to a beneficial result.
He does NOT say that all things are good in the believer’s life. He does not say that He is the cause of all things. He cannot be because He is not the author of evil and cannot (and should not) be accused of such.
What this does promise is Divine synergy. God takes the evil that assaults you and combines it with His working, His weaving, His Divine manipulating hand and joins them together in such ways that the end result is good.
As I write, people around the world are being tortured and killed for their faith in Christ. If seen from just a manward view, we see that this does NOT seem to work for "good" in their lives. But be careful before you answer. Here is the Sovereign synergy. He takes the worst evil we can imagine, weaves it with His promise and reality of eternal life and rewards. Here is the end result: what men meant for evil, God joined with His goodness. These faithful martyrs enter instantly into the presence of God and receive the highest rewards for all of eternity in heaven. The enemies supposed victory becomes the believers assured and glorious victory. Death has lost its sting.
Go farther in your thinking. Ponder any and every evil that is thrown upon believers if you will. But then, if you know your Bible, notice that there are promises that are bigger. God has made provision with a corresponding power to overcome the evil and cause the end to be glorious for His trusting children.
"To those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these who He called, He also justified; and these who He justified, He also glorified. What then shall we say to these things: If God is for us, who is against us? (Verses 28-31)
God is leading somewhere for those who follow Him. He has called them out on purpose, and nothing will thwart His ultimate agenda. He is making us like His Son and chipping away everything that does not look like Him. This world is the oven where this baking occurs … the melting pot where the dross is sloughed off and the sanctifying happens. And God causes all things to accomplish this glorious result.
Even death does not interrupt this process, but rather, completes it! It is the ultimate fear of most men, but the ultimate good for the believer. He sheds the sin-weakened earth-suit and takes on the glories of heaven, soon to get a completely glorified body, impervious to sin and decay and death.
Nothing can overcome us; nothing can stop us. Why? God is with us and His Divine synergy is at work in all things for our good.
Father, I am overwhelmed by Your power and stunned by Your goodness to me this morning. Thank You that behind everything in my life there is a Divine plan that is bigger than anything the world, the flesh, and the devil throw my way. Help me to believe You and to walk in humble, grateful faith for Your glorious promise in “all things.”
March 29, 2023
As a pastor for the last 55 years, I have had the joy of being encouraged and blessed and prayed for by so many people. It is what carries you in your task of shepherding people. As I look back over five decades of ministry, their love has dramatically enriched my life.
But also, a pastor leads. And when anyone leads, there are almost always some who disagree.
March 28, 2023
March 27, 2023