“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.”
The bible is filled with great and precious promises. Of these, the one recorded here may be the pinnacle. For the past two thousand years countless saints, facing a vast array of difficulties, have clung to this promise and found God to be ever faithful to His word. The promise itself is both simple and all encompassing. We are told, God is able to create good out of all things that life throws at us.
I don’t think it is difficult to understand what Paul meant by the word ‘all’. The English word means, “every member or part of, and the whole number or sum of.” The Greek word “Pas” speaks individually of each and every part of a whole, and collectively, it refers to the sum of all the parts that make a whole. Essentially, Paul is saying that every situation in life, no matter how random, unforeseen, difficult, painful or repeated, is like a tool in the hand of God that will be used to produce good in our lives.
Perhaps the most important word in this promise is the word good. If Paul is suggesting everything we face will ultimately be worked out for good, it is essential that we have a proper understanding of his terms. The word good is defined in the next verse where Paul writes, we are being conformed into the image of Christ. Every thing we face in this life is designed to bring us to Christ, and make us more like Him. My busy schedule, broken leg, fender bender, marriage, difficult boss, or trouble with the kids, are all tools that the Spirit of God will use to conform me into the image of Jesus. He will often do this by exposing things in me that need to be changed, then He will begin the process of removing them. The key is that we learn, in every situation, to cling to Christ as He performs a new work in us.
If you are struggling to see the good in what you are currently facing, remember that the good will come out as you cling to Christ, and allow Him to conform you to His image.
Questions for Romans 8
- If you are in Christ, how wonderful it is to know that you, we, and us have been set free from condemnation. AMEN!
- For what the Law could not do, God did. How?
- What happens to those who live according to the flesh and those who live according the Spirit?
- What are the results of being carnally minded and spiritually minded?
- What did we receive by whom we cry out, “Abba Father?”
- In verses 26-27, what is the Spirit himself doing for us?
- In verse 28, what should keep us from complaining?
- In verses 31 through to the end of Romans 8, these verses give us an account of God’s everlasting love. Do you truly feel comforted and peaceful when you read verse 32?