“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
One way this verse gets interpreted is this: “God, I love you so I know you are working in all things for my good. Change this situation, work in that person’s life. I trust you to work this situation out for my good so my life is better.”
But really, if we want to understand the fuller meaning behind it, we also need to read Romans 8:29.
“For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.” Romans 8:29
The “good” God works for those of us who love Him is not so much about our situations, comfort or convenience; it’s about our character. It’s about our personal transformation.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve been talking about growing deep roots. Our ability to grow deep roots will be determined by our source. Where do we put our trust, find our hope and seek our satisfaction?
If I put my trust in the world and other people, I will be disappointed at some time. We are flawed human beings with a skewed sense of satisfaction. We will eventually let each other down. We can be trusted only so far.
If I find my hope in the world and other people, but ultimately know I can’t always trust them completely, my hope will be in question. My hope will turn into good wishes that may or may not come true. I may even begin to believe that it’s nice to think about such things, but they will never really happen.
And, if I look out to the world and other people for my satisfaction, my roots will grow out, not down. I will be looking for what I can get from the world. My roots will remain shallow seeking what is temporary even if I believe God is the one bringing the good.
Because what happens when my situation, circumstances and relationships don’t change? Where’s the good God is supposed to bring?
I may begin to ask, “Does this mean I don’t really love God? Are my circumstances a reflection of my love for God? His love for me?”
But, on the other hand, when I ask God to work in me, transformation begins to take place. I ask Him to work in my heart so I can respond appropriately to my circumstances, so I can love those in my life who are difficult even if they never change. If I ask Him to help me be a blessing to others, not be the one who’s being difficult; this will require my roots to go deep! This will require me to let God work the soil of my hearts.
And where there is work, there is at least some pain.
There have been times when I’ve wanted to send the email, the text, make the phone call and tell the person just how frustrated I was; how hurt and angry. I want to know and control my environment and then when everything is just right, it will be good.
But with God, I can know it already is.
Something to Consider…
It’s easy to say we trust God. It’s easy to say we hope what He says is true. And it’s even easier when things are good to say, “God, you are all I need.”
Take some time to consider in what situations do you worry? In what ways or areas of your life do you question the truth of God’s word, doubting or explaining away what He has said? What causes you to become angry and want what you don’t have?
As you are honest with God, let Him work the soil of your heart. As you do, He will bring good according to His purpose. His transformational work will begin.