Wow.. My first blog post. It seems unreal, as this has been in the making for quite some time now. I have felt the Lord calling me to write–to share my thoughts with others–but I’m not exactly what I would call a “writer.” I’m just someone who wants to share her thoughts with others who may benefit from them. So…with a nice, hot white chocolate mocha in my system and a whole lot of Jesus in my heart…here it goes.
The verse that I feel like the Lord has used to draw me closer to Him in the past few years (since I became a Christian, really) is Romans 8:28. In the New International Version, this verse says,
“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.”
I’d like to take a moment to dissect this verse, if you will, with some help from one of my favorite pastors of all time.
- “And we know”- According to the late J. Vernon McGee, this phrase “refers to that which is the common knowledge of the Christian, that is, that which the Holy Spirit makes real…this is the knowledge that only the Spirit of God can make real to our hearts.”
- “that in all things“- These could be two of the most important words of the entire verse. Keep these in your mind.
- “God works for the good of those who love Him”- J. Vernon McGee says, This “is causative and means that God is working in all things–there are no accidents.”
- “who have been called according to His purpose.”-This phrase is speaking of Christians.
So now that we have broken down the phrases, I would like to apply them to my life, and hopefully, help you to see how they apply to yours.
As a young girl (an unsaved young girl), I always associated this verse with good things that happened to me or that I saw happening in the lives of others. Some examples are someone being employed in a new job, success in school and on assignments, the birth of a child, good health, new relationships/friendships, marriage, and people who are faithful and loyal to us no matter what. It wasn’t until I was much older, had learned a few life lessons, and became a Christian (instead of just playing the role) that I realized and recognized the two words that I mentioned that you should keep in mind earlier… all things. Actually, it wasn’t until about two years ago that this verse became near and dear to my heart as well as clear in my mind.
Two years ago (a little over two years now) marked the death of my cousin at 44 years of age. A few months later, my grandmother passed. A year later her spouse, my grandfather, passed. In that same year, 2015, several more of my family members passed away: three cousins and an uncle. Two of these cousins were in their 20s and my uncle was in his 30s. To say that my family has experienced tragedy would be an understatement, although I do recognize that we are still blessed beyond measure. There are worse things that could happen, despite the bad that has already happened. But I digress…
I say all this to make the point that it wasn’t until I became a Christian and knew the love of our wonderful Father that I understood the first phrase in this verse: “And we know…” Sometimes, I don’t understand how and why God works the way He does, but I just know that, no matter what happens in my life, God has it under control. That’s it.
I. Just. Know.
But let’s keep going.
What do I know? What am I so sure of? I know that (I am certain that) “in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose.” It hit me that it’s not just the good things that God uses. He uses unemployment, break-ins, failure, death, sickness, severance of relationships, the divorce of parents, those who cheat or are unfaithful, inclement weather that causes destruction, situations where people lie about you or are out to harm you, and many more. It’s hard to accept sometimes, but I have seen this in my own life. I could go on and on, but that’s not what this post is about. Let me tell you about two of my favorite people from the Bible.
Job and David had their share of difficulties throughout life. Just read the book of Job and parts of 1 Samuel. To give you the Reader’s Digest version, Job experienced sickness, friends who didn’t understand his troubles, the loss of his children. David experienced years on the run from someone who was trying to kill him.
BUT all of the things that they went through served a purpose, just like all of the things that I have gone through have served a purpose. And just like all of the things that YOU have gone through, as a child of God, serve a purpose in your life.
Think of Job and David… Their trials have helped so many Christians after them as we have read those verses and seen God’s divine work and His divine protection. Because of their stories, we know that there is a purpose to everything that God has allowed to happen in our lives, both the good and the bad.
So, if you are a child of God struggling with this issue today, I know it may be hard… but understand that there IS a purpose. There is a glorious plan for your life, and God is orchestrating that in His own, unique way. We may not understand it, but we know that God loves us. He sent His son, His only son, for us (John 3:16).
So… hang in there. There’s a purpose. Never doubt that. Dr. R. A. Torrey has called this verse “a soft pillow for a tired heart.” Are you tired today? Do you need rest from your trials and struggles? Rest in this verse, in the promise that God has it all planned out.
Until next time,