Confidence in Christ (Romans 8:28)
Romans 8:28, And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
This passage should be a great encouragement to God’s children when they must endure suffering in this life. God will bring good out of all difficulties, troubles, persecution, and suffering. In all things, God works out His purpose. And His purpose is that we might “be conformed to the image of his Son,” (Romans 8:29). Through faith, we can see that suffering in human life can become God’s gift. We see that our suffering does not disrupt God’s plan but can be used to fulfill God’s plan. God uses the suffering of human life like a tool to chisel us into the person He wants us to be. God is very compassionate and caring toward us, but He is also concerned about us as well. God is more interested in our character than in our comfort. The highest good is that we will better relate to and become more like Jesus Christ.
One of the most beneficial things that you can learn concerning your Christian life is how to handle the trials that inevitably will come your way. Let's face it. No one likes trials. Nobody wants to go through difficult circumstances. We don't particularly like the idea that suffering or persecution might be God's will for us. However, God is far more concerned with our character than with our circumstances. Circumstances are one of His tools to shape our character. He would like us to learn our lessons through studying the Word, but He also lets us learn them by putting us into situations where we have to apply what the Word says.
If we aren't careful, we will mistake our fleshly desires for ease and comfort for God's leading. It isn't surprising that people buy into wrong doctrines—those teaching that, if we'll just have enough faith, we'll have all the money we want, all the healing we want, everything. Sure, we really want those things to be true, but God doesn't fit neatly into our box, and often His use of providential circumstances means difficult times for us.
However, there is good news. God is sovereign, He is able to turn the difficult times around and cause them to work for our good. I am not saying that God causes bad things to happen to His people. What I am saying is that, because He is sovereign, He can use anything that happens to us to accomplish His will. And when we grumble and complain about our circumstances, in effect, we are accusing God of mishandling our life.
Because God is sovereign, He is able to accomplish His purpose through whatever life throws at us. He causes all things to work toward His ultimate purpose. What an incredible principle! Perhaps as you look back over your past, there are places where you stumbled over the circumstance’s life brought.
Circumstance after circumstance Joseph found life sending him where he did not want to go. His jealous brothers sold him as a slave. The vindictive wife of Potiphar had him thrown in prison on false charges. The man whom Joseph helped in prison forgot about him once he was set free. If most of us were faced with similar circumstances, we would become bitter and angry. Those who become sour with life simply do not understand or trust God's sovereignty.
Again, and again in Genesis 45, when his brothers are grieving, Joseph basically says to them, "You didn't do this; God did this." In Genesis 50:20, he gives further clarity. He responds, But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive. In his responses when questioned by his brothers about what had happened to him, Joseph teaches us to trust God with His providential circumstances in our lives. Joseph trusted God's purpose of those circumstances, and saw them as evidence of His will.
Question to Consider:
What are the most difficult trials that you have been through?
How might God be working them for your ultimate good?
Are there any situations from your past that make you bitter toward someone or some event?
Point to Ponder:
There is no comfort in the view that God is not sovereign over the shocking circumstances that happen to us.
There is great comfort in knowing that the sovereign God is working all things together for good for His people.
Although you may not be where you need to be in your Christian walk, you can trust the Lord is working for the good!
PRAYER: Father in Heaven I know You love me and it amazes me that You made plans for me before the foundations of the world. Thank You Father for caring for me. I know the thoughts and plans You have for me are for Your glory and for my good. Whatever I may face today, I can expect that You are working for good in all of it. So, I’m going to step forward in faith, trusting You in all things and seeking to cooperate fully with Your plans for me. I know I can’t imagine all the good You have planned for my life, but I also know it’s all coming in Jesus’ name, so I can say, amen!
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship.