How Can This Be for MY Good?
An excerpt from God Works All Things Together for Your Good
Think of the problems, burdens, heartaches, and disappointments of your life. Is any one of them beyond the reach of Romans 8:28? Can there possibly be a trial that isn’t covered by those three wonderful letters: a–l–l?
No, not one. For we know that every last detail of our lives works together for good to those who love the Lord and who are called according to His purpose. That’s God’s guarantee for you and me and for all who love Him and are called according to His purpose. Our own experiences teach us to face life as tough–minded optimists, leaning fully on the promise of Romans 8:28.
Notice the first two words of this verse: “We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God …”
The words “we know” are not necessary to the promise, and the verse makes perfect sense without them. If it simply read, “All things work together for the good of those who love God,” we would never have been the wiser, and it still would have been a great truth. In fact, if the verse were worded like that, the primary subject and verb would be the promise itself: (all) things work!
It Starts With Our Attitude
But the Holy Spirit, who doesn’t waste words in the Bible, began the sentence not with an emphasis on what God is going to do but with an emphasis on what our attitude should be about it. The primary subject is the pronoun “we,” and the primary verb is “know.” Romans 8:28 thus begins with a statement of certitude, underscoring how important it is to God that we claim His promise with total confidence.
We don’t hope, hypothesize, or hallucinate. We don’t postulate, speculate, or fabricate. We don’t toss and turn in anxiety. We simply know. We know God; therefore we know His power, understand something of His providence, and can trust His provision. It’s certain. For sure. Positive. Fail–safe. Inevitable. It’s God’s guarantee, and it can never be otherwise.
This is an attitude we see throughout Scripture. The word “know” occurs 1,098 times from Genesis to Revelation, and we’re instructed to approach life with total trust in the realities of Christ.
- “I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth” (Job 19:25, NIV).
- “I have written these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life” (1 John 5:13).
- “Know that the Lord is God” (Psalm 100:3, NIV).
- “Know, then, that not a word the Lord spoke … will fail, for the Lord has done what He promised” (2 Kings 10:10).
- “Know that the Lord has set apart the faithful for Himself” (Psalm 4:3).
- “Know that Yahweh your God is God, the faithful God who keeps His gracious covenant” (Deuteronomy 7:9).
- “We have come to believe and know that You are the Holy One of God!” (John 6:69).
- “We know that when He appears, we will be like Him” (1 John 3:2).
- “You know that He was revealed so that He might take away sins” (1 John 3:5).
- “You know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ: Though He was rich, for your sake He became poor, so that by His poverty you might become rich” (2 Corinthians 8:9).
- “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32).
- “One thing I do know: I was blind, and now I can see!” (John 9:25).
Tackling Life With Confidence
Faith is the ability to tackle life with confidence, come what may, knowing that the trustworthy promises of God are precisely as real as the transient circumstances around us. Faith is believing that God will do exactly as He has said. Living by faith isn’t a matter of sticking our heads in the sand and hoping for the best. It’s confronting the realities of life from the perspective of God’s immutable, unbreakable, unfailing Word. Those who live by faith don’t have a “hope so” optimism. They live in the society of the certain.
Yes, the Bible does use the word “hope.” But in the Bible, “hope” is not synonymous with “maybe.” Biblical hope refers to sure and certain expectations, which, because they’re still in the future, create in us a sense of anticipation.
…At the outset of every crisis or problem, we have to choose our attitude. Either we’ll collapse in despair and say, “All these things are against me.” Or we’ll decide to view them through the prism of Romans 8:28 and say, “All these things may appear to be against me, but according to God’s Word, all these things will work themselves out for my good in God’s timing and providence.”
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