“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” (Romans 8:28).
This body of scripture is often quoted out of context by many in an attempt to console others going through difficult circumstances. “All things work together for good,” you say. Really? Is that a true and accurate statement. No!
We all will go through peaks and valleys. We are all sinners, but there is a distinction. You are either a sinner OR a sinner saved by grace. The latter LOVES God and is CALLED according to His PURPOSE. In that person’s life, all things do work together for good. Stick with me as I break this down…
Spiritual wealth starts with being saved through Christ, who is the embodiment of love. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). God first loved us, even as a sinner, that He sent His Son to pay the price for sin – death. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). The root Greek meaning of this word love is “agape,” which means to have a preference for, wish well to, regard the welfare of. Of all the different meanings of love, this is the highest form of it. It led Christ to die for you so that you may live… forever. A sacrificial love. “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
You became wealthy beyond all measure when you accepted Christ as your Savior. We laid our filthy rags at His feet in exchange to become joint heirs to all He has… and He owns it ALL! But now let’s go back and re-read Romans 8:28 above and this time add to the quote.
“All things work together for good to those who love God…” Love in this context also means “agape” – which means your love for God should also be sacrificial. You should be willing to carry your cross… even until death for Him. The root Greek word for good means, that no matter what peaks and valleys you go through in life, it is useful, beneficial, honorable, upright and well. And yes, it also means pleasant, agreeable, joyful and happy – the feelings we get from the peaks in life.
Roses must be pruned in order for something NEW to come forth. It is never pleasant to be pruned… it hurts! But hold steadfast to that love for God, and something NEW will happen. Something GOOD! But that is still only one part of the equation. Let’s close with part two…
You must also be “called according to His purpose.” Because we are born sinners and even after being saved, we still live inside our sinful bodies, we have this insatiable desire to focus on self. We have in-grown eyeballs… starring at self. We must crucify self and pursue His purpose. Your purpose in life is simple to find. It will always have something to do with His purpose.
Matthew 28:19-20 states, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen.” Note these three simple words – go, baptize and teach. They require discipline and action. Help others find Christ. That is His purpose for all mankind. How you do that is up to you but sitting on your asset is not the answer.
In summary, “all things work together for good” is simply NOT true. Why? Because if that person does not love God and is called according to His purpose, then it very well could be pure evil at work. Satan’s goal to rob, kill and destroy is still in effect. But the “good” shepherd is on His throne…. waiting for you… to take action!