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 (NKJV)
Why, if we have this promise is life not good? Why do we have heartaches and disappointments? Where is this good that God promises us?
There are two keys to understanding where the good is. The first is do you love God? Any Christian will answer a resounding yes. The truth of the matter is that we often do not love God. We are instructed by Jesus to ‘love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ (Matt 22:37)
If we were to be totally honest with ourselves and with God, we would be willing to admit that there are things in our lives that we do love more than Him. Anything that we are willing to sin to get, is something that we love more than Him. Maybe you want obedient children, so you scream and shout and rant and rave at them. Maybe you want to get married so you will accept anyone who will have you. Maybe you want to be respected so you will lash out at those who do not respect you.
Remember though, that God is not an ATM. We love Him so He makes our lives good. We find some idols lurking in our hearts therefore our lives now go badly. No! It is the goodness of God that leads us to repentance (Rom 2:4) But when are not putting Him first in our lives and ridding ourselves of our idols we are not truly serving Him alone.
Key Number Two
The second key can be found in the very next scripture. Romans 8:29. We forget to read this one.
For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.
For whom He foreknew. That is all of us. He knew each one of us before He knit us together in our mother’s womb. (Psalm 139)
He also predestined. God’s plan is that everyone comes to salvation. We can choose to live in this plan or not. (John 3:16)
To be conformed to the image of His Son. Now, this is the crux of the matter. Conformed to the image of His Son. The absolute best that God could ever do for us, is to make us more Christlike. That is the good that Paul is referring to in verse 28. Everything in our lives is being worked together to make us more Christlike, to conform us to His image.
Putting it Together
Let’s put key one and key two together. When I love God above all my desires, all my wants and all my needs then I fully surrender to His work in my life. I humble myself. I study His Word. (2 Tim 2:15,) I work well to follow His Word. I apply it diligently to my life. I make it my meditation. (Jos 1:8) Then God uses all of my life for my good which is to make me more like His Son, Jesus.
Are you struggling to see the good in your life? Then you need to start asking God to show you. You need to start looking for how your character is being moulded to the image of Christ. You need to start asking God what He is working on you, what changes He is bringing about in you. Then you will see. Your whole perspective will change. You will no longer be disappointed but encouraged by the good work that God is doing in you which He will continue until the day of completion. (Phil 1:6)
Father in heaven, help me to uproot the things in my life that I love more than You. Show me how you are working my life for my good. Show me how you are moulding and changing me to become more like your Son. Please help me to be soft hearted and to yield to your good work in me. In Jesus Name, Amen.