‘…we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.’ (Romans 8:28 NIVUK)
On the one hand Paul’s statement in the scripture quoted above is very encouraging, but sometimes it can be hard to believe. It is a bold, powerful and strong promise that leaves no room for halfway trust. The trouble is I have known, and know of many people who clearly love God and through the way they live their lives demonstrate that have been called by him, and yet experience all manner of trials, setbacks and quite frankly bad things. Some are going through life threatening illnesses, others have lost jobs or loved ones, and many Christians around the world suffer persecution for their faith. How can I know that Paul’s statement ‘in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose’ is true? How can I trust God wholeheartedly when bad things happen to Christians?
The reason is Jesus. Two thousand years ago, God came down into this broken world in human flesh and loved us, taught us, healed us, served us, and we hated him for it. So much so we crucified him. On the darkest day in human history we chose evil and put the Son of God to death. But God was right there on that day. God was working with our malice and our evil for good. Through the horrors of the crucifixion came the most complete expression of God’s love and forgiveness for the humanity he created.
When Peter preached about Jesus only months after his death, he said,
‘…God knew what would happen, and his prearranged plan was carried out when Jesus was betrayed. With the help of lawless Gentiles, you nailed him to a cross and killed him. But God released him from the horrors of death and raised him back to life…’ (Acts 2:23–24 NLT).
If God could bring good out of the horrific death of his dearly beloved Son, then I can be assured he can also bring good out of the bad things I experience. I don’t know how every situation will specifically work for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose, but God does. Knowing that means I don’t have to work all this out for myself. I don’t have to make sure I always win. I don’t have to orchestrate the happy ending I long for. The resurrection of Jesus is my future, is my happy ending, and shows me that I can trust that the one who did not spare his own Son is for me and not against me
Father, even when things look dire, you are there with me, working for my good. Thank you for being a faithful God whom I can trust.
Have a good week trusting God.