“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” – Romans 8:28
God’s sovereignty is good news, because only an all-powerful God can take the darkest of situations, and cause them to burst with light. God’s sovereignty is good news because only the strength of a sovereign God could hold you through the most difficult circumstances. God’s sovereignty is what brings us peace, joy, and perseverance. God is sovereign, and we should all rejoice.
This text is obviously exclusive only to Christians. The essence of being a Christian is being called by God to salvation, and now loving God with your life. All things work together for the good of God’s regenerate children.
What does ‘all things’ mean? Well, quite literally it means everything. It means sickness, health, poverty, or prosperity. It means death, life, highs, or lows. It means every common cold you encounter. It means every terminal illness. It means the seasons of perfect health, where you run and do not grow weary. God in His perfect providence is weaving all of these things for our good, and He never makes a mistake. On the mountain top, or in the valley neither is meaningless. God does everything with a purpose, nothing is without a reason, and that reason is our good.
What does ‘our good’ mean? First, let me tell you what it does not mean. It does not mean everything is working together for our earthly comfort. It does not mean that God is weaving everything together so that this life could be easier, more comfortable. This text applied to every martyred saint. This text applies to every Chinese Christian imprisoned in this moment. So, we can conclude that all things are not working together so that this life can be a walk in the park.
Let me quickly give you 2 things ‘our good’ means:
- Conformity to Christ: What we need, more than anything, is Christ-likeness. The purpose behind everything God does for His children, is to make them more like Jesus. Every trial is to make you more like Jesus. Every celebration is to make you more like Christ.
- Draw us close: In highs, and lows, the purpose behind them all is that we would draw near to God. Every ounce of suffering is to make you more like Christ, and cause you to be utterly dependent upon God. How can we be like our suffering Lord, without any suffering in this life?
“What you meant for evil, God meant for good,” said Joseph in Genesis. “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord,” said Job in the midst of his trials. Joseph and Job are perfect examples of what we are talking about here today. Both had highs that most of us will never see. But also lows that would cause most of us to break completely. Here is the question, how did they persevere in faith through all of these things?
Because they knew, that the Sovereign God of the universe, was working all things out for their good.
Lord, give us this trust in your Sovereign hand. Amen.