Romans 8:28 – “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” NASB
I have heard people quote this passage and say, “God will make everything good.” You can see that that is not what that says if you examine it carefully. It does not say that everything is going to be good but that everything will be used (good and bad) to work together for your good. Terrible horrible things happen to good people and good things happen to bad people and the goodness or badness of an event in one’s life does not reflect their piety or lack thereof.
The Promise is – “God will cause all things to WORK TOGETHER for good to those who love Him, those called according to His purpose.” The Promise is not – “All things are or will be good.” I am reminded of Joseph in the Bible when his jealous brothers sold him into slavery, and he ended up in Egypt. He went from managing Potiphar’s house to prison and then ascended to a place of rulership in that land. That was amazing.
Then, his words to his brothers, when they came and bowed before him, were, “You meant it for evil, but God meant it (or took it and worked everything together) for good.” His words were similar to Mordecai to Queen Esther, “Who knows if you have been brought into the Kingdom for such a time as this.”
The events of life, for the believer, may be bad individually, but God takes them and blends those experiences and events with all the other events and experiences to produce the finished product that is GOOD! His Promise is not to take every bad thing in life and make it good but to use it to produce, for you, GOOD! You are the finished product He is interested in not just the individual events or encounters in life.
I have used the illustration many times of baking a chocolate cake from scratch. In that process, you have the baking chocolate (bitter), baking soda, flour, butter, eggs, sugar, milk, etc. Some of those are good and some, if eaten alone, would not be very tasty. The baker takes the individual ingredients and blends them together into a mixture. The eggs are beaten and whipped together into flour, baking soda, sugar, milk, etc.
In life, we often feel we are being BEATEN by events, but that beating or blending is melding every experience into a mix that can produce the finished product. Then, once everything is blended it is poured into a baking pan, placed in the oven, and heated for a specified time. In life, we not only experience the blending which feels like a beating but once we are sufficiently beaten and blended, we are placed in the oven of life and the heat is turned up.
It is here that the complaints of most of us reach a crescendo and some even become angry with God over the plight they are experiencing. But, in baking, once the mix is cooked or heated for a specified time it is taken out of the oven and the wonderfully moist and tasty chocolate cake is produced. The baker then puts on the icing and serves that tasty morsel to the delight of chocolate lovers. In life, when God pulls us out of the oven, he puts the icing on the cake through the Holy Spirit and produces a life that is drawing and appealing to the seekers of Life and Truth. He works the good and the bad in our lives blending them into a mix that produces the finished product.
I have stood before families having to tell them of the loss of a child, a home, or something terrible and I would never tell them “This is good.” I tell them that God has not forgotten or forsaken them and that He takes the bad things of life and blends them with the good causing them to work together for our good.
God is focused on the finished product, not simply the individual experience. A few years ago, I watched a TV show in which a young boy had cancer and he told the doctor he was not afraid to die. The doctor asked if it was because he believed he would go to heaven and the boy said, “No it is because I believe I won’t. If I believe in heaven I’d have to believe in God and then I’d have to believe God gave me cancer.” That is a wrong theology embraced by too many. God did not give him cancer!
His family was struggling with their child facing a health death sentence. They could see nothing good in this nor should they. It would be ludicrous, in my mind to blame God for the disease in light of the Bible’s revelation that Jesus bore in His body the stripes for our healing. The Bible says in James 1:17, that “every good gift and every perfect gift is from above…”
If God is the one putting diseases on people then why would Jesus bear the stripes for healing? Why would He give power over the powers of hell to His followers to heal? Why would He declare in Mark 16, “And these signs shall follow them that believe; In My Name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.”
Jesus was accused of healing through the power of the devil, and He said asked how Satan could cast out Satan. He proclaimed that He was working against the powers of darkness in His acts of healing. Cancer, disease, loss of job, home, family, etc. are not good things, but GOD can and will meld the experiences of life into a mix to produce a finished product. That finished product is GOOD! It is not the individual parts but the finished product that is the focus.
Every experience in life has brought us to the place we are today and made us what we are. If we recognize and believe that God will take ALL THINGS and cause them to work together for our good, we can face the good and the bad with quiet contentment and confidence.
I do not believe nor suggest that we passively accept everything that happens and say, “Well, it’s God’s will.” The devil is the one who wants to destroy you, not God. The devil wants to hurt you, not God. The devil brings a temptation to you, not God. The devil seeks to get you to turn your back on God, not God. Fight the good fight of faith and resist the devil and the Bible says he will have to flee from you. The converse is also true if we do not resist the devil then he will not flee from us.
You are not what you will be. You are more than you once were. You can be more than you are. Cooperate with God and look for what He is doing in your life and rejoice. He has never failed, and He will never fail.
God bless you as you enjoy this wonderful day in Him!