Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
What a thought that in Christ “all things work together for good.” We understand that suffering is part and parcel of the Believer’s existence. The Bible declares in I Peter 4:12 “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you as though some strange thing happened unto you:”
Can you imagine the difficulties of our lives working to our benefit? How can being stricken with a terminal illness, loss of employment, domestic abuse or the incarceration of a relative work out for our good?
How can heartbreak from a relationship, loss of a loved one, a traffic accident or being the subject of a lawsuit enhance us and our households? Could being robbed, raped, looked over or lied on ever be evaluated as positive?
A critical portion of this text is Paul’s use of the words “all” and “together.” The tribulations of rejection, failure and disappointment are often viewed by us in isolation. Often Satan successfully gets us to ignore the blessings of God that are so plentiful and generously given.
For example, say we contract the flu. We focus intently on the fact that we contracted the flu and had to stay home that we forget all of the blessings associated with this situation. We forget how God gave us the job that allowed us “Sick Leave” so that we would have time off to recover, keep our job and still get paid!
We forget how through the sickness that distant sibling or relative with whom we had a falling out had their heart pricked by God, picked up the phone and called us. We forget how the church body that we are a part of joined in prayer on our behalf and sent a basket to lift our spirits.
We glance over the fact that once we are restored to health, we have a testimony of victory to share with others who are physically ailing of how God is able to heal and deliver.
In a vacuum, being raped, robbed or lied on are terrible experiences. Yet, when Paul said “all things work TOGETHER”, he is describing the intermingling of tears and triumphs, setbacks and set-ups, rejections and renewals, firings and freeings, hurts and healings, disappointments and deliverances, sicknesses and smiles, valleys and victories. He is saying with all of this, through comprehensive reflection, Believers should see that we are still blessed of God.
Andrae P. Crismon, Sr. is the pastor of Higher Ground Worship Center, Church of God in Christ, in Murfreesboro and the author of “Lord, Keep My Mind Clean: A 31-Day Devotional & Accountability Journal.” He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.