Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…
“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)
Paul wrote that verse, inspired by the heart and mind of God.
Paul, the same guy who at one time was known as Saul and killed those who claimed a belief in and followed Christ.
Until his conversion experience, that is. Until that blinding-light experience which hit him on the Damascus Road—where he met God full in the face.
After that moment, and then as a new disciple of Christ, Paul’s life was something a bit more difficult than easy. Scripture accounts paint a journey of travels on behalf of Christ, where he was beaten, imprisoned, stoned, whipped, slandered, starved, and shipwrecked along with numerous other things of various levels of difficulty happening to him.
Not too fair, it would seem, simply for believing in and following Christ. Yet he never wavered in his belief and mission.
He continued to share with everyone he met words of hope, conviction, optimism and encouragement about what Christ had done—not only in his life, but in the lives of others—and what Christ would do for everyone. He was fulfilling God’s purpose for his life in some of the worst places, some of the toughest moments, and in some of the most difficult of circumstances and challenges.
Bearing scars on his back, pangs of hunger in his stomach, a sense of uncertainty about which jail was next, Paul’s heart and life was always full of hope.
Paul was all about Hope.
Paul knew the works at the hand of God, and as a result knew that God was there through it all, always on hand, encouraging him & transforming every condition & circumstance into something for his good and for God’s glory.
Notice in the verse Paul says—“we know.” He didn’t say “we hope” or “we feel” or “maybe.” He said “we know.” Paul knew that God’s loving involvement in our lives for good was unquestionable and an absolute fact.
For you and for me.
God promises to work out wonderful things in our lives. It’s not a promise of perfect happiness, or success in all things as we might think it should be, or want it to be. But it is a promise of eternal purpose, eternal life, of deep satisfaction & fulfillment in the journey of a life that is aligned with God.
And notice one more phrase Paul uses in that verse—“all things.” Not just every now and then, or in some of the moments or days of our lives. But in “all things.”
There is a story about a British protestant pastor by the name of Bernard Gilpin, who under Britain’s rule by Queen Mary was sentenced to die for sharing his faith in Christ. During his time in prison he remembered, claimed and cast all hope on the promises in the Scripture verse in Romans 8:28.
On his way to his execution he fell and broke his leg. He was put back in prison, and while he was there recovering from the injury, the Queen died, and Gilpin was released. You decide.
But here’s what we should take from it, and know, and hold onto in our own experiences with God, and in studying Paul’s experiences, and in looking at the experiences of others like Gilpin—“We know” that “all things” work together for good to those who love God.
No matter what, we know that—in the good, the bad, the joyful, the painful, the disappointing, the winning, or the losing, in whatever—“’all things’ work together for good to those who love God.”
Good as defined by God. Good when delivered by God.
And in the journey along the way, and all the way to the end, we know that God will use all things to turn heartache into strength & sorrow into joy.
Today, tomorrow, every day, and all the way into eternity.
In His Name—Scott
Copyright 2015. Scott L. Whitaker. All rights reserved.