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MM00079 All things work together for good

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Mentoring Manna:  All things work together for good

© 2003 Pastor Keith Hassell

MM00079

Romans 8:27-28  “Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. 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.”  In this life we will experience many things, some of them good and some of them bad. How can we be confident in the tough and terrible times in our life that our loving Heavenly Father is for us and not against us?

            God is not the author of the temptation and evil in our lives: “every good and perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.”[1] God is the author of good things. This does not mean that everything we experience in this life will be good.  First we are living in a fallen world still affected by sin.  This world’s value system is contrary to God and, as a result, we are sure to experience the consequences and pain of that conflict. The morals, lifestyles, reasoning, and operation of this world’s system will create problems for all who seek to live godly in this life. Jesus said, “In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”[2] 

Second, we are living among evil and wicked people. Their freewill actions can directly affect our lives including things such as murder, incest, rape, theft, gossip, hate, prejudice, and violence. Christians have not been exempted from these experiences. In the Bible and throughout history we see that bad things can and do happen to good and godly people. Yes, even Jesus suffered at the hands of evil and wicked men.[3]

            Third, we experience trials in this life because our “adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”[4]  The thief comes to steal, kill, and to destroy.[5]  The devil is on the prowl.  He preys upon our vulnerabilities and weaknesses.  He is the master of temptation, deception, destruction, and death.  Paul tells us to be prepared to resist and to wage war on this spiritual enemy.[6]

            So, how can bitter and unpleasant things work together for our good?  Consider a baker making a cake.  His ingredients might include flour, raw eggs, sugar, baking powder, salt, butter, milk, shortening, cocoa, and the like.  While a few of these ingredients may be good by themselves, the majority would be repulsive!  However, once all of the ingredients are added, the baker “works them together” into something good!  Everything we experience in this world is not good. However, God is in control of how everything turns out in the end.  God’s ultimate example of this is the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Through a terrible and unjust event, God brought about our salvation.  In times of trouble we can commit our life to God.  Through the work of the Holy Spirit, Jesus will make intercession for us according to the will of God. If we will cling to God, He will use bad experiences to make us stronger and to be more like Jesus. We are assured that all things---even the bad things---will work together for our good because we love God and are called according to His purpose!

           

Application:  Let’s face it.  Life is full of unexpected and bitter experiences.  Many innocent Christian people have felt the pain of abuse, separation, divorce, sickness, disease, persecution, and violence.  Unless we understand what is going on, we can become bitter and lose hope.  But when we understand that, while God is not the author of bad things, He is the author of victory over bad things.  He can use bad things to perfect in us the nature and character of Christ. Maintain your faith that God will always cause YOU to triumph in the end.

 

Prayer:  “Heavenly Father, help me to trust You in the hard times of my life.  Help me to remember that even the bad things can bring about good things in my life when I yield myself to You in the process. Help me to look for the good in the midst of the bad.  Truly You work all things together for good in my life because I love You and am called according to Your purpose. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.”


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[1] James 1:12-17 NKJV

[2] John 16:33 NKJV

[3] 1 Peter 2:21-23

[4] 1 Peter 4:8 NKJV

[5] John 10:10

[6] Ephesians 6:10-18

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