And we know that in ALL THINGS
God works for the good of those
According to his purpose.
In this verse, God promises to work for our good. He does things for our good and his glory. This can be a verse of great comfort. It is also a verse that causes confusion.
Pain and Hope
Years ago as a twenty-something year old, God taught me a truth in this verse. He has repeated time and time again. Let me set the stage for you. I don’t remember what exactly why I was upset and heartbroken. At that point in my life, it was either because of my job or a guy. I remember standing in the shower, washing my hair and the tears were streaming down my face. Whatever caused such angst back then doesn’t even register in my memory now. Yet, the lesson is still as fresh as that day.
In my tears, God reminded me of this verse. He wasn’t upset that I didn’t see the truth of this verse. He wasn’t mad that I didn’t understand that this heartache would work for good. He came to bring comfort. He came to hold my hand in the pain. He came to bring truth into my life. He can do no other thing because HE is the TRUTH.
He spoke these words to me as I stood washing my hair. These words have stuck with me for thirty something years. this story It has become part of who I am and I share it.
He asked me, “Is this an ALL THING?” I was brokenhearted. I was in pain and he dared to ask that. To me, seemed like a stupid thing to ask. I wanted to know how he was going to fix the situation. I wanted my pain to go away. I didn’t want to answer the stupid question. He gently asked it several more times before I answered.
I had to say yes to his question. ALL means all. There were no exceptions written in that verse. It doesn’t mean that there is a “no way” clause for things we don’t like. Things like cancer, job loss, adultery, the suicide of your teenager and much more are included in that verse. We don’t see how God could work for our good in these times. All we see is what is in front of us. Everything in us screams that God cannot or will not work for our good in this situation. But the verse says ALL THINGS!
We can’t see it with our human minds. But God… He doesn’t think like we do. He says, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 5: 8-9 NIV
God is so big and so awesome that we can’t even begin to understand his thoughts. That is a good thing! I wouldn’t want the God who runs the universe to only have my mental capacities. It would be a mess. But when the ALL THINGS happen we want to understand because it hurts.
If you are in an ALL THINGS time, read the next few paragraphs like Jesus is talking to you. While they are my words, they contain the truth of HIS WORD.
Jesus wants you to know…
When the day is a mess, call out to me. When you are stressed, call out to me. When you feel that you are at the end of your rope and can go no further, call out to me. I will rescue you. Sometimes that means I will change the circumstances. But most times it means that I will hold your hand during the storm.
I will be there to quiet your pounding heart. I will be there to give you directions when there seems to be no way. I see the way because I Am the Way. I am your peace in the storm. When there are torrents of rain falling, I will hold your hand. When hail the size of tennis balls is falling, and thunder crashing, I am there. I walk with you through the scary stuff of life. I never leave you. I will never, ever, ever forsake you. That means I will stick to you like glue. My presence is always with you.
When there is a traffic jam and you are late for work, I am there. When the worst thing in your life happens, I am there. Because you are mine, I am able to protect you in ways that you don’t see and can’t even imagine. You have no idea how many times a day I protect you. And even in the times when it seems like I am not protecting you, I am. You don’t see the big picture of your life. I have the best in mind for you. I love you.
Sometimes the most growth comes in the painful times of your life. I do know what is best for you. I only allow pain and hurt in your life for your good and my glory. All things do work for good. But, when you are in the middle of the pain, you don’t see that. I do. That is why I allow the pain and suffering in your life. I see the end. I see the beauty that comes from the ashes. I see and understand what the pain creates in your life that could not be created any other way. I see the good that comes from the pain and frustrations of life. Please trust me that I know what I am doing. I ask you to walk a life of faith and trust. I know that it is not easy. I know more than you could understand. Remember I walked that life of faith too. Yes, I was fully God but I was also fully man at the same time. I understand the fear and uncertainty that living the life of faith can bring. ALL THINGS do work for good. Trust me.
Things to think about
I don’t want to give you the impression that I have this stuff figured out. Sometimes I get it. And other times, well my reactions are not pretty. You would even wonder if I know Him by the way I react. But, I am his daughter. He lavishes me with love and grace. Do you know this God that offers nothing but Grace when we don’t deserve it? I would love to hear your thoughts.