And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Good in All Things
How can the Bible say that God works all things for our good? It’s not that we don’t want the statement to be true. It’s just that it does not seem to be true. That little word “all” makes it hard to believe.
How can God work all things for our good when so much badness piles up? Think of the cancer diagnosis, or the lost job, or the car accident, or the sick friend. Take your pick of any awful scenario that has happened to you or someone you care about. How can it be good? Why does God allow it?
Is it maybe because you don’t love God enough? After all, the verse says that God works all things for the good “of those who love him,” and you can probably think of many times when you have not loved God.
Don’t go down that path. It only leads to uncertainty and despair. Instead, focus on how “those who love God” are further described as people “who have been called according to [God’s] purpose.” What a relief! God’s calling was not of your doing or deserving; it was according to God’s purpose. He loves you, and his plan has always been to work bad things for your good.
He did this in the past when he sent Jesus, who “took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows” (Isaiah 53:4). Jesus knew a thing or two about badness. And yet God worked Jesus’ horrific suffering and death for the greatest good of all: your eternal salvation.
He continues to work all things for your good in the present. Your life is also part of God’s purpose. He is in control and makes sure that everything that happens to you will fit together in a good way. You may not understand the plan, but he does. And in the end, you know that the outcome will be perfect because that is God’s promise.
Lord God, help me to accept your good purpose for me in bad times as well as good. Amen.