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.Romans 8:28
Kristine Lee shares some thoughts on this verse…
In 1905 an 11-year-old Frank Epperson was mixing powdered soda and water to make soda pop. Frank accidentally left the mixing bucket outside. During the night the mixture froze solid, with the wooden stirring stick standing straight up. But the frozen pop tasted great!
This was the invention of popsicles. What seemed like a bad episode turned out to be great.
As Christians, we know God is behind this turnaround of events. He specialises in it. We see this happening time and again in the Bible.
Daniel was thrown into the lions’ den. But when God kept him untouched from the ordeal, King Darius decreed that all people on earth should tremble and fear before the God of Daniel. Paul was bitten by a poisonous snake on Malta. But when it did not hurt him, the people of Malta believed his God.
The greatest example would be Jesus’s crucifixion. Flogged, rejected, torn apart, spit upon, and eventually, dead — this is hardly a picture of victory. But it was the greatest victory ever won. Because of the trials He withstood, we are now forgiven of our sins when we believe. We have victory over sin and death and eternal fellowship with the Trinity!
Closer to our times, we see throughout church history that the fastest growth in church is when there was persecution. This is still true today. Iraq has the fastest growing church. Afghanistan is not far behind.
What is extraordinarily faith building for me in the verse is the word ‘all’. The promise is that God turns all things — not just some, not a few, but all things around for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. There is no trial or bad event that He is not turning around for the good for me!
The second part of the verse says that this is done according to His purpose. Nothing thwarts God’s purpose. Absolutely nothing. Our sovereign God always has the final say, and may I say, laugh. I think of the devil as a pitiful defeated enemy, thinking that he is winning when in fact God will use whatever he has done for His good purposes.
I know that there has been much suffering in COVID. And I don’t want to minimise the pain. Neither does God. But in His sovereignty, some good has come out of it. There has been mandatory rest, time for families to spend together and time to reflect on life. Many who are previously just caught up in the fast hum drum of life are now asking questions about eternity. Many have come to faith in Jesus. It has been reported that more Australians are praying.
So what trials are you facing today? Take heart that however many you are facing, God is turning them all for your good. His purpose for your life cannot be thwarted. Hold fast to this promise.