“All Things” Work Together for Good

Questioning God

Romans 8:28 ( KJV ) 28And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Often believers think themselves to be at odds with God because of difficult circumstances in their lives. They experience feelings of abandonment and question God’s purpose for their life as they imagine God’s disapproval and adopt an almost superstitious attitude regarding the events of their life. When things are going smoothly it must be because God approves of us, but if times are tough, obviously, God disapproves of us, He is punishing us, or He is trying to teach us something.

As doubt intensifies it begins to have affect in different areas of the believer’s spiritual life. It can damage relationships as we live our lives differently because we sense God’s apparent disapproval. This can produce anger as we struggle under the assumption that God is the author of our suffering. Our prayer life becomes frustrating because the more we ask, even beg, God to change our circumstances the more it seems He has turned a deaf ear. Many believers become trapped in a vicious circle of self-debasement and self-incrimination derived from false notions about Romans 8:28 thinking that the “all things” are their circumstances when they are, really, God’s gifts.

God is For Us

Romans 8:31-32 ( KJV ) 31What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? 32He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

What many of us miss in this passage is the true regard, even genuine love, which God has for us. He is not some distant deity, looking down from above, who delights in frustrating us, or is indifferent to our struggles. This regard and love, stems from many sources but, in the context, it is something we share because God, the Father, identifies us with His Son.

This is a marvelous truth that many of us miss. This truth is an element of doctrine in which some of us remain shallow, either because we have not been taught, or have not applied ourselves to learning. Doctrine is often perceived as dry and tedious without much practical value but, in actuality, it is the exact opposite. Few things can be more exciting than discovering fine points of doctrine and finding that there is great practical benefit in our daily lives.

Ephesians 1:3-6 ( KJV ) 3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: 4According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: 5Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

When we believe the Gospel of Grace, trusting in Christ and His Cross work for us, there are a number of things that happen to us as believers. One of the things is an operation of God where He identifies us with His Son, our Savior, and from that point on we share Christ’s identity. This is true because the believer is placed into Christ by God, the Holy Spirit, (1 Cor. 12:12-13) and then is sealed by the same Spirit in this new identity (Eph 1:12-14; 4:30). Because we are now “accepted in the beloved” we no longer need fear God’s disapproval, nor do we worry that God will become angry with us. Romans 5:1 (KJV) “1Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ”. God deals with us now on the basis of His love, and His grace, but never in anger.

We Are Complete

Colossians 2:9-13 ( KJV ) “9For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. 10And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: 11In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: 12Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. 13And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;”

Recognizing our new identity in Christ is a liberating event and it produces freedom for the believer as we realize the work that God has done in each of us. To be complete means to “have nothing lacking”. When Romans 8:28 declares “all things work together for good” it isn’t a reference to all circumstances but, rather, to all that God has done for us. It is a statement to the effectiveness of God’s gifts to us, a fact to which we are often ignorant, or have forgotten in troubling times. God has given us many things that work to our good because of our identity as a new creature “in Christ”. All we need to do is to study out the details of our approved status (2 Timothy 2:15).

(1 Corinthians 2:10-12) “But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. {11} For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. {12} Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.

Three Facts

1. God doesn’t need to fix my circumstances because He fixed me. (Ephesians 2:8-10; Colossians 2:10-13)

2. God doesn’t use circumstances to create character in me, He uses the life of His Son. (Galatians 2:20-21; Romans 8:10-11)

3. My circumstances are not a reflection of God’s love and regard for me (Romans 8:37-39)

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