What a blessed confession. Bold, to be sure, but most blessed.
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose,” Rom. 8:28.
Do you know this? Are you one of them who loves God?
This is the knowledge of peace.
All things work together for good! What is good? God is the only good. In His goodness to us, He has willed our salvation. In the context here, Paul deals with the reality of that salvation. “Ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father,” Rom 8:15. This salvation includes the redemption of our body, verse 23. Through our salvation, God is glorified as God.
And that is good.
That goodness however is not complete as yet. We are yet in the world of sin and death. We do not always live out of that salvation with the fervor and zeal that we should. Our faith is often weak, we doubt, we are attracted to the wrong things, we succumb to temptations. Sins still stain our conscience. We know guilt and we fear judgment.
We can understand that there must be a working for that good. Constantly we must be brought to repentance of sin. Daily we must get our thinking straight. Rather than becoming too attracted to this world and its treasures and pleasures, we must be directed to the kingdom of heaven and its righteousness. Instead of enjoying the pleasures of sin for a season, we must count it greater joy to suffer affliction with God’s people. We must look at the rich fool who boasted of his luxury and ease but lost his own soul, and tremble lest we be foolish. The kingdom of our Lord must be before our eyes constantly.
Here we are assured that all things work for that great end, for good!
ALL THINGS WORK FOR GOOD
The inspired Paul beholds his life as a living organism. Look at a flower. The blossom is the attractive part of the plant. Yet, there could never be such a blossom without roots, stems, leaves, photosynthesis, nutrition, and all the rest. So it is with us: there cannot be the attractive expression of a living faith without all the experiences of life. Everything in our lives contributes to our salvation. Since that salvation is active in the expression of a living faith, God is glorified through such activity.
All things work together for that.
Are you healthy so that you can arise in the morning and work? Are you diseased, hospitalized, and limited in your activity?
Do you have your husband or wife and are now enjoying the riches of covenant home life with your children? Are you a widow or widower, entrusted with the care of the family alone? Do you know loneliness?
Are you young and full of the zest of life; or have you perhaps lived a full life and know the frailties of old age?
Are you in command of your physical faculties,—that is, can you see, can you hear, can you eat with relish, are you still alive and in contact with the earth and its fulness? Or are you blind, deaf, lame, and in some measure shut out of the earth?
Maybe you have a brilliant mind, can still read, grasp thoughts, meditate upon the promises of God; others may have lost their ability to reason, to recollect, to meditate.
Are you full of life or near to death?
“All things” covers a great deal.
Thank God, all who love God and who know they are called according to His purpose can say in truth, all things work together for good.
WE KNOW THIS
You notice the apostle is very sure of himself. “And we know!”
How do we know this?
First, on the basis of God’s revelation. God tells us that this is true. The blessed truth of creation, providence, redemption, salvation, and the hope of glory are all wrapped up in this, God is working for our good! The God who reached into hell with His precious Son, surely will work all things by His almighty providence so that we may enjoy that salvation.
Secondly, we know this on the basis of experience. Look at your life, your past, Doesn’t it all testify to this truth that every experience, whether to your liking or burdensome, contributed to your spiritual good? The greatest moments of testing in your life were so blessed by God that they made you more spiritual, more concerned about living to God’s glory.
That’s good, the highest good.
Finally, we know this on the basis of God’s promises. Not only may we look back and believe this, we may also look ahead. The blessedness of such a passage is that these words were placed upon the pages of Holy Writ as a declaration of faith for the future. We know that all things work together for good, now, as they have in the past, and will continue to work in the future, for good. God’s Word never fails. It also applies to our future.
Do you know this, dear reader?
Let’s say, “We know it!”