We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
How do we know that God works “for the good” of Christians “in all things”? Wouldn’t “all things” include not only the good and beautiful but also the evil and ugly things in today’s world? How can disasters, sicknesses and sorrows, along with the evils done to Christians, plus the sins done by Christians, be turned around to bring a beneficial outcome?
God cannot mean that “all things” are pleasing to him or according to his will. The holy God of the Bible is never the source of evil, nor is evil his will. He said plainly, “Be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy.” (Leviticus 19:2)
Yet, holy God endured the sin of Adam and Eve, and has permitted sinful mankind to think, say and do evil throughout history. Judgment Day is coming, but clearly, God does not force anyone to trust in him and love him. Rather, he graciously offers forgiveness. Sinners are “called” to repentance and faith in Jesus, the Savior. The Holy Spirit creates that saving faith by the good news of the Gospel. The consequences of sin, which we may suffer, become opportunities for those called “according to his purpose” to mature in faith. At times, God does permit, even sends, circumstances that discipline his children. (Hebrews 12:1-13)
Beyond that, the apostle Paul concludes: “How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!” (Romans 11:33) God declared through the prophet Isaiah, “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 55:8-9)
Ultimately, then, we know that our gracious Lord makes all things serve a beneficial purpose, only because we know him and his promises. Paul asks: “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:32)
God gives you the best, eternal life through Jesus, so he will give you the rest of whatever you need to make it through this life. Though often not an easy road, God makes “all things” somehow beneficial. You know that because you know him!
Loving Lord, even when it hurts I know that you will make it beneficial. Amen.
The devotions on Thursdays and Fridays in March reflect on Truths for Today.
Source: WELS Devotions