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All Things Work Out For Our Good

W e have all faced trauma, losses, sicknesses, injustices. And then we read Romans 8:28:

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.

Our soulish temptation is usually to gloss over or even ignore that verse. We may think: “all things. . . working for our good” ? How can pain, grief, hurts work for our good? At those times, verse 28 becomes a hard word—one of those “hard sayings”—that we sometimes have to digest by chewing on it for a time before we can swallow it. But digest it—we must! We must ask ourselves: “Do we love God? Have we been called according to his purpose?” If the answer to those questions is “Yes,” then Romans 8:28 applies to you (and me), for we also know that “ All scripture is breathed out by God. . . .” (2 Timothy 3:16-17) That means, all scripture, including verse 28 of Romans , chapter 8 is inspired by God, dictated to human authors who God used to transcribe the verses for us, His people.

I’m reminded of people in the Bible who suffered great pain and hardship. They did not have the complete Bible to guide them as we do. They are canonized in scripture to provide us with a blueprint (from Genesis to Revelation) that in the end, we win.

In Genesis, Jacob had twelve sons and he favored Joseph, the first of two sons by his favorite wife, Rachel. He made Joseph a coat of many colors, which caused the other sons to hate him. In addition, Joseph shared dreams with his brothers in which he was ruling over the entire family. This ill-will resulted in nine of his brothers (with the exception of Reuben, the eldest, and Benjamin, the youngest son by Rachel, Joseph’s mother), selling Joseph to a caravan of merchants headed to Egypt.

The story does not end there—it is just beginning. In Egypt, Joseph was sold to Potiphar, the captain of Pharaoh’s guards. Potiphar ended up making Joseph head of his household regiment. When Potiphar’s wife tried to seduce Joseph, he rebuffed her and ran. In her anger, she falsely accused him of sexual assault which resulted in his imprisonment. In prison, he interprets the dreams of the chief cupbearer and chief baker of Pharaoh who had been imprisoned. He asked them to remember him. The baker was hanged, but the cupbearer was restored to his position. When Pharaoh had a dream and his advisors could not interpret it, the cupbearer remembered Joseph. Joseph interpreted Pharaoh’s dream as seven years of abundance and seven years of famine. Joseph provided Pharaoh with a solution to the famine and was made second in command only to Pharaoh.

During the seven years of famine, Joseph’s brothers were sent to Egypt to purchase food. They did not recognize Joseph but he recognized them. After a series of incidents, precipitated by Joseph, he identifies himself to his brothers and tells them to bring his father and the family. Pharaoh welcomed Joseph’s family and gave them the land of Goshen where they prospered.

What the enemy meant for harm; God turned it around for good. It could not have been easy for Joseph—all those years—betrayed and sold as a slave by his own brothers; falsely accused of rape by Potiphar’s wife and thrown into jail. He then spent many years in jail, forgotten by the cupbearer whose dream he interpreted. But, in the end, not only did it work out for Joseph’s good, but it worked out for the good of his entire family! Joseph noted this in Genesis 50:20, where he said, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done , the saving of many lives.

The story of David in First and Second Samuel is another example of God working a bad situation out for the good. Though he was not perfect, God considered David to be a man after his own heart. So, because of the sins of King Saul, God declared to Samuel, the prophet, that he was giving the kingdom of Israel to David. In rages of jealousy, Saul began to pursue David relentlessly so that he could kill him. After years of trying to eliminate David, Saul is wounded and kill’s himself by falling on his own sword in the midst of a fierce and losing battle to the Philistines. God ultimately rewarded David, after all of those years, with the kingdom of Israel. David suffered greatly at the hands of Saul, but God, in the end, turned it around for his good.

This also happened in the story of Daniel in the book of Daniel. Daniel was serving as an administrator, a high office in the reign of King Darius, the Mede. Other officials, jealous of Daniel, persuaded King Darius to issue an edict that no one was to pray to any god or human being, but Darius for thirty days. Anyone praying to anybody else would be thrown into a den of lions. Those jealous enemies of Daniel set that situation up to get rid of him. They knew that Daniel prayed to God several times each day. However, Daniel continued his daily prayers and his opponents exposed it to the king. Darius liked Daniel, but because of his edict, he had to throw Daniel into the lions’ den. Because Daniel continued to pray to God and would not compromise, God saved him. He was not injured or hurt by the lions. God worked it out for Daniel’s good! But, not only that, King Darius ended up issuing a decree that all the people in his kingdom must fear and reverence Daniel’s God! How awesome is that!

My friends, we must allow God’s grace to sustain us even in the rough and harrowing times. We can rest, assured that the Lord has our back and is completing the work that he has started in us! He sees the big picture (we don’t) and he never forsakes us. He is working “all things” out for our good!

Be blessed.

Scripture Reference:

Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them who are called according to his purpose.

Philippians 1:6 . . . being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Published inInspirational Commentaries, Articles and Stories

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