What do you think when you read this bible passage? Do you believe it? Has it proved true in your life?
"And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose."
I have to be honest. I am glad the year of 2015 is in the rear view mirror. It has been a really hard year for me emotionally and spiritually with a lot of wrestling with the Lord. Can I just be real and say again...many days where I wrestled with the Lord?
This verse was on my chalkboard in my kitchen for most of this year. I didn't change my verse very often, because I wanted this particular verse to be before my eyes at all times.
It says ALL THINGS, friends! All things work together for good. Do you believe that today? This past year has been a struggle to really come to grips that the good, the bad and the ugly do exactly that in our lives. They all work together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.
I think it is an American idea, or more likely a fleshly one, that anything which is good will be a blessing in our lives. A well paying job, a lottery win, obedient kids, a great marriage, friends who love us with no sin in sight. We never would think that our "good" might come disguised as the loss of a job, disobedient children, infidelity in a marriage, a family tragedy or a sinful betrayal.
I read a blog this year where the woman blogger said something to the effect of, "My kids will be pure until marriage." I appreciate her attempt to raise her kids in a biblical way which I am doing as well, but how does she know they will? What if God allows her daughter to be raped on campus during her first year of college? Would she think that was for her daughter's good? I do know that God does allow trials in our life to make us more like Him, and He can redeem anything! Maybe He would allow it so she could start a non-profit organization to biblically counsel other women who had been raped as well.
Carol Kent is a well known Christian author who came to our church two years ago, I believe. Her son was convicted of murder and will be in prison for life. However, he leads bible studies behind bars. Is it possible that God allowed such a sinful, family tragedy for His glory to bring the lost to Himself behind those bars? Yes, it can be. It is not what any mother would ever want for her son, but it could be God's plan for the spiritual good of her son as well as for those who are lost within those prison walls.
"Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." James 1:2-4
I read a sign recently on Pinterest which said, "When life gives you more than you can stand, kneel." It is undeniable that when we are faced with various trials, it can be a true test of our faith. I was convicted this year that my faith was too weak if I allowed a wordly situation to shake my faith or my focus on Jesus Christ. It has lead me to a position of a more open armed surrender to whatever God has. I might not like it or understand it. It might hurt and be disappointing, but I do know I can FULLY trust God is working ALL THINGS together for my good and for His ultimate glory. It is also exciting too though, because I know He is sanctifying and shaping me more and more into the image of Christ. I sure can't be sad about that!
"In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith-more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire-may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ." 1 Peter 1:6-7