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Thursday, February 21, 2013

All Things Work for Good

"We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose." Romans 8.28

In today's verse, the words that Paul speaks bring comfort and peace to many of us in our difficulties and hardships ~ they give us hope that no matter what hurts and disappointments come in our lives, everything will eventually work out for our good. The two verses preceding Romans 8:28 talk about prayer. They say that when we don’t know how to pray as we ought to, the Holy Spirit comes to our aid and prays through us. It is through these Holy Spirit-filled prayers that all things work together for good, no matter what they are. Not all things that happen to us are good in and of themselves, but God is good and He can cause them to work toward our good if we trust Him.

Continuing to trust God is the key to victory in painful and seemingly unjust situations. Faith and prayer move the hand of God. If we continue believing, He promises to continue moving in our behalf to work everything out for good.God makes this promise to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. We must love God with all of our hearts, and we must want His will. We must be willing to submit to His plan at all times.

The plan that God has for us eventually changes us into His image. We are destined to be molded into His image. That may sound spiritual, but in reality, it usually hurts. Think of clay being pressed into a mold, wonder how the clay would feel if it had feelings? Being changed into an entirely different shape would be painful. If we take a lump of clay and press it into a mold, there is always too much clay to fit and some pieces must be discarded. I know that there is more of me than would fit into the mold of Jesus Christ, so many of my thoughts, words, and actions need to be discarded just as the clay.

We must go through things that are difficult and learn how to respond to them the way Jesus would. We must not give way to the fearful thoughts and feelings that attack us. We must learn to remain steadfast, knowing that no matter how things appear now, God will work them out for our good and in the process, He will use them to make us better people. God’s purpose in everything that happens is to make us more like Jesus Christ. Jesus was totally obedient, “Although He was a Son, He learned obedience through what He suffered” Hebrews 5:8.

We also learn through what we suffer ~ we learn from God’s Word and life’s experiences. Because of our sinful nature, we tend to fight God at every point, but this only makes the process longer and more painful. We need to learn to surrender quickly and save ourselves a lot of agony. We know, and I’ve learned, that God gets His way in the end, so why prolong the process?

Where the mind goes the man follows. Keep your mind going in the right direction, and your life will catch up with it. A person who has their faith firmly planted in God cannot be defeated. Satan cannot defeat us if we keep believing that God is working for our good, and that we are being continually transformed into His image.

Dear heavenly Father, make me more like Jesus. I don’t like to suffer, and I hate to fail, but through Jesus Christ, I ask You to teach me and enable me to understand that, because of You, everything truly works together for my good. In your name I pray, Amen.

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