“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
One has to wonder whether God really does make all things work out for our good? The sovereignty of God has always been an area of vagueness generally amongst the body of Christ vaguely. If a single Christian mother of three children loses her job and becomes unable to provide for her family, how does that work out for her good? Bad things can happen to good people, but does it always lead to a happy ending?
A little less than a year ago, I lost a gig holding up a top website that provided a stable amount of income for my family. As a bi-vocational church staff who supplements the income I cannot earn with side projects, that was tough.
In all that, all I held on to was the promise God gives all of us in Romans 8:28 thinking that God would give me a job back right away. It wasn’t after I lost a major chunk of my savings, passed about 30 resumes and failed various times with various other ventures and projects until I landed as stint at Christian Today, gaining a column as a contributor inspiring millions of readers on the topics of faith, leadership and family.
Today I can say that I not only have a wonderful job inspiring people online with topics on faith, but one that aligns with the ministry I do locally in our congregation. I didn’t just get another sideline. I was centred on the purpose God had for me to exhort to believers both online and offline.
And that’s a great theme we leave out when reading Romans 8:28. We think that making things “work for our good” is all about getting us more money, better perks, a new car or a new house, but God working for our good really points more to purpose than provision. Not that God doesn’t provide, but what’s more important to Him is what you’re doing, not what you’re getting.
We think about the good and often it’s always about my good, my needs, my income, my blessing. But what about the good you can do to other’s people’s lives or the good God wants to do collectively to the body of Christ as a whole? God always works for our good, but if your idea of “our good” is getting what I want when I want it, then that’s not how it works. God calls us first into a purpose and that entails us acknowledging that He is in charge not us.
God always works for our good, but if your idea of “our good” is getting what I want when I want it, then that’s not how it works.
Will God let good things happen after terrible setbacks? Yes He can and yes He will, but I challenge you not to just look for a come back and a return of what was taken from you. Ask God for a new set of lenses, a new purpose, stronger character this time around, more wisdom, a better testimony and a fire to trust Him more.
I’m always inspired by Job’s story- as generic as it may sometimes sound. But I remind myself always of Job 42:10 when troubles come my way: “And the LORD restored the fortunes of Job, when he had prayed for his friends. And the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before.”
And if it’s not enough for you that God is going to bring even more character, blessing and purpose into your life today, think of all the wondrous things you have now been given access to in the life after this. Oh what eternity offers compared to the sufferings in this world. There is always hope in Christ, both in this life and for all eternity. That’s the power of the cross.
When Jesus took to the cross your sins, He took your pain, suffering, hardships, curses and sickness along with it. That doesn’t mean we won’t have tough times because we will, but it does mean that we can be assured that the victory is indeed already won and that all things will work out for our good. We’re not just called into provision. We are called into something more- a glorious purpose that may sometimes be tougher than we’d like it to be, but will always be good, pleasing and perfect.
Patrick Mabilog, patrickmabilog.com