Romans 8:28 (NKJV)
28 And we know that all things work together
for good to those who love God,
to those who are the called
according to His purpose.
Let’s get back to the rest of this wonderful promise!
Now here, most people have many misconceptions. When we think of our good, we think of our benefit, our convenience. But most of us don’t even have a slightest clue on what is good or if it will turn out to be for our good. It’s like when I buy clothing. I usually buy something because it looks nice on display and I think it would look nice on me. I put it on and test it in inside the fitting room and sees that my decision to buy it is correct. When I wear it to an event, that’s when I would unfortunately realize that it is too fitted or too big or have a too deep neckline or the straps are falling off my shoulders or even the fabric is too sheer which is a big disaster. It’s like when I buy heels that make my legs look slimmer and sexier and ended up arguing with the same heels and throwing them out because of the many many blisters it gave my feet all the time I wear them (true story btw).
The truth is we don’t know what is good for us. We are completely ignorant of what will give us the greatest benefit. We desire for a lot of things thinking they will be good for us. We think that we know better when in both sides of reality, only God does as He is omniscient. The only way we can be assured that what we choose will be for our good is only if it is in line with His will. Not something pleasing to the eyes, not something other people said is good, but because it is His will.
Then what if I mistakenly or intentionally go against His will? We, the children of God, the eternally secured in Christ. In these times when we become wayward, He, as omnipotent and sovereign as He is, is still able to change and fix things up, not His will, but all things around it, including us, so that we will realize that we are going the wrong way. He will let us undergo a very very painful learning process, which we can actually avoid, until we surrender and say “Thy will be done” because He knows it will be for our good. In time, when mature in our walk with Him, He will enable us not to live our lives according to our will but according to His.
to those who love God.
Well this promise is for everyone who loves God and entrusted their lives solely unto Him through faith in the salvation and lordship of Christ Jesus. We cannot simply say that we love God and go on with our lives.
The Bible says in Matthew 22:37-38 says, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment.” Loving God demands our everything: our heart, our soul and our mind. He is to be our greatest treasure, cherished and delighted into, desired above everything else. (See the article: A Treasure Found).
This will only be possible once we received Jesus in our lives as our Lord and Savior (here is how). The reason behind it is it is impossible to treat God as your most treasured possession as humans. Humans, because of our sins, cannot come before a Holy God. In ourselves alone, our eyes are veiled and blinded from the beauty of His grace and love in Christ Jesus. We maybe able to see and know God the Father but it will extremely difficult to obey Him and surrender unto Him if we rely only our own. We all are sinful by our innate nature, selfish and foolish beings in rebellion who think highly only of ourselves and want to take control of our own lives and would never relinquish it to anyone else.
But once we repent of our sins and receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we become born again and a new creation. We will have Christ living in us through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Now with Jesus living in us and convicting us through the Holy Spirit, we will be able to really treasure God for who He is whom is above everything else just like Jesus did. We will desire for God and a deeper intimacy for Him. We will be able to keep His commandments because we love Him through us abiding in Christ.
to those who are the called according to His purpose.
Lastly, we, the beloved children of God, are here on earth not just to enjoy the blessings of the abundant life He bestows upon us but we are the called according to His purpose. His purpose is not according to our terms and condition but His terms which is for us to be transformed from glory to glory and become Christ-like. We are to be changed and conformed to the image of Christ. Why is that?
Christ as we all know is God-incarnate, the image of God. He is the greatest manifestation and revelation of God’s love for the world. As John 3:16 says: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” God willingly gave Jesus up for the undeserving world to save us from our sins because of His love. Jesus willingly died as His obedience to the Father. As a result, we who received Him will have eternal life. Jesus is the glory of the grace of God.
When we are transformed to the likeness of Christ, we will be able to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. God’s love will have a physical vessel in this cruel world, us loving other people thorough Christ. Just as Jesus laid down His life for us, in Christ, we are enabled to selflessly and lovingly lay down our lives for all sorts of people all over the world. We can be a poured out wine and broken bread with joy as we grasp God’s purpose for our Christ-likeness reveals His heart: His glorious outrageous love for people and the world.
I pray that whenever we are reminded of this marvelous promise God has for us we will really use it to convict us and direct us on the great truth it contains. May we be able to believe in our hearts that:
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28 (NKJV)