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#226 – God is Working for Our Good (Romans 8:28–30)

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Romans 8:28-30. “We know that for those who love God, all things work together for good for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew, he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.”
I read all three of those verses because often times we just read verse 28. “And we know that for those who know God, all things work together for good for those who are called according to his purpose.” And we think, “Okay. In any circumstance, God is working together for my good.” But we often equate that, the picture of my good, with that which makes me happiest or that which is easiest or that which makes the most sense to me, when we know oftentimes there are things we walk through that don’t make us happy and that are really hard for us, and that don’t make any sense to us.

Everything we face, even suffering, is used by God for our eternal good.

But that’s where this promise is totally tied in verse 28 to what happens in verse 29 and 30, where God tells us what his purpose is for us. “All things work together for god for those who are called according to his purpose.” What is his purpose? His purpose is that we might be conformed to the image of his Son, that we might be conformed to the image of Jesus. More and more every day, and ultimately those whom he’s called he has also justified. Those he’s justified he’s also glorified. Ultimately in heaven we will be glorified, fully conformed into the image of Jesus, and that’s what all things are working together toward. And that is the greatest good, that we might be like Jesus, look like Jesus. That our lives would be conformed to his image.
And so as you walk through your life, I imagine some of you who are listening to this right now are walking through some really difficult things, more challenging things than I can even begin to imagine. And I can imagine that it’s not easy. It’s hard. It’s confusing. It’s not at all what you would have designed for your life. And I just wanna encourage you that, yes, there is a loving God that’s later in Romans 38-39, his love for you is greater, higher than you can imagine. He loves you, and in the details of what you’re walking through, he is working it together for your good, for your good, and your good is greater intimacy with Jesus, greater understanding of his love for you, greater dependence on and trust in him, where he will always prove himself faithful to you. He’s working this together for more conformity to the image of Jesus, which is where your soul’s deepest delight will be found.
So I encourage you, even as I pray and think about certain situations in my own life, your life, God, thank you for this promise. Thank you for this reminder that you are ultimately in control of all things, even the worst things. Even the things that we least understand. That you who are all wise are ultimately in control and that you’re working all these things together for our good, for the good of those who love you, who have been called according to your purpose, that you’re gonna carry out this purpose in our lives. You’re gonna bring us more and more into the image of Jesus, that we’re gonna know and enjoy and delight in you more at the end of this journey when it’s all said and done, in greater ways than we can even fathom right now.
So help us to trust in you. I pray for those who are walking through hard times especially right now, that you would help them to trust in you. Help my brothers and sisters to trust in your promise here in Romans 8:28-30. Help me when I walk through certain things that I can’t even imagine right now in the future. God, help me to cling to Romans 8:28-30, and we pray that you would indeed fulfill your promise to work all these things together for our good and bring us to glory with you. We long for that day. We long for the ultimate fulfillment of this promise. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and president of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, and Counter Culture.
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