“We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
Surely this is a misuse of the passage. High oil/gas prices, a tanking stock market, crippling inflation, rising interest rates, crazy home values, etc., etc., blah, blah, blah, yada, yada, yada. And this all is for good, my good?
Armed with this passage, each of us is a dispenser of divine comfort. How many times haven't we used it to comfort someone in time of need? When someone else is facing hardship, be it a death or serious illness, we're right there with "in all things God works for the good of those who love him. God will use this for your good too." How confident we are, how comforting, how soothing. How easily and how often these words come from our lips when someone else is in need.
It's an entirely different matter when we need to apply these words to ourselves, however. The car breaks down just when we need it most and can't afford to get it fixed. We get sick at the least opportune times. Loved ones have died when they weren't supposed to. People, even those close to us, treat us roughly. Our money runs out too soon. Our dreams don't turn out. We get passed over for jobs and recognition. Etc., etc., blah, blah, blah, yada, yada, yada.
The key phrase is “called according to his purpose.” If you are one of God’s people (and this isn’t “iffy,” you can know for sure!), things will work out. They must work out for your spiritual and eternal good. Through all the ups and downs of life, God is constantly getting your attention, drawing you closer to him. It’s for our good – always – even if we can’t see it at the time.
Focus on what you know, what you can see, by faith: the cross, the empty tomb, an open heaven, a God who always, always, always keeps his promises.
Pastor Stephen Luchterhand