Working for the Good
Romans 8:28 “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”
Each week in our community some are celebrating and others grieving, some experiencing fresh confidence and security, while others struggle with uncertainty and anxiety.
These past weeks have brought fresh reminders of this reality as members of our community have welcomed newborns and celebrated work opportunities, while others have experienced the uncertainty of moving and potential job transitions, as well as the difficulty of unwelcome health diagnoses and questions. We are a community where rejoicing and mourning both take place week to week, and, as the church, we are called to rejoice and mourn alongside our brothers and sisters. I often marvel at the opportunity we all have to play a part in God’s consolation of others; what a tremendous honor!
The verse above from Paul’s letter to the church in Rome was among the first in Scripture that I memorized as a child. It has stuck with me over the years. In this easily misunderstood verse Paul is not inviting us to deny the realities of suffering or difficulty; to name as “good” what is not good. Rather, as the context of Romans 8 makes clear he defines the “good” of those who love God as their growth in the likeness of Christ. The good toward which all things are working is the formation of Jesus’ life in his disciples and their revealing as "sons of God". Through His Holy Spirit, God is faithful to work toward this good end in every situation for the believer.
The promise of this passage is that whatever we encounter, situations of rejoicing or mourning, the reality of celebration or suffering, we can have confidence that God is always faithfully at work. Specifically, faithful to be working in the midst of these situations to form Christ in us, to make us more like Jesus, the one who perfectly embodies the good, true and beautiful life we were made for. As believers in Christ, whatever we face, we can be confident that God’s good work in us is furthered by His Spirit.
This week my prayer is that in whatever circumstances you encounter you would have eyes and ears to perceive God working toward His good ends in your life, and the courage and strength to participate in that work, so that you would flourish and Christ would be glorified.
With you, in Christ and under construction,