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What is your response to unforeseen events? Challenging circumstances can be especially disconcerting. When situations don’t go as planned, you can become disappointed and even angry. When you encounter circumstances beyond your control, it’s helpful to reevaluate your response and remember that God is in control. The Apostle Paul reveals God’s perspective in the following verse,

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. — Romans 8:28

We see that the hand of God is at the helm steering us to a safe haven as we navigate the storms of life. Paul declared this was a fact that he knew. There are certain truths that we know intuitively, we don’t need anyone to tell us ice cream tastes good – we know it. Do you know that God is causing all things to work together in your life?

The comforting truth of this verse teaches us that God is sovereign. The phrase, all things, includes your present troubles, your relational struggles, and your heavy heart. God is over all things and is in control all things. This is not fatalism or determinism. This is an all-wise, all-loving, and all-powerful God who is in complete control of all things! As we seek to understand this verse, we must understand that Paul was not saying:

  • God causes all things, period. Scripture does not teach that God is the author of sin.
  • Everything will work out in this present situation if you have enough faith.
  • You will know why God allowed this disappointment to occur.

Paul was teaching us everything will work together for our ultimate good. This verse does not say each individual thing is good, but that God works them together for good. We derive our English word “synergy” from the words, work together. When I was a young boy I remember my grandmother making a birthday cake. As I looked at the various ingredients: flour, sugar, baking powder, a raw egg, and vanilla, I wondered, “How is this going to become a delicious cake?” She caused them to work together to make a delicious cake.

You may see heartache and disappointment, but this world is not all of reality. God is using the present, even the difficult times, to conform us to the image of his Son. If we define the good as only what we can see in this life, then we have missed the teaching of this verse. Earlier is this chapter Paul wrote,

For I consider that our present sufferings are not even worthy to be compared to the glory that will be revealed to us. — Romans 8:18

Paul was not teaching that the goal of our lives is to achieve comfort. Do not wish for events to happen as you desire, but wish for events to happen as they do and you will find rest in God’s sovereign plan.

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