Scripture Reading: Romans 8:28-30
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
I memorized this verse early in my Christian life. It has brought great comfort to me over the years. However, I have learned through my years of ministry that we must use the verse wisely. I have made the mistake of quoting it too quickly to people who were going through major trials. They were not ready to hear it and it came across as insensitive the way I used it. For this very reason, I have waited until now to use it. For the past couple of weeks in my devotions I have tried to give verses and thoughts about them on how to process this current overwhelming crisis we are facing. We have all been in a state of shock and unbelief.
The time has come for us to look at the good that is coming out of the difficulties we are facing. Romans 8:28 is absolutely true. God does work all things out for our good. God uses trials and other painful experiences in our lives to mold us more and more into the image of Jesus Christ. God’s purpose, to which we have been called, is that we become more like Jesus Christ — “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” (v. 29). God is working all things out for the good of those who have been called according to His purpose, which is to make them more Christ-like. That is the ultimate goal.
How has this crisis making us more Christ-like? I have had much more time to read and to meditate upon the Scriptures. God is using this trial to teach me more about Him. He is taking me deeper in my walk with Him. I have prayed more as well. This crisis has driven many people to seek Christ in deeper ways. We realize how much we need Him and we have time to develop our relationship with Him.
God is using this trial for our good in many other ways. Mary Ann and I try to walk each day through our neighborhood. We have seen members of families spending time together. Dads throwing footballs to their sons. Moms doing chalk drawings on the sidewalks with their children. Families playing together and spending time together. Children seem happier and parents are getting to know their children better. These remind me of the days when I was growing up — riding bicycles, playing games in our front yards, being outside together.
God is using this trial for our good in that we are able to build much needed margins in our lives. He is giving us the opportunity to reset our priorities. He is making us more sensitive to the needs of others.
Let’s not miss the good that God is working out in us through these trying times. Take time today to talk as a family about all the good things that are coming out of the trial we are facing. And let’s be very sensitive to those who are struggling through these times. They need our prayers and our encouragement.
Lord Jesus, thank You for all that You are teaching me through these difficult times. Thank You for the good that You are working out through this trial. It is so comforting to know that You work all things for the good of those who love You and are called according to Your purpose. Don’t let me get so focused on the bad news that I miss the good that is taking place.
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