March 1 I Tuesday
“And 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
In difficult times, the opening verse of this devotion is one that many Christians draw a great deal of strength and comfort from. The popular notion is not to panic, because God is in control and will ultimately bring about good. While God does work for the good in every situation, it is a promise that comes with a condition.
Though God allows us to go through difficult and desperate times, He is never the orchestrator of tragedy, loss or suffering in our lives. There are basically three sources from which they derive. One source is the work of Satan, who leads us into temptation, and he will try to lure us away from God, but not all temptation is derived from Satan. Most of our sin stems from the corrupt nature of our own hearts, which inevitably leads to trouble. Another source, in some cases may be the evil intent of other individuals to inflict harm upon us, but it still boils down to the condition of the human heart. The third source is common occurrences like accidents or natural causes such as illness or disasters brought on by earthquakes and the like.
In all these things, whether a result of satanic, human or natural causes, God will work for the good, but there is both a human and a divine criterion in which His promise to us is fulfilled. The human criteria is for “those who love Him,” and the divine criteria is for “those who are called according to His purpose.” God will work for the good in every situation, provided that we let Him; and we let Him by loving Him. Intrinsic to our loving God is the submission of our lives to Him, and acknowledgment of His power and sovereignty over all things.
Regardless of the cause, God will always work for the good of those who love Him, but it is not a carte blanche promise in which the “good” God works is to take us out of our troubles in the fastest, easiest way possible. There is the divine element to consider, the condition of being “called according to His purpose.” This prompts the question: what is the “good” that corresponds to God’s purpose for us? The “good” is Jesus Christ, and God’s purpose for us is that we are being conformed to the image of His Son. In our most trying times, God molds us, and the more Christ-like we become, the more secure we are, and the more complete we find ourselves to be in Christ. God has only one thing to give us—Jesus Christ, who is all we need to equip and empower us for any hardship.
Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, I know You are the “good” that will help me in every situation. I ask for a deeper work of Your Spirit in conforming me to Your likeness. Thank You, Lord.