The Sovereign Plan of God for our lives

By Tom Johns, Austin, Texas.

“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. This verse could be the most comforting verse a child of God can have. No one is immune to the challenges of life, although we are children of God. But God’s promises are absolute, assuring us that He would make ‘all things work together for good’ as we read here.

Consequences of sin

The whole of humanity suffers the effects of sin, and those are indeed very unpleasant. There is death, illness, hunger, thirst, relational and emotional challenges, and a host of other issues. Job went through trials without knowing that it was orchestrated by God to achieve His supreme purposes. Joseph suffered greatly before he realized the wonderful truth about God as we see in Gen 50:20. “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.” Joseph was able to effectively console his brothers with his knowledge and trust in the sovereignty of God through the subsequent verses.

All things work together for good – to what extent?

It says, ‘all things.’ There is nothing excluded; good or bad or sinful. Bad or sinful things are not to be desired, but they inevitably happen since we live in this fallen world. Romans 8 is considered the ‘mountain range’ experience of a believer and verse 28 is the most majestic peak from where a believer can scout the surroundings with great confidence. God can and is willing to transform ‘all things work together’ for good. This doesn’t mean that all things are good, but it communicates to us God’s sovereign power and His wonderful promises to us.

All things work together for good – to whom?

The verse continues to say that ‘to those who love God and to those who are called according to God’s purposes.’ Do we love God? How do we love an invisible God? The Bible defines love as something very tangible and not merely an emotion. We love God when we –
            Meditate upon God’s word – Ps 18
            Trust in God’s power – Ps 31:23
            Seek communion with God – Ps 63 & Ps 84:2
            Find peace and rest in God – Ps 119:165; Phi 4:6
            Be sensitive to God’s feelings – Ps 69:9
            Love what God loves and hate what God hates – 1 John 5: 1 John 2:15
            Long for the return of the Lord Jesus Christ – 1 Tim 4:18
            Obey God’s commands by which we know the nature of God – John 14:21

All believers do love God to some level. But none does it perfectly and there is always room for improvement. Those who love God have already been called by God. Otherwise, how can we, by nature haters of God, become lovers of God? God did the miraculous work of regeneration in us as we see in John 3:1-8. We, who love God because of this regeneration, are asked to abound in gracious work [2 Cor.8:7] and in love [1 Thess. 3:12]. Since God promised us who love God, to ‘work all things together for good’, let’s be in His service with greater confidence and renewed vigor.




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