One of our favorite promises to meditate on during difficult seasons and share with others is the reminder that “for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” Romans 8:28 (ESV). It is truly a great comfort to our souls, but the thing we usually forget is that it’s not a promise that only GOOD things will happen . . . or what we think might be good for us.
Just look at Job. He feared God, loved him wholeheartedly, and yet God allowed such horrible suffering in his life . . . his children died, his livestock and livelihood were utterly destroyed, his body was racked with sores and pain, and his wife even turned on him by suggesting he “curse God and die.” Even his friends rubbed virtual salt in his wounds, by sharing foolish platitudes and refusing to understand his heart.
And it was all for the sake of proving something to Satan.
Was that a good thing for Job? No, of course not! But here’s where this verse comes in . . .
God sovereignly worked THROUGH those tragedies to produce GOOD in Job’s life.
He grew to know God better. He grew to have a stronger faith. He even received back double of all that he had lost — including his children!!
But he didn’t know the end of the story when he placed his trust in God. He didn’t know what the final outcome would be, or why these things had happened to him in the first place, when he chose to bow in humble submission before his Maker. He simply chose to trust that God was in control, that His purposes were being accomplished, and that His ways were utterly perfect. Job acknowledged this humbly before God: “I know that You can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted” Job 42:2 (ESV).
You see, true faith is not the absence of suffering, it is trusting God THROUGH the suffering. Believing that God is greater than any circumstances. That what people mean to harm us, God can turn around and use to accomplish something good.
For those who love God, He promises good through every circumstance.
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