“The other day,” Stan commented one morning, “I was looking at some photos from when we lived in the old town, and there was a picture of a friend that brought back some memories.”
“Photos can do that,” I replied. “Was he a good friend?”
“I wouldn’t call him a ‘good friend’,” Stan said, “but he was one of those people who can have an impact on a person’s faith walk without even meaning to do so.”
“How so?” I asked.
“He went to church,” Stan Replied, ” but there wasn’t a lot of evidence that he was a believer.”
“I’ve seen and I still see lots of those people!” I responded. “But you mentioned your friend had an impact on your faith walk. How could that be if he wasn’t even a believer?”
“Romans 8:28,” Stan responded.
“The ‘all things’ verse?” I asked. “How?”
“I remember clearly one day after church,” Stan replied, “my friend said something about that he thought Romans 8:28 was just some wishful thinking; kind of a cop-out or a fairly tale response for when things don’t go well.”
“Did you ask him to explain that?” I asked.
“I did,” Stan replied,”and that’s when what he said really showed me something.”
“In kind of an arrogant way,” Stan said, “he told me that saying that all things work together for good is simply not true. Not everything is good.”
“So,” I said, “your friend didn’t get the whole thing, the parts about God causing all things to work together for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose?”
“That’s right,” Stan replied. “Seems to me that there are a lot of people who don’t get the two qualifications of loving God and being called by Him. In addition, I think there’s another essential part of this that can have a real impact on a person’s faith walk.”
“The first three words in the verse,” Stan replied. “The part that says, ‘And we know.’ Seems to me that If we don’t know it, we can’t believe it and we can’t live it.”
“To me,” he continued, “this falls under the umbrella of what Jesus said about knowing Him and God the Father.”
“If a person knows Jesus and God the Father,” I said, “that person is apt to know that God does, in fact, cause all things to work together for good to those who love Him and are called. Is that it? Is that the point?”
“That’s what it seems to me,” Stan replied. “If I don’t know God and if I’m not continually seeking to know Him in an ever-deepening personal relationship, it would be easy to not know what God can and will do with everything He brings into my life.”
“To not know,” I said, “versus really knowing and being able to rely on the truth. Seems like that kind of knowing could really free us from being concerned about the things that come at us in this life.”
“Could really free?” Stan asked with a smile. “How about does really free?”
Bible verses to consider:
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love Him, to those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28.
For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. Romans11:29.
And this is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent. John 17:3.
Jesus therefore was saying to those Jews who had believed in Him, “If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:31-32.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for the truth that you do cause all things to work together for good to those who love you, to those who are called according to your purpose. I confess that too often I mouth the words without really believing that “all things” can be and are for the good you want. Please forgive that foolishness. And please help me to know and to live the truth in ways that will manifest the truth to those in the watching world so they, too, will want to love and to be called by you. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: Do you know and believe the truth of Romans 8:28? Do you sometimes find it difficult to see how God could possibly make something good out of what’s happening in your life? If so, what’s that all about? If you sense the need for change in how you view what the apostle Paul wrote, that you need to know the truth, and that you need to love God and to be called according to His purpose, how is that going to happen? Is that what you want? Why or why not?