Romansby David Cook
Suffering, groaning, and a sense of our own ignorance surround us. Is there any order to the seeming chaos of life?
Paul answers “Yes” in verse 28. God is at work in all things for our good. However, Paul limits this principle in two ways.
The first limitation is by reference to the identity of those for whom God works: they are described as those who love God and who have been called by God. This is not some universal principle that things just have a way of turning out well. No, God works in all things to turn them to the good of His own people.
Paul limits the principle, secondly, by defining the good for which God works (v. 29). He takes us to eternity past to show that in God’s foreknowledge, before we existed, God knew us as His own. His knowledge initiated the relationship. It is not as though God knew we would choose Him and then fitted in with our choice; rather, to those who were thus known, God gave a destiny that they should be like Jesus (v. 29). Becoming like Jesus is the good for which God works. It is not our health, comfort and wealth, but our godliness which He promises to achieve. In other words, God’s purpose is to build a family like Jesus. Jesus is the firstborn, the one in unique relationship with the Father, and He is also one of us because He is the firstborn brother.
Is our conformity to the image of our elder brother guaranteed? How do we know the glory referred to in 8:17, 18, and 21 will be ours? Paul says in verse 30 that it is as sure as the eternal purposes of God; for just as God has predestined us, called us, and justified us, so He will glorify us. Paul places glorification, a future experience, in the past tense to underline its certainty. As God has completed the first three, so will He complete the last, our glorification.
These are such comforting truths. We are spiritual rulers; there is nothing we will meet today that we do not reign over. Nothing can come our way that is not ultimately good for the health of our soul. God will be at work in everything we meet today so that it is for our good, making us like Jesus. This is most comforting news for us, and most frustrating for our enemies.
Do you trust that the sovereign God is at work in your life?
How have you looked for His invisible hand in all things?