And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28 (NKJV)
I have pondered this verse many times over the last several weeks as I've been studying Romans and have concluded that while it is a comforting and faith giving verse, it is rarely considered within the whole context of scripture. Because of this, the verse is robbed of much of its power.
Do you know to what this verse is referring? It is referring to the "bigness" of God's almighty sovereignty within the context of all of human history. Yes, I love it too when I think of how God works all things - even those things I don't like - in my life for good, because yes, I do love God. However, we must remember that God can take care of so much more than just our personal households, marriages, finances, relationships, health, etc. God has got everything from eternity past to eternity present all under control.
Let's explore together how big this verse really is.
Remember to think big, okay? The apostle Paul wrote the words of this verse after he had been explaining the following in Romans 1-8:
1. The sin of mankind.
2. The wrath of God against sin.
3. Jews and Gentiles are equally sinful.
4. The universal need for a Savior from God's wrath.
5. God's solution to our need - Jesus as a sacrifice.
Now, when you consider the verse of Romans 8:28, what do you see? God knew that mankind would be sinners through their free will even though He hated sin and could not be in the presence of it. God's chosen people, the Jews betrayed Him time and time again, however God used the betrayal of His chosen race of people to give the rest of us (the gentiles) a chance at eternal life. Are you starting to see the bigger picture of God's sovereignty yet? And not only did the Jews' downfall pave the way for us, but we (the gentiles) will be used to ultimately win the Jews back to God...to Jesus. Paul states so in Romans 11:14.
God's plan or solution to save us from His inevitable but righteous judgment for our sins. - His Son Jesus' death on a cross -was an incredible sacrifice on His part that pales in comparison to any mixture of things I could ask God to work in my life for good. What I've written here cannot even begin to explain how vast God's greatness is or explain the workings of all of human history for the good of God's plan. My hope is that it might have expanded a way of thinking so that we all can start realizing how big our God and His sacrifices for us really are.
1) How big is God to you?
2) How can knowing that God is in control of the universe and all created things help you in your faith?
3) Challenge: Read through the book of Romans in one sitting sometime this week. Get lost in its richness. Consider the majesty and power of God. Know His ultimate control.