…And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. – Rom. 8:28 KJV
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The writing of the biblical book of Romans is ascribed to the Apostle Paul and it has Righteousness as its main theme. Paul in that letter, supposedly written to the Romans but which has become equally relevant to today’s Christians emphasises the fact that, just as no one can lay claim to righteousness by personal acts, man can still attain the state of righteousness through the acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. This message rings through the entire letter and the 8th chapter is not any different except that it provides additional information for the Christian to know that, although there may still be some struggles with avoiding sinful acts and/or manifesting signs of lack, pain, distress and similar situations that have over time being associated with punishment for sin and transgressions, such conclusions did not apply to the Christian who has acquired Righteousness through Jesus Christ. When those situations are found in such a person, it is not a punishment for acts of transgressions, but an opportunity to reveal the greatness of God through such a person. It is an opportunity for the Christian to showcase the spiritual resilience that comes with being a new person in Christ (2Cor. 5:17; Rom. 8:1-17) and a preparation for a greater glory that will be revealed in such a person, if he is able to hold on and be seen as a tool of glorification of the Sovereign God – Rom. 8:18-27). It is in concluding this his assertion that the scripture for today’s devotion is revealed. In that scripture, the Apostle Paul asserted that all things work together for good.
In making this statement, he made clear that he was not guessing or assuming as he was saying what he knows. In the use of the phrase, “we know”, it was no longer at the realm of doubt or thoughts but was at the level of reality. He was not talking about something that was merely theoretical but something that was already practically proven, not by him alone, but by at least one other person and just as we are aware, every fact is established by two or more witnesses – 2Cor. 13:1.
If the Apostle Paul is using that phrase, then we have no reason to doubt him, knowing is pedigree and the credibility he has, when it comes to issues of Christianity. To say, all things is to mean all things. It means all events, activities, actions and reactions, perceived to be positive or negative by men. They all have a goal of goodness. This assertion is however not applicable to all people, so not everyone can claim it. As far as the Apostle Paul is concerned, only the following can claim and walk in this statement;
1. Those who genuinely love the Sovereign God. The Apostle Paul says that the way you react during those difficult times will confirm, not the love you claim you have for God, but the genuineness of that claim. Most Christians are lovers of God when things are going on well. That is the way the world loves and we are not to love in that manner. We cannot claim to love Him only because He is giving us what we want. That cannot be love. He will occasionally confirm our claims of love for Him and we cannot afford to be found wanting at such times. Peter and the other disciples were going to love like the world does, so after his crucifixion and their réalisation that there will be no more free food, they quickly made a u-turn in an act that looks like denial of the person of Christ. That explains why the question Jesus asked Peter on three occasions after he had attempted to love like the world does was, “do you love me?” – Jn. 21: 15-17. Anyone who loves, not just God, but even fellow men, will do so unconditionally. In good times and not so good times, such will be firmly rooted in his/her love. If you love God, then nothing should separate you from him as whatever you receive because or even in your association with Him will be seen as good – Rom. 8:38-39.
2. Those who are called according to His purpose. The life of a Christian is a calling. No one comes to Jesus unless God has allowed it to be so – Jn. 6:44; 65. Many Christians today are quick to want to point out to whoever is listening that they were called by Jesus. It is in those “not so good” times that such claims can be verified, not only for men to believe such claims of being called, but for God to confirm the sincerity of the acceptance of His call by the individual. Christians need to realise that a Call is not complete if the purpose is not defined, so even when an individual professes that he/she was called, there will still be the need to confirm that the response is according to the purpose of the Call. A called person in a wrong purpose is more dangerous than one who is not called at all and is occupying a position. This is because a powerful tool will be available to such person but which will be used for the wrong purpose. Such a person will likely cause more damage than one that does not have any tool to back the Call since there was no Call in the first place. The Christian needs to justify not just the Call but the purpose of the Call in times like this for the glory of God to be revealed. This is the glory that is available for all those whom God has called according to His purpose and which will definitely be revealed just as it was revealed in Jesus Christ – Rom. 8:29-30.
How do you see your present situation and how are you reacting to it? It may be the ugliest situation you never hoped for in your life but Job was in a similar situation and it was not because he was more sinful than anyone else – Job 3:25. The man who was blind from birth did not have that fate in life because anyone in his family sinned – Jn. 9:1-3. Jesus Christ said it happened in order to facilitate the revelation of the glory of God. Your situation has a purpose larger than what man can imagine or see and that is why it is God driven. That may just be the test that determines who you really are in Christ Jesus. Prove to him that you love him and to the world that He, it was that called you and you did not call yourself.
May God grant us all the spiritual ability to remain standing in faith during our difficult times in Jesus name. Amen.