God Doesn’t Have a “Plan B”

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Do you ever feel like lifScreenshot 2014-06-25 00.23.59e is out of control and there is no purpose or meaning in the ups and d owns of life? I think we’ve all felt that way. For the Christian, however, God tells us that this is not the case. That even when life seems out of control, He is very much in control. The 8th chapter of Romans is a treasure trove of encouragement and hope, and verse 28 is the pinnacle of this chapter. Through the pen of the apostle Paul, God tells us:

 

Romans 8:28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

Those who are called according to God’s purpose and love God have the benefit of knowing that all things work out to the good. This good is not necessarily our temporal good, but eternal good. The good of God’s perfect plan. This assures us that there is a method to the perceived madness around us. There is rhyme and reason to the rat race we find ourselves in. Even in the chaos, there is cosmos. There is order in the circumstances in our lives because the Spirit is praying for us perfectly and God has planned our steps precisely.God works sovereignly in the events of our lives to shape and position us for calling he gives us.

The Greek word translated “work together” is συνεργέω (synergeō) which means “to work together with.”[1]  If something unfavorable happens to us it is for good. We see this in the life of Joseph who had suffered because of his brothers, but God used it for a greater good (Gen. 50:20). Also, if something favorable happens to us it is for good, but not our good only. God allowed Esther to be promoted to be the queen of Persia, but this was so she would be able to save her people, the Hebrews (Esther 4:14). Ultimately “good” or “bad” things don’t happen to us for our pleasure, promotion, pain, or persecution. They happen to bring about God’s purpose. We should recognize this in all aspects of life. This principle is no doubt why Paul could say, “…I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need (Philippians 4:11-12, ESV).Has God blessed you with wealth, position, or power? It is for His purpose, not yours. Has God allowed you to experience need, weakness, or sorrow? It is also for His purpose.

The following verse (vs. 29) informs us that the “good” that is being produced in us is conformity to the image of Christ. Whatever makes us like Christ is good. Believers becoming more and more like Christ brings God glory and is our ultimate purpose in life. When we recognize that God has not called us primarily for our benefit but for His purpose, it gives our lives transcendence and meaning because we are rooted in the purpose of God. We are called, for His purpose. This is why all things work together for good.

2 Timothy 1:9 (NKJV)  who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began,

[1] Swanson, J. (1997). Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains: Greek (New Testament). Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

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