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The golden verse

February 2013 | by John Thornbury

The golden verse

‘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).

I call this verse golden because it is of inestimable value to believers in all the situations of life. Only eternity will reveal how many hearts, weary on the road of life, broken and oppressed by nameless problems, have found solace in these words of inspired Scripture. Let’s break this verse down and try to see why it is so priceless.
    All things. Let’s not try to modify, abridge or limit this. All things means everything without exception; things good and things bad; things past, present and future; things we understand and things we do not. There is nothing outside the sovereign purpose of God, which he does not either cause or permit.
    Work together. From our standpoint here on earth, events and circumstances of life seem random, meaningless and irrational. At times, nothing seems to make sense. Why this sickness to one of God’s saints? Why the earthquake, the heartbreaking divorce? But rest assured that, in the mix of God’s providence, things
are working not against each other, but together.
    For good. Please note — it does not say that all things are good. Murder is not good; war is not good; cursing is not good; idolatry is not good. But the promise says that all things are working for good. In other words there is a direction to God’s providence, an end, a conclusion to all things. I n the end, it will all be for God’s glory and the good of his people.
    To those who love God and are called according to his purpose. This verse is often misquoted. The text does not say that all things work for good to everybody. The tragedies that happen to the wicked are not helping them in any way. But for those who are chosen, redeemed and born of God’s Spirit, all that happens, in the final analysis, will be in some way a blessing.
    We do not have to see immediately how tragedies are for the good of believers. But sometimes we do. That cancer drew us closer to our Redeemer and provided an opportunity for God to show his power. That broken relationship led to a better one.
    But even if we never in this life see how, we must by faith believe that all things are
working together for good to those who love God and are the called according to his
John F. Thornbury

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