And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.
In the section of Romans where we find verse 28, Paul is reminding the church in Rome that while we long for the day we are free from death, sin and suffering, we are not without hope. For the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness and God causes everything to work together for those who trust in him.
Every once in a while, I’ll wake up in the middle of the night full of peace and indescribable joy. It’s like on those nights the presence of God is made tangible to me, and there is nothing like it. I long for those nights. For while my life is still full of death, sin and suffering, I have this confidence that it is temporary, and even in the worst of it I am not alone. For God is with me even in my weakness.
What I’ve come to realize is that without Christ I could never hope to be at peace. The temptation and subsequent guilt of sin is too much for me to handle, and Satan is constantly trying to drown me in guilt even while Jesus is calling me to repentance and forgiveness. The pain I see others going through is more than I can bear, and Satan keeps convincing me that I am their savior even while Jesus tells me that he is both theirs and mine.
When my focus is on my shame and failures, that is all I see.
I need to put my focus on God, who is actively involved in my life. If I’m not seeing his activity, it’s because I’m deciding that the pain is more important than his sovereignty.
I’ve started trying to remind myself in the morning that I never know what might happen in a day. I even made it into a little jingle that gets stuck in my head. It keeps me looking up. On those days my first thought when there is a change in plans or something unexpected happens is what is God up to? For while there is indeed an enemy at work, God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God.
This is also where it’s been helpful to root myself in God’s Word, the Holy Bible. Without it, how would I know that God is working on my behalf? How would I know that faith makes the enemy flee?1 How would I know that my fight isn’t against people, but against the rulers, the authorities, and the powers of this dark world? Against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms?2
In a war between good and evil, God and Satan, don’t give Satan more attention than he deserves. Look for the ways God is winning, triumphing, and fouling the schemes of evil. We never know what might happen in day, so let’s make sure we’re aligning ourselves with the right side.
If you’re having a hard time seeing him at work, pray that he will show you ways that he’s working that perhaps you’ve missed. The more we practice looking for him, the more we’ll see his mighty hand at work. Today, remember that he is for you. He is working everything together for your good.
1 James 4:7
2 Ephesians 6:12