Sunday, July 11, 2010

Monday Morning Devotions

Rom 8:28- "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to God's purpose." (NKJV)

This is a much quoted promise from scripture.  However, I have seen Christians interpret it as if it read "And we know that no matter how bad our outward circumstances get, God will in the end work out our circumstances to our liking."  But for many Christians, their outward circumstances do not improve during their lifetime.  This causes some to become confused, doubting God's goodness, even coming to doubt His existence.

This confussion arises from a failure to read Biblical passages within their proper context.  The preceding verse teaches us that the Holy Spirit intercedes for us "according to the will of God."  Verse 29 goes on to say, "For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many bretheren."

"For," as a result of.  God works out all things for our good that we may be conformed to the image of His Son.  God's conforming us to the image of His Son results ultimately in our final glorification when we are face to face with God in Heaven.  God orders our circumstances for our development as disciples.  He is making us fit for Heaven.  That is why some of our outward circumstances remain unchanged, why certain earthly longings remained unfulfilled.  The message of Rom 8:28 concerns our relationship with God, not God granting our wishes.  As we mature as disciples, we should reach the point where our ultimate desire is to be like Christ.  When we have reached that point, our attitude toward all our circumstances should be shaped by our expectation that Christ is forming us into the person He wants us to be.  And we have the assurance that the Holy Spirit is interceding for us on this very issue.  I'm not saying we should never wish that our circumstances would change.  But as we experience them, we should remind ourselves that we are being prepared to worship God eternally before His throne.  That should be our greatest hope.

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