Tuesday, January 14, 2020

God Uses Your Struggles to Produce Good!

Romans so far:
the Bad news
The Good news
The Ongoing Struggle - Christians can anticipate this.
Our present Help (ie:  the Holy Spirit)
Our future Hope - Rom. 8:16-17 -  Biblical hope = expectation, not hope as the world uses it.

To all this ... Paul now adds:  Rom. 8:28 - one of the most important verses of the Christian walk
ie:  in addition to all He's done and is doing, ADD This....
God uses your struggles to produce Good!!!!

(Reworded for presentation) ...
God is at work - active, not a passive God
In all things - good times and bad times
to produce good  (develop good stuff out of that)

to produce good ... For Those Who Love Him (the called) According to His Purpose
If true, this is and incredible claim, and incredible promise!!!  (awesome promise)

2 Classic Biblical examples:
#1.  Joseph - Gen. 50:20 - same sentiment as Rom. 8:28

#2.  Jesus (cross)  2 Cor. 5:21 - worst possible scenario, God turned into the ultimate good!

2 Cor. 4:17

#1.  All things are not good!!  - Rev. 21:4 - things are abolished because the are not good!
but ...
#2.  In all things God works.  Example:  Rom. 5:3 - suffering does not always lead to perseverance, but suffering by a Christian IN the hands of God???
Note:  God = sovereign ... needs No help to produce good.  However, the outcome often determined by cooperation!!  (example:  Joseph's attitude)
If you refuse to cooperate, He may not use that suffering for your good.  We have a hand in this.  God doesn't need us, but we need to do our part.

#3.  The 'good' may not be immediate.  
example:  Joseph - spent 13 years before elevated to second in command to Pharaoh.  22 years before saved 'Israel'.

#4.  The 'good' may not be visible.  (ie in this life!)
example:  Job - no idea why his sufferings happened

#5.  This promise is for believers!!  
Doesn't mean that God can't or won't do this for non-believers.  But the specific text = His Own!!!

#6.  The 'good' will be according to His plan, not yours!!
Jeremiah's letter to the exiles - Jer. 29:11, but note - Jer. 29:10

IF TRUE = Great Promise!!
BUT also = great challenge!!!  not "can I believe it"?  but can I embrace it"?
in both,--- times of tragedy (loss of loved one)
                 times of annoyance  (flat tire, plugged toilet) - Rom. 8:28 says "in all things"

Why should we believe this??
("because the Bible says so", but let's go beyond that)
Because we believe the Biblical Portrait of God ....

God is all powerful AND all good.

Skeptic - "all powerful and all good???  then why Evil and suffering?"
Believer = "all powerful and all good, And will eliminate Evil and Suffering!!

Meanwhile... He uses all things    
                     To produce good
                     For those who love Him
                     According to His Purpose

Rom. 8:31 (a) - is more that a response to Vs. 28/ = to Chapters 1-8
Answer:  Rom. 8:31 (b) & Rom. 8:32
IF God is working for me, why fret about forces working against me?

So, whom do you trust?  How much do you trust Him?

Closing Scripture:  Rom. 8:35, 37-39

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