This Day In History: 0000-05-19

May 19 – Romans 8:28-30

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.  For God knew His people in advance, and He chose them to become like His Son, so that His Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.  And having chosen them, He called them to come to Him.  And having called them, He gave them right standing with Himself.  And having given them right standing, He gave them His glory!

Are you tired of hearing this verse repeated to you by people who know you’re struggling and don’t know what else to say?  “Well, just remember, God works everything for our good.”  is Christianese for, “Your life is a mess and it makes me uncomfortable, and I don’t know what to say to you right now.”  Do you sometimes wanna say, “Yeah, Yeah, I know… but… this still really hurts right now, and it’s tough to see down the road far enough for that verse to offer me a lot of comfort.  I don’t doubt that God is working, and that He’s going to see me through this and even use it for my good, but right now I just want you to cry with me. Because mourning with me over this terrible pain or loss doesn’t mean that God isn’t still in control, and He isn’t still working this out for my good. It just means that it hurts. And that’s okay.”

I hear you, my friend, and I’m right there with you. But once we’re away from people, and alone with God, there really is a great deal of comfort to be offered from these verses.  Let’s decide two things right now: Let’s commit to never use this verse as a trite means of brushing off a fellow believer’s pain, and let’s choose right now to set all our irritations surrounding this verse aside and look for what God has for us through His Word right now.

Do you ever take the time to consider what a privilege it is to be chosen by God?  Think about it, this verse says that God knew us before we even existed!  He KNEW us.  All of it.  He knew who we’d be, what would make us tic, and what would grind our gourds. He knew all of our victories and all of our failures, all our strengths and all our weaknesses.  He knew about each moment in which we’d call out to Him, or surrender to Him, or obey Him.  But He also knew every time we’d turn our backs on Him, every time we’d reject and betray Him. He knew it all, and still, He chose us! He chose us to be His. His very own children!

He chose us to be made like His Son, Jesus.  And that’s the key.  You and I are slowly but surely being made into the image of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Our Heavenly Father who loves us more than we can even imagine is slowly chipping away at all the things that separate us from Him so that we stand before Him pure, and in right standing with Him.  That’s no small thing!  It’s huge! Beyond that, because He is purifying us, we will have the privilege of sharing eternity with Him in Heaven.  Forever!

So let’s look at our pain again.  It hurts.  You better believe it does.  Don’t let anyone tell you it shouldn’t hurt.  But when we look at the big picture – at what God is doing can we find more than just a glimmer of hope?  Our temporary troubles will be traded for eternal glory!  I know this pain feels like it’s going to last forever.  I know you feel like you’re never going to be okay again.  I’m so so sorry, my friend!  But I promise you, as someone who feels that pain too, as someone who is mourning with you, that it will not last forever. It won’t.  God IS working. This didn’t catch Him by surprise.  He’s chipping away at everything that separates us from Him so that we can stand before Him pure.  In right standing with Him forever and ever and ever!  Because He loves us so much.