All things are not good. It would be mockery to say that they are. The death of a child is not good. Cancer is not good, drug addiction is not good, war is not good, blasphemy is not good. Divorce is not good.
But the Bible says, â€œWe know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.â€ In the chemistry of the cross God takes things that, in and of themselves, are bad, and He puts them together, much as a chemist might take chemicals and mixes them to make a medicine that brings healing. Many of us have some salt with our meals. Table salt is made up of both sodium and chloride. By itself, sodium is a deadly poison, and so is chloride. Put them together, and you have table salt. Salt flavors food, and a certain amount of salt is necessary for health and life. We cannot live without some salt in our systems.
God can take things that are bad and put them in the crucible of His wisdom and love. He works all things together for good, and He gives us the glorious, wonderful promise that He will do so. In Romans 8:28 we can see how God works together to help us rise above our circumstances. Notice how the verse begins: â€œWe know.â€This is not conjecture, this is not happenstance, this is not perhaps, this is not maybe; this is ironclad certainty, rather than a vague concept.
Another thing I notice is the completeness of the promise: â€œWe know that all things work together for good.â€Thatâ€™s a big promise, but itâ€™s there, and itâ€™s absolutely certain. God is a teacher who, by our standards, seems strange. He gives the test first, and then He gives the lesson. We learn through affliction. Think about all the terrible things that Joseph in the Bible experienced. As he looked back, he said something that is much like Romans 8:28: â€œAs for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.â€ God is not dead. He is alive and well. Heâ€™s not sick. Heâ€™s not worn out. Heâ€™s not even old. It is God who made this promise. He is the cause of it. That is grace!
Notice that this promise has a condition. What is the condition? â€œWe know that all things work together for good to them that love God.â€ If you donâ€™t love God, you canâ€™t claim this promise. The one thing we can all do is love God. That above all other things pleases and honors Him. The first and great commandment is, â€œThou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.â€
What is the good that all things are working together for? To make us like Jesus. To be conformed to the image of His Son. There is no higher good than to be like the Lord Jesus Christ. The good is not to make us necessarily healthy or happy but to make us holy, to make us like Jesus. Our goal must be to be conformed to the image of Godâ€™s Son.Think about it! Nothing (divorce. death. nothing!!!!) can separate us from the love of God (Rom. 8:38,39) And one day, no matter what divorces, deaths or other losses we face we will be like Him!