May 15, 2022 | Doug Sauder
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“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”—Romans 8:28 (NIV)
As we saw yesterday, God’s the one who equips us “with everything good for doing his will,” He’s the one who works in us “what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ” (Hebrews 13:21 NIV), and He’s the one who works in us “to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose” (Philippians 2:13 NIV). Did you notice how the word “good” is used in both of these verses?
In the original Greek, the word for good (agathos) is defined as “intrinsically good, good in nature, good whether it be seen to be so or not.” It’s goodness that originates from God and is empowered by Him in someone’s life, through faith. So, He works in us to accomplish what is truly and perfectly good in nature as He is good in nature; He works in us to will and act in order to fulfill His divinely inspired and perfectly good purpose. And, friends . . . that includes the things that happen in our lives that we deem bad like our trauma, pain, and suffering.
The Book of Romans is a masterclass of theology and the Christian life, and at the center point of it is today’s verse, which declares, “in all things God works for the good of those who love him.” Wait, so not just good things, but all things? Yes! The very God who works in us to accomplish His good purposes is the very God who works our suffering, pain, trauma, hardship, hurt and difficulty and redeems it all for our good, for His glory, and for His good purposes. The very God who equips us with everything good for doing His will is also the very God who equips us to be “more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Romans 8:37 NIV) and “who takes hold of [our] right hand and says to [us], Do not fear; I will help you” (Isaiah 41:13 NIV).
I don’t want anyone to feel their pain is minimized or lessened. Suffering hurts, trauma is painful. Crisis, death, illness, anxiety, trials, and tribulations in life are all deeply difficult to walk through. But be encouraged because through it all, God cares for us (1 Peter 5:7), He takes our burdens upon Himself (Matthew 11:28–30), He makes beauty from ashes (Isaiah 61:3), and in the end, He wipes every tear and every bit of pain away (Revelation 21:4).
In the end, “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18 NIV). In the end, we can cry out to God and be confident He hears us, is with us, and equips us to walk through it all and endure it all. He “fulfills his purpose” for us (Psalm 57:2 NIV)—and that purpose is GOOD!
Pause: How have you seen God work things in your life for good to accomplish His good purposes in and through you?
Practice: Write down the verses from today’s devotional and post them in visible spaces to remind you of the truth of His goodness and the purposes He has for you.
Pray: Father, I pray for Your will and purposes to be done in my life today and every day! Amen.
Danny Saavedra is a licensed minister who has served on staff at Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.