Romans 1-8 Meditations No.29: The worker of good
Rom 8:28 “we know that IN ALL things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
There is a flow of truth here, I believe, that we often miss. In the previous study we focused on the leading of the indwelling Holy Spirit, after majoring on His presence in the believer in the previous study. But in the consideration of yesterday’s study, we saw the Holy Spirit empowering, motivating and emboldening the disciples-now-apostles. But something we may not have picked up on was the fact that in Acts it is a case of Jesus by his Spirit leading them and he is leading them to act out the will of God in any situation they found themselves in.
So Peter finds himself confronted by skeptical Jews and preaches on the Day of Pentecost and God saved thousands (Acts 2). Peter and John then find themselves accosted by a lame beggar – who they heal (Acts 3). And so it goes on, situation after situation where God by His Spirit enables them to confront the situation in a kingdom manner. It is God working out His purposes for their good and for the good of those they encountered.
Now Jesus had previously taught, “My Father is ALWAYS at his work to this very day, and I too am working,” (Jn 5:17) and then added, “the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father DOING.” (Jn 5:19) I have emphasised two key issues: first the Father is active ALL THE TIME and, second, this activity means He is positively doing things to bring good, to bring His will for mankind to bear.
Now I think we need to view this famous starter verse in this context. Yes, it is all about God constantly working and the fact that He is working to bring good but here, in its continuation, is the most staggering truth, that whatever mess up we’ve got into, whatever disaster is going on around us, however the sky seems to have fallen on us, God IS working on your behalf, IN the midst of it, to somehow bring good to you out of it. It may take a long while to realise that or see the fruits of it, but I am utterly convinced they will always be there to be seen by those with eyes to see. The past, I suggest, sets in concrete the declaration: “God was here, working for good!” The Bible is made up of God-accounts, God working for the good of His people, for example in the Exodus to deliver them from the slavery of Egypt or the Exile where He delivered them from the slavery of superstitious idolatry back to become the believing children of God again. But it’s not just in the Bible. Ask Him to show you how He’s been working throughout YOUR life, and when He shows you, be prepared to be blown away by the staggering wonder of it. I’ve done it and it’s true! Go for it.