For the Good

I have been in a little bit of a spiritual dry spell lately.  Work has been consuming a lot of my time and effort, and as a result, me devotions have become a little rushed, my time at home is a little less focused on the people around me, and the time I spend getting ready for teaching is less than I would like.  It’s not that things are bad, but more that the cadence I have known over the last few months has been disrupted by the somewhat inevitable demand of career.

The other night I was with a few friends.  Our discussion led us to Romans 8:28 “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.”

The next morning, my devotion was on Romans 8.  (Some might say that God made this happen, while others would say that this is simply a coincidence; either way, it happened and I am good with that).  Since the night before, I had been thinking about just what this verse really meant.  I was left with an uneasy feeling that among my friends we were sort of saying that God makes good things happen for us believers.  So, I spent the devotion time reading the whole chapter, and then to pray carefully through the whole text.

I hear a lot of people speak of the good God is doing in their lives, and 8:28 often comes into the discussion. I find putting the scripture into my own words a helpful way to discern its meaning.  Paraphrased, God causes things to work together for the good 1) of the people who love him AND 2) for His purpose for them.  It’s not for our good OR His purpose; it’s not simply for our good; it’s not only for His purpose; and, it doesn’t say that we get good things because that is what God wants to do for us.

Things are happening for my good, or better said, things are happening for my development.  But really, this is only happening because I love God in relation to His purpose for me. So the question really is: what is His purpose? And this is the deep, abiding, and constant quest of my heart:  His purpose.  Which, as many of us know, is the Good News.