Let’s say you begin to make brownies. You know that the eggs are rotten, the flour is rancid, and the sugar has bugs in it, but the butter, cocoa, and vanilla seem to be fresh and usable. You toss all the ingredients into the mixer with one hand while holding your nose with the other. You pour the batter into a baking dish and slide it in the oven. What happens when the timer beeps? Are the brownies miraculously transformed into a palatable dessert? Definitely not. No amount of culinary skill or wisdom could make that happen.
Yet God does the same thing continually in the lives of those who love Him. He takes ingredients of dubious quality (humans), using a recipe bound for disaster (life on a messed up planet), and in His loving omnipotence and omniscience, creates beautiful results. He takes bad and makes good.
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28 (NAS)
It sounds too good to be true! However, even though the verse doesn’t contain the word if, we must remember it is still a conditional promise. The verse says, “to those who love God.” Does God promise to work things together for good for those who curse Him or ignore Him? Of course not. The condition is that we love Him.
But what about the last part of the verse, that called part? Without delving into a theological discussion on predestination, let me just say that one meaning of called in the original Greek is invited, and one meaning of according is along. So, one interpretation could be that we are invited along to join Him in His purpose, His plan, His reason for our being here. And He promises to use all of our situations – the good and the bad – to create good and accomplish His plan.
God is the only One who can bring beauty from ugliness, peace from pain, and holiness from heartache for those who love Him. I am forever grateful that He fashions the circumstances of my life – the ugliness, the pain, the heartache – into something beautiful for His kingdom. You can trust Him to do the same for you.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6 (NAS)
Janice Powell 2013