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My Favorite Verse

I'm not real big on favorite verses, because I know we need the counsel of God's whole Word. But, I have a favorite verse. I know I do because I come back to it more than any other.

The verse is Romans 8:28. "And we know that God works all things for the good of those who love Him, for those who are the called according to His purpose." The basic lesson here- the basic promise from God- is that if you love Him, then every single thing ("all things") in your life is for your ultimate, eventual, good.

What is the "good" God is working all things to produce in you? And what are the actual tools He uses to work spiritual good in you?

The "good" is made clear in the next verse: it is nothing less than making you like Jesus! "For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren." (Romans 8:29)

What are His tools to make you like Christ? Everything. Our verse says it: "God works all things." In other words, if it exists, then it is for your good. If it occurs, the it is to make you like Jesus. God loves you that much.

I remember in college reading about "The Butterfly Effect." It was the formalizing of the truth that when a butterfly flutters its' wings in England it eventually effects the wind currents in America, in however small a way. Every cause has an effect, and that effect becomes a cause of the next effect, and so on. Well, what Romans 8:28 is telling us is that when the butterfly flutters its' wings in England, it is designed specifically for your good, literally. When God said, "all things" He meant all.

You might doubt. "How could this be? I see technically how it is possible, but would God really do that for me?" God already anticipated your doubt. He says through Paul four verses later, "He Who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how will He not also, with Him, freely give us all things." (Romans 8:32) God sacrificed His infinite Son for you... do you think butterfly wings are beyond His love for you? Of course not!

What's more, if God works the smallest things for our good, He clearly works the big and difficult things for our good. What is it? Do you have chronic physical, emotional, or psychological pain? Are there ongoing mundane frustrations that are just irresolvable and draining the life out of you? Has your spouse cheated on you, or left you? Are you single and wanting to be married? Do you have a disabled family member, or more than one? Are you jobless and broke? Have they foreclosed your home? Are you homeless? Are you without any real family, and feel rejected by the church? Have loved ones died? Are you physically paralyzed? Are you terminally ill? Have you sinned so badly that you can't find God? Do you feel like He has rejected you forever?

Look at the tragedy. Take a long, concentrated look at it through the spectacles of Romans 8:28. However painful, it is for your good. God is saying, "Turn to me, My child, and wait for Me. In the end, I will not disappoint you. I am your God."

From butterfly wings to horrible things, all things are for your good, lover of God. Wait on the Lord, and look to Him. He will not, in the end, disappoint you. Many blessings.