Romans 8:28-29. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.
Romans 8:28 and 29 is quite possibly the most glorious promise that we have in all of scripture. For those of us in Christ, it should be claimed every day and poured deep into our weary hearts and souls. All things work together for the good.
But what is this good?
Verse 29 tells us – predestined to be conformed to the image of his son, in order that he might be the first born among many brothers. God is restoring humanity through our union with Christ, changing us into the likeness of Christ, and placing us into his family as the brothers and sisters of Christ forever.
This is our destiny in Christ! This is the outcome of our lives, and therefore the outcome of every single thing that happens in our lives. This is the good that happens to those who love God.
And when we know the final outcome of our lives, then we can also know that everything leading up to it must contribute to that final outcome. The infinitely seen and unseen. Known and unknown. Every single thing in our lives contributes to our transformation into the sons and daughters of God who image Christ. Every success. Every failure. Each sorrow. Each joy. Even each sin and each failure. Christian, nothing is wasted in your life. God turns it all into part of the beautiful tapestry of Jesus in you.
Let’s pause and note that this verse doesn’t say “all things ARE good.” As you know, many things in this life are very bad. And Christians will experience the worst of evils in this life (look at Jesus). The promise of this verse is that all things, from the senseless tragedy, to the perpetrated evil, will be used by God to conform us to his image. But this does NOT change the thing itself – it is still evil.
Nor does this verse make our suffering good. It does not make difficulties something to be embraced or sought after. But it does mean that we no longer have to despair in our suffering. We no longer need to doubt God’s love for us. The cross proves this. Our union with Christ proves this. In Christ, everything now has ultimate meaning. Everything serves his purpose when you are called according to his purpose. When you are called to being conformed to Christ.
“To live is Christ” means that all who love God, all that are in the Spirit, can claim this most marvelous of promises – God WILL work everything out for your ultimate good and glory in Christ. Nothing is an accident. Nothing is random. All worry and fear can melt away. The eternal plan of God has not been thwarted by our mistakes, our sins, or our suffering. It all works out making us complete in the end.
Be honest, have you found Romans 8:28 to be cliché?
You in Christ
How might your life be different if you truly claimed the promise of Romans 8:28-29?
Christ in you
Christ is being formed in you. Can you see the evidence of this in your daily life?
Playlist: Conformed to Christ.
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