Did you know that the Apostle Paul wrote that God is working all things for the good of Christ followers?
He asserted in his letter to the church in Rome,
We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.Romans 8:28 (CSB)
Notice that Paul doesn’t say that God works all things for the good of everyone. He could not say that all things work for the good of people who do not follow Jesus. Paul clearly asserts in the same letter that people who do not follow Christ see an eternity of death and suffering (Romans 6:23). He would not be honest if he contended that God is working for the good of people who are condemned to Hell.
No, he is very specific about the people for whom he claims all things work for good–those who love God. Paul is talking about Christ followers. We see this truth in the words he writes in the verses that follow these words of hope. Specifying the the identity of those who love God and are called according to His purpose, Paul stated,
For those he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, so that he would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; and those he called, he also justified; and those he justified, he also glorified.Romans 8:29-30 (CSB)
The people for which all things work for good are ones God has foreknew, predestined, called, justified, and glorified. They are followers of Jesus Christ. All of these verbs related to God’s actions towards Christ followers are in the aorist tense of the Greek language. They are completed actions.
What a hope for believers! Although we are still growing in Christ and being perfected by the work of the Holy Spirit, in God’s sovereign work and timing, our salvation is complete.
We can be confident as Christ followers that God is working everything for our good and for the coming glory we will experience for eternity.
I pray that this passage encourages you today to walk with Christ in boldness, joy, and hope.
(If you want to read more from Tim McKnight, click here.)
Tim is the Director of the Global Center for Youth Ministry and Associate Professor for Youth Ministry & Missions at Anderson University. He is lead pastor/planter of Mosaic Church of Anderson. Tim is also the author of Engaging Generation Z (Kregel Academic), No Better Gospel (Seeds Publishing Group), and the author and editor of Navigating Student Ministry (B&H Academic). His comments do not reflect the views of his employers and are his own personal views on various subjects.