"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."
Romans 8:28 (NLT)
Nowhere is the sovereign grace of God seen more clearly than in Romans 8:28. Just being able to make that statement begins with the acknowledging that God knows what He is doing. He is not only all-powerful, all-knowing He is also sovereign. Even when disappointments, pain and tragedy strike, we can trust God to know what is best for our good.
Disappointment, pain and tragedy recently came like a flood. It all began two years ago when entering the bedroom of our home and found my husband not breathing. His heart had stopped. I call 911 and administered cardiopulmonary resuscitation until the Para-Medics arrived. He was rushed to the hospital and in seven days he was dead. My entire life literally changed. We had been married only seven years. All of our plans and dreams were shattered. Life as I knew it; suddenly became meaningless as if a moment in time had vanished.
In the midst of the grief process of the loss of my husband; six months later, a long time sister in Christ and dear friend died of cancer. We had just returned from West Africa from a short term mission trip when the pain in her left arm was diagnosed as myeloma. Our ministry had great plans to support a clinic for women in Senegal, West Africa. My friend who had retired planned to return in a few months to assist in some work in the clinic.
Approximately a year later; after faithfully serving ten years in a local church and four years as the President of the Women's Ministry; I suffered unjust public betrayal from the respected leader. It was as if the life was suddenly sucked out of me. I could not believe what going on in my life. I said, Lord you know I love You, I know You love me. I love and believe Your Word and I trust You; however, Lord, I am hurting. It does not feel good and I don't even like what is going on. I am just saying; Lord what are You up to in my life.
Then I heard Your voice!!! I heard You say; your problem is my Child, you don't know My plan. I never said all things would be good. I assured you in my Word all things would work together for good as described in two ways: those "that love God" and those "who are the called according to My purpose." Nor is the assertion made that every event in itself is good, but only all things as they work together.
So why are you complaining? My child, you are out of order and in sin. You see my child, when you whine, complain and have a pity-party about your life and the lives of my children; your complaints as ultimately against Me. Your complaints are against what I am doing in your life, and it is not always for you to understand - just accept my plan and stay in my perfect will and TRUST ME!!!
My child, allow Me to share My Word with you from the Message Bible in Romans 8:28-39 (Paraphrase). "That's why you can be so sure that every detail in your life of love for Me is worked into something good. I knew what he was doing from the very beginning. I decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love Me along the same lines as the life of his Son. The Son stands first in the line of humanity He restored. You see the original and intended shape of your life there in Him. After I made that decision of what My children should be like, I followed it up by calling My people by name. After I called them by name, I set them on a solid basis with Myself. And then, after getting them established, I stayed with them to the end, gloriously completing what I had begun. So, what do you think? With God on your side like this, how can you lose? If I didn't hesitate to put everything on the line for you, embracing your condition and exposing Myself to the worst by sending My own Son, is there anything else I wouldn't gladly and freely do for you? And who would dare tangle with Me by messing with one of God's chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for you - who was raised to life for you - is in the presence of God the Father at this very moment sticking up for you. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between you and My love for you? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture: They kill you in cold blood because they hate you. You're sitting ducks; being picked off one by one. None of this should faze you because Jesus loves you. You can be absolutely convinced that nothing-nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable-absolutely nothing can get between you and God's love because of the way that Jesus, My Son our Master has embraced you." So why are you complaining and having a pity party? Shut up and Just trust Me.
You my child must have My point of view, as it is presented in the Scriptures, in order to appreciate the glory of the universe. You would like to know the reason for your pain, trials and even suffering. However, because I am Sovereign God, I don't always reveal it to you. My child, I have good news for you. It's not up to us to figure out what My plan is for you. Because I am God, I do not make a mistake and you cannot improve upon My plan. As your Father, I reserve right to do what I chose to do in and through your life for My glory.
You part is to bow our knees before Me, trust Me, and to accept My plan for your life. I have a purpose for your life. Just accept it and to experience the new thing that I am doing in your life. Because I created you for My purpose and glory, I want complete control of every area of your life. When you accepted Jesus Christ as you Savior and Lord, you relinquished all rights to your life. It is no longer your life. You belong to Me and I have a perfect plan for your life. I love with and everlasting love and whatever I allow or design especially for is for your good. I don't want you part time; I want to be full-time in your life. I died for you and I must be President and CEO, not just resident.
You can be so sure that every detail in your life of love for Me is worked into something good for you and My glory. I have given you a hint in My Word in John chapter 15; of what can happen even when we can't see how. I have said: "I AM the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser." Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it, that it may bear more fruit. If there is no pruning in your life, there will be no fruit.
You see my child; I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out and My plan is to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope in Me. Every disappointment, every pain or tragedy is an opportunity to demonstrate My power through you. My sovereignty always brings assurance and peace.
Father God, this is my prayer:
Gracious and Eternal Savior, I praise you for being a loving and Sovereign God. Father God, my answer is 'yes to You. Yes to Your will and yes to Your way. I say yes to your plan for my life. Father God, I will obey You; whatever You want me to do. I will serve You, I will live for You, I accept Your plan for my life even before I know it.
Father God, now I come to You in my pain and brokenness that You may heal me; that You may make me whole. I come to you in our "dis-ease" that you may me well. Help me to open to You the deeps of my life to You that you will be able to work your purpose in and through me for Your perfect will, wholeness, and conformity to the image of Christ. I embrace every conflict, every problem, every struggle; that through them. In them You will expose my needs, my weaknesses, any self-reliance or hidden sins, that I will be refined and enriched for Your glory.
Father God, I chose to develop a biblical perspective on the problems and painful situations in my life. Knowing this, the process will help in understanding the purpose of pain and trials that will drive me to a total dependence on You alone. Father God, I find comfort in knowing that You is in control of my life and Your response to me will reveal more of Yourself to me. You revealing more of Yourself increases my faith and capacity to trust Your promises through the times when I do not understand Your purposes or Your ways. Thank You Father God for showing me when I view my circumstances in light of God's character instead of God's character in light of my circumstances, I come to see that You are never indifferent toward me, and that You uses trails for my good so I can be more fully united to You.
Father God, I am overjoyed that You cause all things to work together for my good and for Your glory. I thank You for each difficult and humbling situation in my life; for each painful and breaking or cleansing process. Thank You that I can be still and know that You are God of the universe and has everything under Your control. I can restfully depend on you and embrace Your strength, joy and yes, Your peace. I thank You in advance for each opportunity to see You work, in Your time, as You work out Your plan for my life.
Stir my heart, stimulate my mind, have your way with in me. Thank You for whatever You use to humble me. To perfect my faith and produce the soil of my heart for the fresh new growth You and I desire and to see in me. Father God, thank You for allowing the momentary troubles and trials that are producing for me an eternal glory that far outweighs them all as I keep my eyes focused on You. For all you are doing, for all you are going to do, I give You praise and thanks, in Jesus' name we Pray - Amen.