“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
God has given us many promises in scripture, but this particular scripture just makes my heart sing. I simply love this promise of God. I return to it again and again because I believe every difficult situation we go through in this life must bear the promise of Romans 8:28. We typically quote the first part of this scripture. We stop right there and rejoice because God causing “everything” to work out for our good means that all the difficult, bad, ugly and hard things are included. Everything means all that exists. Hallelujah, praise God, right? But wait a second. Romans 8:28 doesn’t end at God working out everything out for our good. God promises the miracle of balancing the scales of good ,and not so good, in our favor. But notice that this miracle manifests because of our love for Him. It is also connected to His purpose for our lives.
So what’s God’s purpose for our lives? If you’re like me, you may have immediately attached your purpose to something you do or something you achieved. Maybe you thought about roles or jobs such as mother, father, teacher, nurse, lawyer, doctor, artist, caregiver, writer, etc. But God always challenges us to go deeper. Notice, Romans 8:28 says purpose , NOT purposes. If we read the verses that immediately follow Romans 8:28, we come to understand that God’s purpose for our lives goes far beyond our familial roles, chosen profession or personal achievements. Romans 8:29-31 GNT says, “Those whom God had already chosen he also set apart to become like his Son, so that the Son would be the first among many believers. And so those whom God set apart, he called; and those he called, he put right with himself, and he shared his glory with them.” So, God’s main purpose for our lives is that we become like Christ. “And just as we have borne the image of the earthly man, so shall we bear the image of the heavenly man.” 1 Corinthians 15:49. In doing so, we serve God by doing good on earth. But, more importantly, we become the lamps on a hill that guide others to come to believe in Jesus so that they too might experience heaven on earth and spend eternity in His Presence
I delight in being a writer. It brings me a lot of joy, and so it should. God blesses us with gifts for a reason. “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10. But if I attach my life’s purpose to this gift, and I can’t do it any longer, my purpose goes right along with it, right? The gifts and talents God has given us are attached to the good work God has called us to do on this earth, but, with God, there’s always more. Think about Jesus. Jesus’ sacrifice gave us the gift of salvation, which was integral to Him fulfilling the purpose for which He was sent. “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns as well; for I was sent for this purpose.” While He was on earth, Jesus also found great joy in meeting the needs of the people through teaching, healing and feeding them. However, Jesus’ good works on earth did not distract Him from His purpose. Likewise, whether we are walking in our earthly purpose or seeking God to figure out what that may be, it should not distract us from God’s purpose for our life. To be conformed into the image of His Son, do good for others and spread the Good News of Jesus Christ so that others may experience heaven on earth and the unending joy of paradise. We are to live fulfilling lives as joint heirs with Christ right here, right now and for the rest of eternity.
Prayer: Father, you are full of grace and glory. We thank you for our lives. Help us to seek the wisdom of your Holy Spirit so that we may better understand your desire to conform us into the image of your dear Son. To understand what that means in our daily lives. You gave us Jesus so that we might have heaven on earth and spend eternity with you. May we always be mindful that nothing we do on earth will ever be more important than spending forever with you. May we live a life that leads others to Jesus so that they too may experience your glory. In Jesus’ mighty name we pray. Amen.