Pause with me this Memorial weekend to remember those in our Military that have died sacrificially in service for our nation’s freedom and the protection of those in pursuit of freedom. I’m personally very thankful for the bravery and sacrifice of our fallen Heroes and their precious loved ones left to carry forward their legacy. May we never forget their sacrifice as we live lives with honor and integrity in the freedom we have been given.
Am I the only one challenged by the statement by Paul that “in all things” the Lord works for the good of his people? Really, all things in my life from the crazy, hurtful, disobedient, lovely, confusing, and …… he uses them all for good? When I run into word challenges within scripture like this weeks, all and good, it leads me to dig deeper. I will either do a word study, looking into the original language or compare translations. I decided that we will look at this verse in multiple Bible translations to make sure we don’t lose or miss any truth that Paul is passing on to us. So take a moment and read through the following translations and make not of common phrases and truth that runs through and we will meet again on the other side.
New International Version
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
King James Version
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
New Living Translation
“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.”
New American Standard Bible
“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”
Verses 26-28 “Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t mater. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That is why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.”
Did you see it? I think it is pretty evident that Paul truly meant “all things” in God’s hands will be worked out into good for those who love him. Does that settle it in your mind? Or are you still challenged? Let’s dig a little deeper because we are looking at this concept of truth with the backdrop of what is happening in our own lives and this world. Part of my backdrop today is the aftermath of the Manchester Terrorist attack on their precious children. How does that work out for good? I don’t know! I don’t understand it! But I do know that when I don’t know and I don’t know how or what to pray the Lord has provided his Spirit to help me and pray for me, so that in the Lord’s timing and way I will find peace and even sometimes understanding.
Have you ever been encouraged that the Spirit was filling in your prayer gaps? Just incase you can’t recall a time I want to share a precious experience of a sweet friend who was facing many “why God experiences”. In the middle of her circumstances she found herself one Sunday without her dear husband who had to remain home as he continued to recover for a series of unexpected and complicated surgeries. Once again she was missing him by her side. Then, to prick at her heart even more it was announced that we would be celebrating communion. She found herself overcome with the desire for her husband to be able to celebrate it too. From the quietness of her heart she cried out her wish. As she recalls it was just a thought— not a prayer. She knew he would be missing it as he watched the service live from home. Following church she gathered her children and they headed home. As they shared lunch she shared with her husband her wish that he could have celebrated communion with her today. With a big smile, he said “I did!” She was speechless. Then came the question, “but how can that be?” Through his grin he shared with the family how their neighbor, a minister, stopped by to visit with him and serve him communion. And he said, “If that wasn’t amazing enough he was serving me at the same time as you were having it at church. I could see it on the screen behind him!” She was overjoyed and full of amazement that the Lord would answer her wish. Let’s just say when she shared her experience with me her face was beaming with gratitude and joy. There was not doubt that she was refreshed by the Lord’s goodness and love He had showered over her family. Sometimes we get to see and experience the good in all things and other times we continue to persevere believing that God has something good He is still working on.
Does her answered wish encourage you like it does me? I’m so thankful for friends of the faith that share their faith builder moments with me. I hope you have a few family or friends like this. If not, pray and ask Him for some and keep your eyes open because the Lord will answer your prayer. He didn’t design us to walk alone but in relationship with Him and fellow believers.
Each of us are responding to the truth Paul shared in Romans 8:28 through different lenses of life based on two factors: 1. Our spiritual heart condition. 2. Our trust relationship with God. If either of these factors are out of focus our experiences in life will also be out of focus according to how God sees them. Whether we are in a season of why God experiences like my friend, where are you God experiences, or wow God experiences, we have opportunity to look at them with clarity, confusion, or despair. Clarity comes from looking through clear lenses of a spiritual heart full of love for God and His people and a trusting daily relationship with Him too. It’s kind of like Night Vision Goggles(NVG). When we find ourself in the darkness of this world we need to strap on our NVG’s to help us clearly see the Lord at work and keep trusting that He does and will work all things for good!
Let me know how you see the Lord working in your life this week!
Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always
Welcome if you are joining me for the first time. This post is part of my weekly series “Wisdom Wellspring”. Take a moment to visit the page to learn about the heart behind the series and view previous posts.
Proverbs 4:23 “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”