A favorite and meaningful verse for many Christians comes from Paul’s epistle to the Roman church:
“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.”
It is a comforting verse, to know that God is sovereign in all things. My only problem is that we like to fudge our grammar. We like to erase troublesome bits. Get rid of “for the” and you can make this verse mean all kinds of things it never intended.
Yes, God is sovereign. Yes, He is controlling the circumstances of your life in such a way that you will become more and more like Jesus.
No, it will not be pretty.
“Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?”
Consider the penultimate scene of Jesus’ life. The Victim of wrongful accusations, the subject of a miscarriage of justice and he doesn’t defend himself. In fact, when someone does try to defend Him, He tells them to stop.
Knowledge of God’s sovereign plan does not lead Jesus out of trouble but rather right into the teeth of it.
Where is God leading you this week? Do you anticipate conflict, difficultly, relationships strained or being taken advantage of? Can God use this stuff to hone you into the instrument He desires?
Of course, we are not sadists, looking for opportunity to needlessly suffer. But, nevertheless, suffer we will. So don’t waste it. Don’t get bitter. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.
Lord, when it feels like I’m sinking, teach me to look up.