“We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” — Romans 8:28 MEV
Here’s the thing about this — you want to use this verse when something bad happens, to convince yourself that God has a purpose in it. But in a lot of tragedy, I don’t think God has a purpose.
And you want to be able to say this verse about yourself because you love God — and the verse says this is true for people who love God. But it seems like, until we’ve been through some hideous tragedy, and wrestled with anger and disdain for God, for allowing it to happen, we don’t really “love God,” because we haven’t yet experienced how he loves us in the moment (and always). And it’s receiving his love in the moment of our deepest need that really unlocks our ability to know and love him.
I guess I am saying, at least in my own case, I didn’t love God before I struggled through my own personal tragedies; or, I loved him in a kiss-kiss-love-ya way, and not in a deep and abiding way that comes from walking together through a tragedy. So where the verse promises good from suffering to “those who love God,” until we have suffered, we aren’t even in that category.
But once we have suffered … once Christ has carried us through the suffering … and we begin to grasp even a little bit of how he loves us … then we are enabled to love as he loves. And that, in itself, may be how all things work together for our good.
What do you think?