All Things Work Together!
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All Things Work Together!

Romans 8: 28

All things are full of labor.
If we could really see all things, we would see the ceaseless movement of all things from stars to atoms.
We would see not only the earth, the waters, the air, but we would see that even the rocks are alive.

What is true in nature is just as true in human life.
Thought and impulse, and act, and habit, and plan, and purpose -- these are the great working powers.
They all work.
They always work .

"All things, work together" -- and they work, but not in an aimless manner.
The believer's history is not an aimless series of events, but all things form a perfect plan.
The believer's life, death, infancy, old age -- all enter into one grand purpose,
which God is causing to produce His spiritual benefit.

The working of God is made up of so many parts, it tends to baffle the mind and the understanding of man.
Yet, all is clear to the eye of God, and all is under the sovereign hand of God.

When we are lost in the bewilderments of a history that we cannot scan;
when we are entangled in the puzzles of life that we cannot solve
-- we can, as children of God, be reminded that all is well,
and that all is working according to the will and purpose of God.
We can be assured that all is working for our good.

When it seems that injustice and evil are winning, and that God is not doing anything --
remember the working of God in nature is unseen, and though we cannot comprehend it
-- God is always at work.

Under His invisible control, the stars maintain their predestined courses,
the restless ocean keeps within its appointed limits.
We must never be impatient at what appears to be the inactivity of God,
and take things into our own hands and try to be our own providence (our own God).

The daily happenings, whether tragic or joyous are the raw materials
from which God is weaving the design of life.

God is always in charge, even when we think not. (Jeremiah 29: 11)
When we apprehend nothing but ruin, God may be designing for us the very choice of mercies.
(Psalm 31:22)
God uses trial and suffering to develop His children.

As God's people are plagued with constant, daily irritations,
and as we look to God to help us to be calm,
we will grow with a God-given ability to control our feelings.

If under losses and perplexities, we ask God for patience, God will enable us to grow in patience.
If while hurting under a sense of injustice, we look to God to steady us and to give us greater love,
God will help us grow in fidelity.

There is a difference in the way the children of God responds to trials,
and the way a godless person responds.
The same calamity, sickness, bereavement, loss of money and property
will awaken one man's slumbering conscience and will drive another to distraction.
The same calamities, that come upon both the good and the evil.
The one is soured, and the other is sweetened.
The one is cursed, and the other is blessed.

Put a piece of stone on the jeweler's wheel, and that stone will be ground to a heap of dust.
Put a diamond on the wheel, and the friction will bring out its beauty.
The Christian is made perfect by suffering.

All things "work for our good."

It is not said, "That all things are good, for they are not."
Besides many sins and temptations, there are many crosses and afflictions of which God's children are often burdened.
But they do work together for good for the child of God.

As Christians, we will often be perplexed by trial or numb with pain, and may not know what to think.
We can only tell what we feel.
We are grieved and distressed, and our hearts cry out in anguish:
"How can this be for our good? What good thing can this meaning?"

Remember, it is not as though all things are good in themselves.
The Scripture does not say that they were.

Many things are evil, and evil can never be good.
But what Paul did say was that God makes all things work together for good.

The good that Paul speaks of is not to be determined by our fancies and conceits.
It is to be determined by the wisdom of God -- God knows what is best for us.
He knows better than we can ever know or ever will know.

Should the shepherd or the sheep choose the pasture?
Should the child be governed by his own fancy or by the father's wisdom?
Should the sick person diagnose his own case or leave it to the skill of his physician?

Sometimes, it is necessary that God should displease us for our good.
Peter said, "Master, it is good for us to be here." (John 16: 6, 7)
Peter said this with little thought as to what work God had for him in other places.

God works all things for the good of His children.
The afflictions of believers, in a peculiar manner, contribute to our good.
"Before I was afflicted I went astray; but now I kept Thy word.
It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I might learn Thy statues
."
"Tribulation worketh patience."

Believers are chastened by God because of His love, and for our good
that we may be partakers of His holiness.

Paul was an example of this, when a thorn in his flesh was sent to him
to prevent his being exalted above measure.
We also see how much the sufferings of those spoken of in Hebrews 11were calculated
to detach their affections from this present world, and lead them to seek a better, even a heavenly country.

Now, listen carefully!

Even the sins of believers work for their good, not from the nature of sin,
but by the goodness and power of God who brings light out of darkness.

All through the Bible we read of the great evil of sin.
In every instance we receive the most solemn warning against the commission of sin.
And also in God's Word, we read of the chastisements it brings even upon those
who are delivered from its final, condemning powers.

It is not sin in itself that works the good.
It is God who overrules its effects to His children, and shows us by means of it, what is in our hearts,
as well as our entire dependence on our Heavenly Father.
We become more aware of His living presence within.

Our failures lead us to acknowledge our humiliation, and to acknowledge our weaknesses and sins;
and lead us to prayer for the guidance, leadership and overpowering influence of the Holy Spirit.
Our failures also lead us to vigilance and caution against all carnal and material security,
and to reliance on that righteousness provided for our appearance before God.

Some may say -- if our sins work together for our good, then we should sin that grace may abound.
God forbid!

To believe this would be entirely to misunderstand the grace of God,
and Paul warns of this in Romans 6.

Sin must be considered as to its nature.
Sin is rebellion against God and against His nature and His holiness.

We ought to hate it and despise it.
It deserves eternal punishment.

The turning of sin to good is the work of God, and not ours.

The Old Testament story of Joseph is a striking example of the wonderful way
in which God makes the evil done to us work out for our good.
Another instance is the persecution of the church in the Book of Acts.
It scattered the great congregation at Jerusalem all over the known world.
This seemed to have been a calamity, but proved to be good for the church by planting it
in a hundred places where it flourished more than ever.

It took years before the strange providences in the life of Job had their vindication.
His afflictions had their rise in the malicious mind of Satanic agency.
He expressed his philosophy in the noble words,
"The Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord."

When taunted by his wife, he maintained his confidence in God!
"What! Shall we receive good at the hand of the Lord, and shall we not receive evil?"
His stance of faith was abundantly vindicated by the unfolding events.
He emerged from his trials enriched and greatly blessed.

We tend to interpret good in terms of animal comfort.

Unfortunately, we find ourselves victimized by a materialistic society,
and despite our Christian faith, we subtly equate comfort with goodness.

In the same way we tend to equate success with goodness.
We also tend to equate pleasure with goodness.
And yet, such equations are a million miles removed from Paul's basic teaching.
And because all of these are false equations, we have trouble with Romans 8: 28.

Our failure to grasp Paul's conception of the good,
changes what ought to be a soft pillow for our hearts into a hard problem for our heads.

"Whatever my God ordains is right;
He taketh thought for me.
The cup that my Physician gives
Can never, never harm me;
But medicine due,
For God is true.

And on that changeless truth I build;
And all my heart with hope is filled."

Sermon by Dr. Harold L. White
Email Dr. White at hleewhite@aol.com