What is God doing when I experience hardships and trials? Are hardships and trials just problems to get rid of? Or is God at work in some way in my hardships and trials?
26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.
28 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. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.
FF Bruce says this about verse 28, “God’s overruling grace co-operates in all things for His people’s good, even in those things which at the time are so distressing and perplexing and hard to bear. ‘We know’ that this is so, says Paul, speaking as one who had proved its truth in his own experience, finding, for example, that his hardships turned out for the furtherance of the gospel (Philippians 1:12) and that his sorest and most disagreeable trials were the means by which the power of Christ rested upon him (2 Corinthians 12:9f).”
We won’t always feel this is the way God is working in the midst of our hardships and trials, but we can be sure it is true. The worst hardship and trial Jesus faced was his arrest, mistreatment and death, but the cross ended with the resurrection and the good news of our forgiveness. And so, “…we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
Head: Do I believe that “that in all things God works for the good of those who love him”?
Heart: Can I think of past experiences where God was at work for good in my hardships and trials?
Hands: How can I come alongside others in their hardships and trials as someone who believes “that in all things God works for the good of those who love him”?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, please enable me to believe that you really do work in all things for the good of those who love you. Help me to see my past, present and future experiences from that vantage point, and so see how you are at work for good in the whole of my life, even in my hardships and trials. Please give me your love and wisdom as I come alongside others in their hardships and trials as someone who believes “that in all things God works for the good of those who love him”. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
A song to listen to: Blessed Assurance
This Grow Daily was originally posted as part of the Must See Passages series in 2016. During the School Holidays we take the opportunity to look back at the best of Grow Dailys over the years.