Speaker: John Selbak
Summary: “All Things Together for Good” Following up on George’s message regarding Jeremiah 29:11, we return to the theme of reading these two verses to apply to us individually, within the confines of our own life, and even within the confines of our day-to-day experience. Many of us hear of someone who is facing crisis or real calamity in their life and inadvertently misquote the scriptures in an effort to assure them that “everything will be okay.” This is no better than saying that “everything happens for a reason,” which is always true, but does not add any insight into the situation. When Paul writes that God is working “all things for good,” he is referring to an ultimate good that will come to fruition in the future (transformation to the likeness of the Son and our ultimate glorification). He is also talking in the context of present suffering, which leads to the second misquotation that we often flippantly employ, which is that “God will never throw at us more than we can handle.” But 1 Corinthians 10 is concerned with
temptation to sin, not circumstance, and Paul himself could not have meant the latter when he himself felt he was afflicted to the point that he wanted to die (2 Cor. 1:8-9). Rather, God puts us in these places to see us rely entirely on Him (2 Cor. 1:9). It is in our weakness that God reveals His strength and glory. Misusing these two verses does great damage to other people, but it is so easy to do. We are setting up an unbiblical expectation that lead others to unnecessarily question God’s goodness and character. It can also be a sign that we don’t care enough or are afraid to enter into the struggles of those around us. We need to avoid laziness and these kinds of conversational shortcuts if we want to bring a Biblically-informed response to someone who in difficult circumstance.
Scripture: Romans 8:28 & 1 Corinthians 10:13