Hope for the hurting
“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those
who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” – Romans 8:28
This Verse is a beautiful Hope Promise that is exclusive, it is not for everyone but for the followers of Christ, who are those who “love God,” and “… who are the Called,”
Is there any hope for the Hurting Christian?
Yes, there IS Hope for the Hurting!! Consider one promise of God for those who are in pain, sorrow or despair. “And we Know God causes ALL things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His Purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also Predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren” Romans 8:28-29
Let us begin to look at Gods Promise to us and unravel some of the blessings of this verse. Consider what God is doing and the comfort He desires to impart to those of us who are hurting. God does not want to leave you in despair but through His Word produce HOPE in your Heart…though your situation may not change, your outlook can… as together we consider “Hope for the Hurting” and in particular the Promise of God from Romans 8:28-29
“AND WE KNOW.”
Paul begins this verse with Blessed concrete assurance, “And We Know.” Oh the certainty, comfort, confidence and blessed assurance for the child of God. No matter what the trial, circumstance that has come upon them there is Hope, there is “certainty,” there can be confident expectation, for “WE KNOW.” Know.”
Like a thief who suddenly jumps upon an unsuspecting traveler as in the case of the good Samaritan, “WE KNOW” when unsuspecting and difficult circumstances arrive in our lives, seemingly coming out of no where, breaking the tranquility of the moment, when panic and fears would tear away the very fabric of our being, we can confidently and blessed assuredly in the fact that we can at that moment say, “WE KNOW.” What is it that “WE KNOW?” as a Follower of the Lord Jesus Christ?…The verse goes on to tell us Why we can have such confidence irrespective of the situation we face. For our confidence rests in God… and the fact of what “WE KNOW…”
1. “WE KNOW…”
“THAT GOD CAUSES ALL THINGS TO WORK TOGETHER FOR GOOD.”
God Himself who cannot fail [2 Tim 2:12-13], and cannot lie [Heb 6:18],
Himself who is
- Intimately Acquainted with us [ Ps 139:1-16],
- Intimately Involved with and in us [ Phil 1:6, Phil 2:12] and
- Intimately Cares for us [ 1 Pet 5:7].
It is God Himself who not only has perfect Affection for us [Phil 1:9] but who has the Ability “who is ABLE to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we can ask or think according to the Power that works within us,”-[ Eph 3:20] to cause “all things to work together for good”
2. “WE KNOW…”
Do you know what the word “ALL” means In Greek, the original language it was written in? It means “ALL!!!” “All inclusive” nothing outside of its boundaries.
What are the “all things? Every situation, every individual, every moment of time. Our past failures our present fears are “ALL” included. Everything is included in the “all things.” Everything in our lives, our past, present, future. Our ignorance, other people’s ignorance whose lives have touched ours directly or indirectly, their sin, the failings of others against us. Our own sin and failings against others. Our culture, families, nationalities, frailties, weakness, sicknesses, circumstances. God is able and capable to take “all things” in my life and cause them “All” to work together for good. Such is the greatness of His being. Failure need not be final with God.
As a Follower and devotee of the Lord Jesus some things you can know and exercise in regards “ALL THINGS”
A. You are to do “all things” without complaining- Phil 2:14
B. You are to Give thanks in “all things”- 1 Thess 5:16 [ NIV says “all circumstances”]
C. You can be confident because you know “All things” God can use to work out for your and my good and His Glory – Rom 8:28-29
3. “WE KNOW…”
“TO WORK TOGETHER FOR GOOD.”
Who but God can cause the “all things” to work together for good, for that which is beneficial to an individual but God. He is able to take our sin and failings and lack of insight and the sins and failings of not only ours but also of those who have sinned against us or have failed us and He alone is able to take it “ALL” and work it “ALL” for “Good “- that which ultimately conform us to Christ-likeness -Romans 8:29 in our thinking, speaking and attitudes and actions. He can use it “ALL” There is nothing He needs to throw away but can even use failures and use them to benefit others.”Work together”is where we get our English word, “Synergy,” which speaks of all the various elements, being brought to one end, and in this case for our “good,” how wonderful is this promise of Hope to us!
Consider Peter denying the Lord and yet when Jesus comes to restore Him, He does so with a purpose- “Tend My lambs…Shepherd My sheep…Tend My lambs…” -John 21:15,16,17. Is this the way you or I would have treated Peter? Unfortunately because of our lack of love and spirituality, Galatians 5:22-24- shows us what a “spiritual “person looks and lives like. If Peter had been in many of our congregations today he would have been black balled, looked down upon … gossiped about. His sin would have been his down fall, the focus point of conversation and even ostracized and never again fit for ministry. But here we see the Lord Jesus demonstrate for us Galatians 6:1-2 -“Brothers, even if anyone is caught In ANY trespass, you who are SPIRITUAL, RESTORE SUCH A ONE in a spirit of GENTLENESS; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted. Bear one another burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.” The Lord Jesus is all about Restoring lives not Discarding them…and that includes you dear friend.
Do you think you are so far from God, your sin and shame are so great that God could never use you again? Please consider David…consider those in Hebrews chapter 11…men and women with sin and moral flaws? Yes! But yet men and women whom God used for His Glory…Samson… Abraham…Noah…Moses… and yet we read “…OF WHOM THE WORLD WAS NOT WORTHY…and ALL these having GAINED APPROVAL THROUGH THEIR FAITH…”- Heb 11:38-39. Look long and hard at these dear ones…flaws? Yes? Faith…? Yes! And this is the commodity that Pleases God. “For without Faith it is impossible to please God…”-Heb 11:6. It Takes FAITH- when we have sinned and failed and when others have against us to TAKE GOD at His Word and Know by Faith when we “confess our sins, HE IS FAITHFUL and RIGHTEOUS to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness…”- 1 John 1:9
But who is it that reaps such benefit and blessings?
4. “WE KNOW…”
“TO THOSE WHO LOVE GOD.”
The promise and privilege are… exclusive. This Blessed assurance is ONLY for those who “love God.” And who are those who love God? They are those who have been “first loved by Him.”[1 John 4:19] They are those who are submissive to Him and, being taught by God to love [1Thess 4:9-10]. They are those whom the “love of God has been shed abroad in their hearts by the Holy Spirit [Rom 5:5] and now have the capacity and power to Love God- and others [Matt 22:37-38; Gal 5:22]., even their Enemies-[Luke 6:27-31] They are those who live to obey Him as an expression of their love for Him. [John 14:21; John 15:14].
WHAT ARE THEY LIKE WHO LOVE HIM?
A. They love because He first loved them.- 1 John 4:19
B. They Long for Him as the deer longs for the water brooks. Their souls desire after Him. – Ps 42:1-2
C. The Live to Obey Him- John 14:21
D. They are Learning to Lay aside sins out of Love for Him . [ Heb 12:2]
E. “They are learning to look out for the interests and welfare of others and meeting their needs by choosing to Lay down their lives, though their choices and resources -[Phil 2:3-4; 1 John 3:16,17
F. They are those who Love Jesus Christ – Eph 6:24:
G. They are those who Love those who are born of God- 1 John 5:1
H. They are those Who love God’s Word – Ps 119:165
To These and these alone is the blessed comfort, confidence and anchor for the soul of this blessed assurance, that they as well as we can say, based on the Authority of Gods Word “WE KNOW…” that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God and are…” It is these who along with the psalmist can say of God, “You are my Help and Deliverer…”… “God IS our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change …” Ps 40:17; 46:1
5. “WE KNOW…” that
” AND ARE CALLED ACCORDING TO HIS PURPOSE.”
The Greek word Kletos, translated “CALLED” speaks of God’s Divine call and choosing for His own good pleasure, independent of anything or anyone outside of Himself in calling someone. The word in classical Greek spoke of inviting someone into a house or to a meal and came to mean, “chosen.” Jesus said, “many are called but few are chosen.”[ Matt 2:14] which had to do with an External call. Here we have the Call of God, where God has chosen, marked out a people for Himself.- Read Ephesians 1:4
The people whom God called are called with A SPECIFIC PURPOSE. They are those whose hearts, and minds have been so thoroughly influenced by the Holy Spirit’s making them aware of their sin against God and to understand their ultimate and desperate need of the Lord Jesus Christ to make things right with God on their behalf. These, being convinced of their sin against God and convicted of their need of the Lord Jesus embraced Him by submitting to Him as Lord to rule them and Savior to rescue them from what they are, and have done. To these alone the converted ones, the ones called of God, to these God has a purpose which they can “know” for certainty what that purpose and plan is for their lives…
God has not only saved you and me but God has a specific AIM for us. It was not merely to save us from the penalty, power, and results of sin as wonderful as that is, but His goal is to CHANGE us and make us into something…
6. “WE KNOW…”
“TO THOSE HE FOREKNEW, TO THOSE HE PREDESTINED.”-Rom 8:29
God in eternity past set His love upon me [Eph 1:4-5 ] and His Love has an aim and an end. He predestined, the word speaks of “boundaries.” He placed His boundaries on my life to uniquely know Him and He circled me out by specifically choosing me …as He did you, greatly beloved of God- Ephesians 1:6
7. “WE KNOW…”
“TO BECOME CONFORMED TO THE IMAGE OF HIS SON.” – Rom 8:29
A. – Physically, We will be like Him when we see Him- 1 John 3:1-3 and this hope has a purifying effect on our lives now. [1 John 3:1-3; Phil 3:21;1 Cor 15:49]
B.- Spiritually, We will be like Him when we meet Him in Heaven. He will perfect us and the full salvation will be evident as our bodies are changed and there no longer is sin to tempt us in His Realm of perfect Holiness – Heb 2:9-11
2. – SANCTIFICATION;
. – To become like Jesus Christ, in attitude, word and deed. To be renewed in our mind, – [Rom 12:2]
A. – To Become a “new creature” [ 2 Cor 5:17]
B. – To have a “new heart” [Jeremiah 24:7]
C.- To have a “new ambition“[ 2 Cor 5:9] ,
D. – To have a “new Goal” [Phil 3:8,10] and
E. – To have a “new boast” [ Gal 6:14] and t
F.- To be changed into the likeness of Jesus Christ [ 2 Cor 3:18]
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE MEANS GOD USES TO BRING ABOUT THIS CHANGE IN US?
A. He Sanctifies us by His Spirit- 2 Thess 2:13;
“We should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the
beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth.”
B. He sanctifies us through His Word- John 17:17; ” Sanctify them according to Thy Word, Thy Word is Truth”;
“…when you received the Word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it
really is, THE WORD OF GOD, which also PERFORMS IN YOU WHO BELIEVE.”- 1 Thess 2:13
C. He sanctifies us through Prayer-Col 4:12;
“Epaphras,…always laboring earnestly for you in his prayers, that you may stand MATURE and fully assured in ALL the
will of God.”
D. He Sanctifies us through Trials- James 1;3-4
“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials knowing, that the testing of YOUR faith produces
endurance. AND LET endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be MATURE and complete…”
E. He sanctifies us through Suffering- 1 Peter 5:10
“After you have suffered for a little while, the God of ALL Grace who called you to His eternal Glory in Christ
WILL HIMSELF, MATURE, confirm, establish and strengthen you.”
F. He sanctifies us through Gifted leaders- Eph 4:7-15
“And He GAVE some as…. evangelists, pastor teachers, for the equipping of the saints…to the building up of the
body…until we all attain…to a MATURE man…. We are to GROW up in all aspects into Him…even Christ”
GODS GOAL IS WE BECOME more and more like Him, living to please the Father and be about the Father’s business [John 4:34; 2 Cor 5:9]; To become Eternal minded [Col 3:1-3]; To become an Example to be followed [1 Tim 4:12; Phil 4:9]; To become like Jesus Christ, which will be manifested in a submissive servant [Eph 5:21; Phil 2:5-9]
God’s Goal is to make us like His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ in attitude, thought, word and deed, which as Christ’s follower, He is at work in us [Phil 2:12] to conform His followers to the image of His Son.
7. “WE KNOW…”
“THAT HE MIGHT BE THE FIRST BORN OF MANY BRETHREN.”-Rom 8:29
By “First born” is meant Preeminence. In Jewish culture the firstborn male had privileged status and it figuratively meant pre eminence. As the One who bought us back from the bondage of sin which the man Adam had led us into. Genesis 3:3:6. The Man Jesus, the perfect Man- the Perfect Son of God, as a man defeated satan, satisfied the Father with His Sinless, substitution and sacrifice on our behalf.- 1 John 2:1-2; Heb 1:3 ;2:14-17- Glory to God.
The Lord Jesus, through His Work has brought us into a family relationship with God, where we are now His family- Matt 12:50; John 15:15. God has brought for Himself a people back into a family relationship through the Lord Jesus and He is the “…. Head of the body, the church, the beginning, the FIRST BORN from the dead; so that He Himself might come to have FIRST PLACE IN EVERYTHING,”- Col 1:18.
So as Christ as our King, God as our Father and the Spirit of God as our Teacher we will spend all of Eternity praising and worshipping Him, and we have this blessed assurance and confidence that “WE KNOW God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God to those who are called according to His purpose. That those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son that He might become the first born among many brethren,”
Heaven is ours because of Gods Grace and mercy extended to us through the Blessed Lord Jesus Christ.
- Christ is our Surety,
- Christ is our Security,
- Christ is our Salvation.
- Christ is the means for our ultimate Destination- Heaven, to be at Home with our Heavenly Father – John 14:1-6.
1. THINK ON TRUTH– THIS TRUTH FROM ROMANS 8:28-29. Commit it to memory…meditate on each word…Learn to see your situation, indeed this very one perhaps you are going through presently from Gods perspective.
What does God say regarding your situation now from His Perspective as revealed in this verse? Is there anything according to this verse which is outside of Gods capacity to bring about “good” in the lives of those who “Love Him?” And remember we express “Love” to God through choosing to obey Him- John 14:21
2. TALK– To Yourself and remind yourself of this truth. When your emotions would scream otherwise, when you are hit with the lie of the evil one, “nothing good can come from this…its too late…etc” Talk to yourself the TRUTH of Gods Word as here in Romans 8:28-29. The Psalmist did this when he asked of himself why he was so down, and then spoke to himself “Put your Hope in God”- Psalm 42:5
3. THANK God– for this truth… that you along with other followers of the Lord Jesus can say “WE KNOW…”
4. TELL- Other believers-Remind us for at times we often forget, don’t we? of what God has written for us in His Word- Romans 15:4 so …”WE KNOW”…
Paul wrote to the church at Philippi “I am confident that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”- Phil 1:6 and so we can overwhelmingly know and rejoice that “WE KNOW…” GOD IS AT WORK IN YOUR LIFE AND AS YOU CHOOSE TO OBEY HIM, He is working “…ALL THINGS TOGETHER FOR GOOD…” and that includes the present trials troubles you are gong through.
By faith cling to Him and His Word, even when your emotions would scream otherwise, know God is in control…AND REST IN HIM…and Thank God we are part of those who can say assuredly, though at times with trembling hearts and through much tears and sorrow… “‘WE KNOW.” And because of what GOD SAYS there is HOPE FOR THE HURTING because “WE KNOW” this is not how the chapter of our lives will end… And “WE KNOW God causes ALL THINGS to wok together for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.”
You are so greatly loved by God and indeed dear precious one…there is Hope for the Hurting as we contemplate and appropriate the Promise of God …“AND WE KNOW.” By choosing to believe His Word it pleases Him- Heb 11:6…
LEARNING IN THE STORMS OF LIFE- What “WE KNOW…”
In the midst of this present storm perhaps you are in consider the disciples in Mark 4:31-39 we read that they were in a boat, storm tossed on the waters, fearing for their lives and at the 4th watch of the night which was the darkest hour of the night,…HE came…walking on the waves, they were in subjection to Him as He walked on top of them and He calmed the seas and calmed the disciples heart and they asked “Who is This …?- why it is JESUS, Your Older Brother…who will come into your storm tossed circumstances and speak peace to you His beloved child… and together we can rejoice as we go from one storm to another building confidence because “WE KNOW”…don’t we…
Your fellow pilgrim following in the train of Jesus Christ’s triumph