August 15

Romans 8:28-29 28And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.

Verse 28 is the most popular verse of believers today. It is easy to understand why. In this fallen world sin causes such havoc in lives, so much pain. We can't help but be affected by the consequences of the sins of others. The thief has come to kill, steal and destroy, and sometimes he is allowed to do that to our lives. We see that so clearly in Job's story. It is an immense help to realize that God will, in some way we cannot yet perceive, cause the effects of that in our life ultimately to work for something good. The world does not love God, and so it is not called to His purposes, but we do. The promise gives us a sure hope to cling to through the difficult times. Watch for the things God is working into your life through suffering.

The next verse tells us the ultimate good of the suffering we endure. It is conforming us into the image of Christ. It is causing us to rely entirely on our Father as Jesus did. It is teaching us to express faith and patience like Jesus did. We are learning to share others' pain and joy like Jesus did. This is the destiny of every child of God, transformation into the likeness of the Son.

Whatever it takes to transform us, we will endure. You can help the process move along by being thankful instead of bitter. One of the greatest hindrances to the process is when we become angry at God for the suffering. The suffering inflicted is the enemy's work. God is working to bring good out of it. You say, "Yes but God allowed it!" It is true, and the alternative is a world of robots that are not free to do anything but compulsory obedience. Then we'd be asking why a loving God would not let us be free. God has chosen the best route for you to be conformed to the likeness of His Son. It isn't an easy route, but it is the best one. Have you blamed God for some tragedy in life? Realize that it was not God that brought it about. It is God that brings good out of it if we love Him and are open to His transformative work.

Challenge: Memorize these two verses.