" And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28
That scripture has been quoted over and over again by many, and myself included, without real consideration as to the conditions thereof. It is true that all things do work together for the good for some people, but who are they? They are those who "love God" and then are "called according to his purpose," or doing his will. So there is a condition to the promise above as there are conditions to all promises in the Word of God. We have to love God, than do his will.
To love God is to love his son and abide in him, or live with him. To live with him is to live with his Word and have the same purposes as he has. Even in this sinful world that seems to captivate our attention just by living and performing the necessary tasks to survive in it, we are called upon to abide in him. "I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing." John 15:5 It takes an effort on our behalf to live or abide in him because of the prince of the power of the air, or the devil, therefore we must put forth effort if we are to inherit his blessing and eternal life. Following several "do's and don'ts" will not make us abide in him but to have him in our hearts and lives will. We must keep him and love him and guard against the constant attempts of Satan to intrude.
To love him is to follow and keep his Word. We often try to lay up our own commandments and rules of righteousness but it is in the Bible, the Word of Life that we find truth and are given the proper information for maintaining our love with him. Jesus told his disciples shortly before going to the cross that he would manifest himself to them but not the world. This sounded strange to them and one of them asked as follows: "Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him." John 14:22-23 So we are to keep his word. Since that is essential, we must know what it is that we are to keep, so the only way to know is to read his Word, not once, nor twice, nor three times, but over and over again. We are put to shame by the cults and other religions. Children are taught to memorize several passages of the Quran even written in a foreign tongue but it is doubtful if many can quote five verses in the Bible.
At the workplace we may spend hours discussing methods, procedures and rules only to have everything change within the next few months. We'll spend hours on a paper that will be irrelevant within weeks and work ourselves into a frenzy about procedures that will change almost as soon as the ink is dried in the rule book. While these things may be important at the time, we take great notice of them but forget the book that does not change and the only one that can give use the past, present, and future, the Bible.
It is impossible to love Christ without loving his Word. It is impossible to follow his will without reading his word. It is impossible to get the true meaning of scripture without Christ and his spirit. "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." 1 Corinthians 2:14
There is much more to this verse but in my effort to keep these blogs fairly short, I'll only be brief. We are lead to believe that when he says "all things work together for the good," is is meant that nothing but good can happen to us as far as we are concerned That's not what it really says. It says, "for the good," meaning that it will work for our good. While me may not see anything good out of what we are in now, God does. It is like a parent spanking their child for misbehaving (I still believe in spanking if done in love) and them saying to the child that it is for their good. The child won't believe them at the time but later in life he will. Are you in a distressful situation? Give yourself to more reading of God's Word and strive to draw closer to the Lamb of Life. Make sure everything's OK between you and him. He loves you and wants to help you through all situations and will help you here as well.
I covet your prayers.