Romans 8:28 Isn't Just About Things Working Out For Good, It's About Mission.

article-new_ehow_images_a08_55_in_use-weaving-shuttle-800x800“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)

Many of us, myself included, cling to this verse in the midst of difficulties and trials.  For, in part, this verse’s intention is to provide hope that the hard things in life will culminate in some fashion for our good.  Platitudes like, “whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” barely approach the import of this passage.  Jesus says, “For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it.” (Mark 8:35)

Yes, All things – All our afflictions and trials; all of our persecutions and calamities, all of those numerous long and continued obstacles, and all of those apparent senseless and evil things are among the means which God has purposed for our welfare and our good.  But, this promise is targeted. It implies that God has a plan, a purpose, and an intention, for all those who become His disciples.  God does not convert people without design; and his designs are not new, they are eternal. What he does. he always meant to do.  His purpose is mission.  He moves.  He has moved since the beginning. (Genesis 1:2)

He moves towards the completion of His ultimate purpose.  His ultimate purpose, however you define that, is achieved by Him alone.  We can not help God achieve His ultimate purpose. But, He has made us co-laborers in achieving His temporal purposes.  He helps us.  We are His chosen causality.  We become that by heeding the call of sentness and with of our love for Him.  All of those difficulties we encounter along the way in His divinely appointed mission do work out for our good, but only when we live as a people on mission for a missionary God.  When we move.

We live as sent for the Sender and to the people He has sent us to.  We are sent like a weaver’s shuttle, again and again until we are nourished and knit together, made full, and become complete in Christ, who fills all things everywhere with himself.  (Ephesians 1:23)  We are weaved together until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.  (Ephesians 4:13)

The Church, or better still, the people of God who constitute it, can not force things to work out for good.  We can not wait motionless for a sign that the good has come or even settle for a shadow good.  We must remain in motion, on mission, because of our love for Him and His.  It is while we walk together and move together that we are weaved together with God and His people, according to His purpose, that things work out for our good, others’ good, and God’s glory.  

 

0 thoughts on “Romans 8:28 Isn't Just About Things Working Out For Good, It's About Mission.

  1. Jim Wright says:

    Thank you.

    God is restoring His passion to a Church that has been too long enjoying the settled ease of its anemic and insular cocoons.

    My life is His. He defines me, and not me Him.

    My passion is His passion, and He can send and do with me as He wants.

  2. Miguel says:

    This comment was sent to me via someone who would be in jeopardy as to safety and security if it was tagged with their information. I thought it a very good contribution to the discussion (Miguel)

    “Good point! However, wouldn’t it be even stronger if it included the logical link that Paul makes?
    “For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be m the firstborn among many brothers.”
    Doesn’t that mean that our ultimate good and God’s purpose is to comform us to the image of His Son? If that is true, then that already defines the means that will be used. (nothing less that what He used in Jesus’ life, including sorrows through which Jesus learned obedience, becoming perfect – Heb 5:8-9)
    In this case, mission would flow naturally since Jesus is God’s missionary “par excellence”.
    Just my two cents on the matter and blessings to you for the week ahead.”

  3. E says:

    I was told by someone that the times are getting so dark that people do not want to hear about Jesus and that we should focus on humbling ourselves and protecting our families. I told the person we are not dead yet and I don’t care what a situation looks like, everyone needs the Word of the Lord.

    It was a Christian who told me this.

    I am so grateful there are people like you who represent Mark 16 so well. Thank you.

    • David Woods says:

      E, You are right, of course, about not being dead yet, but I have to admit, the thought your buddy portrayed has crossed my mind before.

      I mean, in today’s America, where just about everyone has heard about Jesus, and chooses to just mock Him, haven’t they already made their choice? Is it really our job to go about attempting to convince them that their choice is wrong?

      I know it is, but I gotta admit entertaining the thought once in a while, at least.

      • E says:

        Hi David,

        I am a person who have thought the same thing numerous times too. I naturally do not like conflict or people to disagree with me. However, I am also not in the business of “convincing” anyone. Just giving someone an encouraging word and planting the Word is enough. There is always one who will receive- I can not worry over those who have chosen their path.

        Thanks!

  4. j says:

    Very well said! Thank you for emphasizing this often overlooked message.

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