Have you ever noticed how “conditional” our belief can be at times? Here is one example: “the sovereignty of God.” Of course, He really is sovereign! Scripture shows God as creating this world, unfolding a plan for this world, and directing all the events of this world toward His Own great and glorious purpose. But this truth is easier to believe when we discuss it in a Sunday School class or hear it proclaimed from a pulpit, than it is to believe at the funeral of a well-loved friend or family member, or when we are devastated by some financial crisis in our life.
We love God’s sovereignty when it doesn’t seem to disturb our desires. We find it easy to believe “all things work for good” when we experience times of joy and brightness, but difficult in times of trouble and confusion.
Romans 8:28 (ESV)
28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
God is the good composer and skilled conductor Who is orchestrating all events so they lead ultimately to His glory and our good.
No one who has ever listened to Beethoven’s 9th symphony has thought to himself, “I think each of these musicians is just making it up as they go.” No one who has ever listened to Johann Sebastian Bach’s Ticotta and Fuga in D-minor and thought, “I can see no evidence of a composer.” (Those are my thoughts when I try to listen to Jazz. But back to my point…) No one who has ever listened to Handel’s Messiah and heard the swells and strains of the Hallelujah chorus has thought “I’m pretty sure no conductor is directing everyone’s timing through these movements…”
My point is: where we glimpse such order, where we hear such unified orchestration, we know there is someone who has created it and we know there is someone who is directing it. We know that each of the people in the orchestra is following some kind of a score and responding to the lead of some kind of a director.
As all the instruments in an orchestra work together, so too all the circumstances in our lives. The instruments combine to express the artist’s composition and the circumstances to express the Maker’s providence.
“All things for good” is a promise that God’s people must take by faith and cling to with tenacity in times of great difficulty. We need to believe that God really does love us and that He has the ability to work all things for good. We need to confidently trust that He is doing what’s right and best according to his unfathomable wisdom. The Lord is doing what will most conform His people to the image of His Son. We need to depend upon it, bank all we’ve got on it, go all-in on it. We need to set aside our feelings and, by faith, submit them to such truths in God’s promises.
Through every circumstance, the promise of Romans 8:28 calls us to believe that a day will come when we will affirm God’s every decision and marvel at His wisdom in our every trial. It calls us to trust that our sovereign God is the good composer and skilled conductor Who is orchestrating all events so they lead ultimately to His glory and our ETERNAL good.
This blog is a revision of a blog by Tim Challies.