Romans 8:28-32 New King James Version (NKJV)
28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.
30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.
God’s Everlasting Love
31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?
As an admirer of Billy Graham, my niece and husband sent me an email of when the great evangelist was being honored in his home town of Charlotte, NC.
--A lot of people spoke, and it became his turn.
--Billy Graham began as he told about Albert Einstein, scientist, on a train from Princeton, NJ, as the conductor came to punch his ticket.
--Einstein looked in all his pockets; no ticket.
--Looked in his briefcase, it was not there.
--The conductor said, "Dr. Einstein, I know who you are, we all do, and sure you bought a ticket; now don't worry about it." Went on up the coach.
But Einstein kept looking, even down on his knees.
--The conductor rushed back, "Dr. Einstein, no problem, I know who you are. It's ok, don't worry."
--Einstein looked at him and said, "I too know who I am - what I don't know is where I'm going!"
Billy Graham continued, "I know who I am; and I also know where I am going - to God in heaven - I got this new suit for this occasion, and be buried in!"
--Billy Graham, you know, has Parkinsons.
God has worked for good in Billy's life has He not?
--His Dad wanted him to follow farming; and it's ok.
--God needed a minister, who knows where he's going!
--I pray you know who you are. Where you're going.
--I made sure of that many years ago, and my Savior has worked for good in my life; and yours I pray.
--Life without Jesus as Lord is like an unsharpened pencil - that is, it has no point!
--Know where you're going. Let God work for good!
Let's discover how God works for our good. He can.
--Do you believe all things do? Paul did, "we know that all things work together for good to those who love God" (Romans 8:28). Over time, they do.
--We'll have our crosses, sure; but Easter comes!
--Yielded to the Lord, God will work it for good.
--Romans 8 is one of the most loved chapters of all.
--With John 14, I Corinthians 13, Psalm 23. Great.
Romans 8 can make a new you, as Jesus did for Paul.
--It teaches what Jesus did. The Holy Spirit does.
--How "the whole creation groans and labors" awaiting "the redemption of our body" (v 22f).
--Circle verses how "the Spirit helps our weaknesses" - and we all have some weaknesses do we not?
--How "the Spirit Himself makes intercession for use and searches the hearts .. according to the will of God" (v 26f). "All things working for good."
Paul says "we know all things work .. for good."
--What we may call adversities he saw as God's will.
--He uses "we know" five times; "know" 13 times.
--Paul learned, and he knew. So we may "know."
--May know the Lord. Know His will. Know_if saved.
--Know we have life here, and hereafter with Him.
--Know that "all things work together for good."
For everyone. For "those who love God, called according to His purpose." Do you "love the Lord?"
--True, we'll have trials, but the Lord is with us.
--You ask, how can we know? If we are "born again."
--Born again people love the Lord Who died for them.
Paul proved this in his trials, travels, testings.
--Read his life in Acts, especially Acts 21:13.
--And read his 13 epistles, to see how Paul grew as He knew, how God worked for good in his life.
Which God are we to love? Many know only as Father.
--They lack two-thirds of God - Jesus, Holy Spirit.
--All three make one Trinity - Father, Son, Spirit.
--As we are a trinity - body, mind, spirit - to make one, whole, complete person. It takes all three.
--Get all the God there is! All God can give us!
--The Triune God Jesus revealed. God made us all.
--Created the world. "Loves the world." Saves it.
--Jesus Who died Good Friday. Arose Easter dawn.
--From a sealed, guarded tomb, alive! Only One!
--Proved His deity by a sinless life, many miracles.
--So whatever comes, "we are more than conquerors."
Friend, truly believing Jesus is "knowing" Him.
--Then, in love, we trust Him, even in hardships.
--He said, "I will never leave, or forsake you."
You are special to God. He loves and died for you.
--Yet problems arise - sometimes abound, "the whole creation groans and labors" (Romans 8:22).
--An "apostasy and Great Tribulation" are coming.
--But Jesus answers prayer, still saves. Guides.
Romans 8 says "all things work for good." They can.
--At times it may seem hard to believe. Its true!
--A woman giving birth is in agony or pain, awhile.
--But when the baby is born, she gives thanks to God as she holds that precious new life in her arms!
--Loving the Lord we trust Him, even in suffering.
--For we believe God, that "He's working for good."
I believe the Bible, for I've proved it many times.
--Because Jesus' life - and many others - prove it.
--His cross and resurrection. Paul's life, faith.
--What works for good for those in the Bible and in the lives of godly believers I know, will for you.
--In health or ill, Wealth or want. Life or death.
--We can trust a loving Savior, Heavenly Father!
--May I share a few examples from Scripture?
I. TAKE JOSEPH - HIS TRIALS WERE PART OF GOD'S PLAN.
--Joseph's 11 brothers were envious, jealous of him.
--Sold Joseph as a slave; he was taken to Egypt.
--He was unjustly accused, and cast into prison.
--God was still working for good; he interpreted the Pharoah's dream, and made Egypt's Prime Minister!
As God's man Joseph warned of a 7-year drought ahead.
--He prepared Egypt for it. Stored grain for food.
--In the famine, his brothers came, begging bread.
--Joseph said, "You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good .. to save many people" (Gen. 50).
Forgiveness on our part is a Christ-like virtue.
All Joseph went through, injustices, sufferings, disappointments, yet "God meant it for good" (v. 20).
--To his brothers Joseph added, "It was not you who sent me here but God." What forgiveness! Grace!
--Friend, we can learn a lot from young Joseph.
When we obey the Lord, "God works for good" for us.
--I pray we will ever trust and obey our Lord.
II. TAKE JOB AS AN EXAMPLE HOW GOD WORKS FOR GOOD.
--In seminary I studied a whole semester this book, and reasons for suffering- not all for sin.
--Certainly not for Jesus. Joseph. Or Job.
--Job was godly. Prays. Worships. Helps others.
--But like we all, Job had the devil against him.
--Satan accuses Job unjustly before God (Job 1).
--Robs Job of all ten of his children, his possessions. His health. The devil can do that to us!
--Amid boils (ever had boils?), Job said of his God, "Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him" (13:15).
--How is that for "God working for good"? Or love?
I've gone through sufferings. But God was there.
--It is not good at the time. Let God make it so.
--I've come to see that truth, which is our hope.
--In the end God gave Job for his faith, double!
--Another ten children! And double possessions.
--Above all, Job defeated the devil. May we also.
III. SCRIPTURE AND LIFE ARE FULL OF SUCH EXAMPLES.
--Study your Bible. See how "God works for good."
--Because "they loved God." Lived for "His purpose".
--The "called" are all who "come" follow the Lord.
--I've known some modern saints as models for me.
--Maybe you know some; you may be an example, also.
Some of the saintliest I know have been a sufferer, for the Savior. So let your cross become a crown.
--I met Joni Eareckson Tada, paralyzed at 18 in her arms and legs, but a heart to bless millions.
--Billy Graham helped her start a radio ministry.
Sentenced to die in England years ago for preaching Jesus Christ, Bernard Gilpin lingered in prison.
--He did not conform to their established church.
--He kept praying, reading his Bible, witnessing.
--Climbing the gallows steps he fell, broke his leg and hanging postponed, until it healed.
--Meanwhile Queen Elizabeth reigned, Gilpin freed!
--A broken leg, you see, spared Gilpin's life.
Whatever may come, trust the Lord. Rejoice in Him.
--Jesus is our ticket. Know where you are going!
--Let Him "work for good." - Wilbert D. Gough, 124