All Things

“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, and are called according to His purpose”  Romans 8:28 NASB

 I have heard this verse used in a way that concerns me. If this verse is casually interpreted the one who speaks it is often expecting God to bless them and give them what they want or ask God for. If we are not careful it can be taken as a proof text for “name it and claim it” because after all, we love God and God wants to bless us.

Let’s take a closer look starting with the word “purpose.” The Greek word translated “purpose” means an exposition. It is like the exhibits in the County Fair.  They are put out so the people who came to the Fair can see them and examine them. The first place where the verse is used in the New Testament is in Matthew 12:4 where it is translated consecrated bread or showbread or shewbread, depending on the translation of the Bible. It is translated the same way in the last verse where the word is used in the New Testament, in Hebrews 9:2

 This bread consisted of twelve loaves which were put on the table in the Holy Place of the temple or tabernacle. These twelve loaves represented the twelve tribes of Israel and also represented the Word of God. The priest was to change the loaves weekly. Israel was to bring the word of God to the world and so it was also their offering to God. By looking at this physically we can see what God is doing spiritually. The Word of God is God’s exhibit. It is taught and observed by Israel by speaking and teaching.  It is also to be observed in how they lived. This can have some good and not so good outcomes for Israel.  If Israel lives the Word of God as they were instructed in Deuteronomy 4:1-8, they were promised that God would bless them and that blessing would be exhibited in Israel for the world to see. If Israel did not live the Word of God but turned away, then what God promised Israel in verses 9-32 would be exhibited in the nation of Israel for the entire world to observe and learn. The same is true for the Church.

 How we live and conduct our lives may well be the only Bible a non-believer reads. We may have to go through hard and difficult situations like Joseph did when he was sold into slavery and ended up in prison.  We may well not understand what is happening to us or why.  But in the end, Joseph demonstrated he understood when he was able to tell his brothers that what they intended for evil God used for good. The same could be said of David, Daniel, Paul, and of course Jesus and many others. When I read in the Bible of those who were going through difficult things I like to make a note saying “all things,” to remind me I am not alone in any trial and I need to turn to God and let Him lead and guide.

 If we love God we can expect to be used of God. If we are casual in our relationship with God we can expect to be disciplined by God. If we are going through trials and difficulties it doesn’t mean God has abandoned us. God is working for our good, whether exposing a weakness in our walk or strengthening us for what lies ahead. But know this; our life is on display. We are God’s exhibit to an unbelieving world. God has called us according to His purpose, and His purpose is being exhibited for all the world to see through our lives!

 When things seem to go wrong or trials come I try to remember those two words, “all things,” and seek to glorify God in all things.

 Colossians 3:17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father  NASB

 

Here are the verses where this word is used.

Mathew 12:4; Mark 2:26; Luke 6:4; Acts 11:23: 27:13; Romans 8:28: 9:11 Ephesians 1:11; 3:11; 2 Timothy 1:9; 3:10; Hebrews 9:2

May you sense God's presence and plan in "All Things."

Pastor Dave