This week's memory verse:
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28
Sometimes when I am writing this blog, I think, what right do I have to be writing this stuff? I didn't go to seminary...I am no Bible expert...I really don't know what I am talking about. I just write was is in my heart as I read and study God's word each day. Today is one of those days because the lesson today is one that is sometimes hard to understand.
What exactly does "God works all things for good" mean? I have friends who cannot bring themselves to God because of this phrase. I had a long conversation with one friend a while ago about it. Why would a loving caring God CAUSE bad things and suffering to happen to the people he created and loved? OR if God didn't cause them to happen, he is supposed to be powerful enough to stop it...why wouldn't he? If we liken God to a loving father, most fathers I know would do about ANYTHING to keep their children from suffering...why wouldn't our heavenly father do this as well?
These are TOUGH questions that I don't feel worthy enough to answer on my own. Today's First Place 4 Health Bible study takes us through some of this much better than I can.
God is sovereign. The dictionary definition of sovereign is: indisputable; greatest in degree; utmost or extreme; above all others in character, importance and excellence. Jesus is a big part of God's sovereignty. Look at Colossians 1:15-20
* Verse 15 - Jesus is the image of God, first born in all creation
* Verse 16 - In him, ALL THINGS were created. Created IN HIM and FOR HIM.
* Verse 17 - Jesus is before all things and holds all things together
* Verse 18 - Jesus is the head of the body, the church, he has supremacy over all
* Verse 19 - God is pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him
* Verse 20 - Through Jesus, God reconciles his relationship with all his creation. Jesus' blood on the cross brought peace
There is a lot of evil in the world. Many people refuse God, don't know God...it is a fallen world. But God has the authority and the ability to make all things come together for good. This doesn't mean God will make all things comfortable, pleasing and happy for us. This is an issue I have had in the past...if I am following Jesus, relying on God and living as I should, why am I still struggling and unhappy? Have you ever had those thoughts?
When you seek God and follow him, he is working on you...making you more like Jesus. He uses our struggles, our pain, our unhappiness to mold and shape us into the people of character he wants us to be. We will have ultimate joy with him in heaven when we rely on him now. I know people who say they don't want to live this life just waiting on life in heaven...I say...what else is there????
Read Colossians 2:13-15
God made us alive with Christ! That is an amazing statement! When we believe and accept Christ as the one who saves...our sins are nailed to the same cross as Christ was...they are taken away...dead and buried! We are then alive as Christ is alive! All the power of sin and evil authorities on earth has been taken away! We will live in heaven...filled with joy...no more pain, tears, tragedies, fears....that is God's promise to us!
Jeremiah 32:27 says "I am the Lord, God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?"
I say no...nothing is too hard for God!
I don't know much...there is SO MUCH I don't understand. When I don't understand, I go to God's word and rely on what it says. Then...it is faith that holds me together. I don't know why there has to be suffering on this earth to get to the joy of heaven, but...I do know that it's part of God's plan...he takes EVERYTHING and makes it work for good. If we didn't have suffering...would we know what peace and joy was?
I like how The Message translation states our memory verse for this week: "That's why we can be sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good."