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)
What a tremendous claim Paul makes in this verse! He does not say, “We know that in some things,” “most things,” or even “joyful things” but “ALL things.” This promise spans from the very smallest detail of life to the most important, and from the most humbling of daily tasks to God’s greatest works of grace performed during a crisis.
Paul states this in the present tense: “God works.” He does not say, “worked” or “will work.” It is a continuing operation.
We also know from Scripture that God’s “justice [is] like the great deep” (Ps. 36: 6); at this very moment the angels in heaven, as they watch with folded wings the development of God’s great plan, are undoubtedly proclaiming, “The Lord is righteous in all his ways and loving toward all he has made” (Ps. 145: 17).
Then when God orchestrates “all things . . . for the good,” it is a beautiful blending. He requires many different colors, which individually may be quite drab, to weave into the harmonious pattern.
Separate tones, notes, and even discords are required to compose melodious musical anthems; a piece of machinery requires many separate wheels, parts, and connections. One part from a machine may be useless, or one note from an anthem may never be considered beautiful, but taken together, combined, and completed, they lead to perfect balance and harmony.
We can learn a lesson of faith from this: “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand” (John 13: 7).
~J. R. Macduff
In a thousand trials, it is not just five hundred of them that work “for the good” of the believer, but nine hundred and ninety-nine, plus one.
God Meant It unto Good (Gen. 50: 20 KJV)
“God meant it unto good”— O blest assurance,
Falling like sunshine all across life’s way,
Touching with Heaven’s gold, earth’s darkest storm clouds,
Bringing fresh peace and comfort day by day.
’Twas not by chance the hands of faithless brothers
Sold Joseph captive to a foreign land;
Nor was it chance that, after years of suffering,
Brought him before the pharaoh’s throne to stand.
One Eye all-seeing saw the need of thousands,
And planned to meet it through that one lone soul;
And through the weary days of prison bondage
Was working toward the great and glorious goal.
As yet the end was hidden from the captive,
The iron entered even to his soul;
His eye could scan the present path of sorrow,
Not yet his gaze might rest upon the whole.
Faith failed not through those long, dark days of waiting,
His trust in God was reimbursed at last,
The moment came when God led forth his servant
To comfort many, all his sufferings past.
“It was not you but God, that led me to here,”
Witnessed triumphant faith in later days;
“God meant it unto good,” no other reason
Mingled their discord with his song of praise.
“God means it unto good” for you, beloved,
The God of Joseph is the same today;
His love permits afflictions strange and bitter,
His hand is guiding through the unknown way.
Your Lord, who sees the end from the beginning,
Has purposes for you of love untold.
Then place your hand in His and follow fearless,
Till you the riches of His grace behold.
There, when you stand firm in the Home of Glory,
And all life’s path lies open to your gaze,
Your eyes will SEE the hand that you’re now trusting,
And magnify His love through endless days.
~Freda Hanbury Allen
Cowman, L. B. E.; Reimann, Jim (2008-09-09). Streams in the Desert: 366 Daily Devotional Readings (pp. 228-229). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.