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And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.  (Romans 8:28-29 ESV)
 

We need to know that God is at once supremely good and supremely sovereign, orchestrating everything in our lives to the very good end of being conformed to the image of Christ. I am not talking ‘Christianese’ here. I mean we need to really know it – deep in our souls. I do not mean that we need to ‘know’ this truth in the sense that we offer some thoughtless agreement to something that everyone at church says is true. I mean that we need to really contemplate it and believe it – i.e., hold the truth of God’s good and benevolent control over all things as virtuous, fitting, beautiful, life-giving, life-sustaining, dependable, glorious, lovely, comforting, and most importantly, true.

Knowing this makes living in a broken, fallen world possible for the Christian. It makes our work more meaningful and our relationships more valuable. It is an anchor on the stormy days and a powerful gust of wind in our sails on the bright, glorious days. It is the epic – in an epic life (and in a not-so-epic life, too). It is the absolute – in a life lived to the absolute fullest extent. The end for which the beginning begins, and the beginning which gives us grace for every end that we must endure.

Besides, what is there to hold on to if these things are not true of God? What is faith in Christ if it is detached from Who God has revealed Himself to be in Christ? Or, detached from what He has said He would do for those that are in Christ? Really, what is faith in God if that faith cannot withstand the winds of reality? The reality is that life is hard, this world is seriously messed up, and we don’t always feel like loving others or dying to ourselves. So, what do we do with this reality, if we cannot be assured that God is good and that He has it all under His control?

I mean what do we do when confronted with our frailty, failures, and folly – if we can’t trust that God is in complete control working all these sorts of things together for our good? Or, what do we do when we see the people that we love most in this world making really bad choices and really big mistakes – if we can’t rest in God’s good and wise bestowment of all of life’s providences? What do we do when we can’t do anymore, and yet we know that life requires us to sit up, put our two feet on the ground, and start the day? That is, how can we do this if we don’t believe God’s good promise and gracious power to sustain us, keep us, and provide for us all things needed for life and godliness?

We need to know that God is at once supremely good and supremely sovereign, do you know that? Do you know that He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, will also with him graciously give us all things? (Rom. 8:32) Do you know that even in this moment, God is orchestrating everything in our lives to the very good end of conforming us to the image of Christ? (Rom. 8:28)  Do you believe this truth is virtuous, fitting, beautiful, life-giving, life-sustaining, dependable, glorious, lovely, comforting, and most importantly, true?