What We Need to Know

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 or some spiritual sounding AA slogan.


Instead, think about what this means in real life – your life, my life. Contemplate it and believe it. And then, with every ounce of strength in your soul hold on to the precious sanity-saving truth of God’s good and benevolent control over all things. Cherish the reality of it 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.


But let me ask, what do we have as Christians if God is not both good and sovereign? What is there to hold on to if these things are not true of God? What is faith in Jesus if it is detached from Who God has revealed Himself to be in Christ? Who has revealed Himself to be in His Word?


And, really, what is faith in God if that faith cannot withstand the winds of reality? My reality – your reality. The great reality – that life is hard, this world is seriously messed up, and we don’t always feel like loving others or even going on. So, what do we do with this reality, if we are not assured that God is good and that He has it all under His control?


More often than not, I am confronted with my own frailty, failures, and folly. Yet, I can have hope because I know that God is in complete control -working all these sorts of things together for my good. Often it is hard to hold on to this truth – I want to throw the towel in and just give up. Follow the world – find my self-medicating pet-sin and check-out. But – He is keeping me, and keeping you. He is keeping us – slowly, teaching us to rest in His good and wise bestowment of all of life’s providences – even and especially the painful ones. The sovereignty of God is the ship that will carry us safely to shore when life keeps hammering our souls like an angry ocean tide on a stormy dark night.


Indeed, God is at once supremely good and supremely sovereign. And, these things are true, whether we know them or not. But still, if we are to have peace and hope (when there is no peace to be had and all hope feels lost), we must 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?


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?


I hope you do. Because you need to know that. We both do.

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