Journal Entry ~ 02/03/19

28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
29 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

Life’s difficulties can catch us off guard sometimes, leaving us wondering if God is good. We are often puzzled over how a frustrating, hurtful, or shocking development in our lives could possibly contribute to anything good. The problem is we're focused on us and our limited ability to change the current situation. We need to stop looking at the circumstance—and get our eyes back on God. 

If He wasn’t going to use that circumstance for your good, it wouldn’t have happened. He has to sign off on every single thing that touches your life. That’s not to say He wanted it—God is not the cause of evil, but He is the solution. He’s the master chess player who takes every move we make and strategizes the next move to ensure His purposes are accomplished. 

I think one of the mistakes Christians make is to read "good" in this verse and interpret it as God's just going to work things out for them. God will heal them, or will dump a pile of money in their lap, or fix whatever problem they're facing. While God could do any of those things, those Christians end up sadly disappointed when God doesn't present them with the good they're looking for. God isn't our genie in a bottle and His "good" is not your happiness. You need only to read on to the next verse to understand what His plan for "good" in your life is - to be conformed to the image of his son. The good He wants is to grow us to be more like Christ. 

His love is a perfecting love, not a pampering love. Sometimes we are stuck in trials because of sin in our lives that we may or may not see, and God will allow the consequences of our sin to happen in order to reveal or remove the temptation from our hearts. Sometimes God wants to grow our ability to love other people. In order to do that, He needs to soften our self-focused hearts by allowing us to walk through some difficult trials - because when we do, our compassion and our love for others changes and grows in ways we can't possibly grow without enduring the trial on our own. We don't understand what it means to be diagnosed with cancer until we have been, to lose a loved on until we've lost one, to love someone trapped in addiction until we've experienced it, to have a prodigal until we watch them walk away. 

God is growing you through your trial. He is conforming you to the image of Christ. Oh, that the world would be filled with people who are more and more like Christ. That's the good He's after. 

Press on ~ you are loved 💗

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