What Do You Know?
"And we know that all things work together for
good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose."
Let us examine carefully all God is saying to us in this verse. The word that
is used here for 'we know,' is actually one word in both Greek and
Hebrew and it means the common knowledge given to the saints, something that is
an indisputable, accepted fact. That knowledge has to be accepted by faith, and
if we have accepted the basic premise of our faith and are a Christian, then we
can say we know.
Therein lies the problem. The majority of the time, especially if something
goes wrong, the devil tells us we are not really a Christian. But yet Christ
says we are to know this is what we are. We desperately need that knowledge of
God and that all things work for good because He has called us.
The Greek word that is translated in Romans 8:28 as 'for good' means
all things, bright, dark, happy, sad, sweet, and bitter. It means times of
prosperity, adversity, problems, sicknesses, and greatness. God becomes a soft
pillow for a tired heart, accepted by faith. He is the one who worketh all
things after the counsel of His will. He does all things as unto His servants,
(Psalms 119:91) and the prophetic word and the whole written word of God are for
the providence (good) of the whole world.
The Apostle John says we love because He first loved us. If we accept the
fact that He loves us, we have all that we need. Only those who really love and
believe (agree with) God, as the Apostle Paul says in Galatians 5:6, will be
working through their own salvation and problems, and all that the demonic
enemies from hell can do, but yet we will never be out from underneath the love
of God. We need to reflect on the uncountable, almost unthinkable things both
seen and unseen of the mineral, vegetable, animal, and spiritual worlds God has
already put into action on our behalf.
"To them who are called." This does not mean all those who were
called and invited but did not come. It means those who have had a genuine
experience and know for a fact they have met the Lord Jesus Christ. As in
Psalms 132:13-14 the Word of the Lord says, "because He (God) desired it."
Romans 8:28 goes on to say, "according to His purpose." The word we
translate 'purpose' is the Greek word PROTHESIS, and it means God's
will is absolutely bent on or resolved to accomplish. Man is entirely unable to
carry out His will, without divine grace. In us, the saints, His purpose is
carried out by divine grace, normally with many, many failures on our part.
Acts 11:23 says the Apostle "exhorted them, that with all purpose of heart
they would cleave unto the Lord." In 2 Timothy 3:10, Paul, speaking to
Timothy, refers to his life, purpose, and faith which he had already shown. But
he ends with the statement that all of us need to remember: "It is by the
grace of God that I am what I am." Our purpose is carried out unto the
final victory by finishing His course.
We need to distinguish the differences between God's purpose (will) and
man's, even when we hit rocky ground, because God's cannot fail. We need to
understand that the purpose which He works in us is always accomplished.
Regardless of what happens, the ones that He has called are brought safely in
and there is no separating them from His love, which He has already given them
in Christ Jesus, in whom they were chosen before the foundation of the earth.
Martin Luther King said, "I have a dream..." In the speech following he said,
"I can see..." I believe he was referring to the end of Romans 8, for you cannot
have a dream but that you first arrive at the mountaintop of divine, sovereign
election where you can truly see. King was able to see it was not him, his plan,
or his wisdom, but it was ordained of God, and there was no way he could do
anything else. Even as he spoke, "I have a vision... I have a dream... that day
will come," I believe he knew in his spirit and proclaimed openly, "I may not
make it to that day with you. I may not reach that mountain with you... in the
words of the old spiritual song, 'I have seen the glory of the coming of the
May we as Paul, even today, arrive upon the immovable mountaintop of divine,
sovereign election and see God for ourselves. Not merely that God is on the side
of our struggles, but that God, through Christ, has ordained, is in the midst
of, and is working out His purpose in our struggles. Let us all be able to say
today, we have reached the mountaintop where we can see the glory of the coming
of the Lord.
"This is the victory that has overcome the
world, even our faith."
1 John 5:4
When you are forgotten or neglected, or purposely set at
naught, and you smile inwardly,
glorying in the insult or the oversight, because thereby are you counted worthy
to suffer with Christ -
that is victory.
When your good is evil spoken of, when your wishes are
crossed, your taste offended,
your advise disregarded, your opinions ridiculed, and you take it all in
patient, loving silence -
that is victory.
When you are content with any food, any raiment, any climate,
any society, any solitude, any interruption by the will of God -
that is victory.
"Lord Jesus, make thyself to me
A living, bright Reality;
More present to faith's vision keen
Than any earthly object seen;
More dear, more intimately nigh
Than e'en the dearest earthly tie."
Into the Light Ministries