And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.
This verse is not a license to sin and go nuts because God promises to magically make everything better. This is also doesn’t mean that nothing bad will ever happen to me. It means that God only causes everything to work together for the good for Believers who have genuinely turned to him. We are amazed to find that he sustains us as we suffer consequences, he protects us from things we thought we wanted, and he even gives us do-overs too. He is not a magic genie in a bottle, he is an amazing, generous and loving Father who helps me live my purpose even when there is interference.
What is my purpose?
Believers, actually, all have the same purpose – be like Jesus! God is able to use everything good, bad or otherwise to give me opportunities to be like his Son, Jesus. That doesn’t mean God is causing bad things to happen to me, rather, he steers me through.
If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall. The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure. (1 Corinthians 10:12-13)
God gives us a clear understanding that no matter who we are, what our station, status or personal preferences, our purpose is to be like Jesus.
Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. (Philippians 2:3-5)
Jesus elaborates on his attitude that we should share: Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross daily, and follow me.” (Luke 9:23)
He further discloses: “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45)
And Jesus also makes us aware that following him (living our purpose) won’t always be easy: “If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first.” (John 15:18)
Be humble... Give up your own way... Serve others... Doesn’t sound like I’ll be very popular. My purpose isn’t to accumulate the most, be noticed the most, be the healthiest, strongest, or even the moral-est. God’s purpose for me is to remember Jesus everyday and be more like him.
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory. (Romans 8:28-30)
Thank you for making my purpose clear. I know lots of people who wander around from thing to thing wondering what their purpose is, trying to find it, or make one for themselves. But you give all who love and trust you the same wonderful purpose for life – be like your Son and be a part of your wonderful family! Everything else we do shapes us for this and not the other way around. Thank you for the meaning you give to life and for the ability to pursue my real purpose. I love you and thank you for your good plans, and I pray in Jesus’ name, amen.