Grace For The Journey
We have been looking at Romans 8:28 this week and learning how to apply the powerful truths of this verse to our lives. In wrapping up our study, we are looking answering the question, “Do all things really work together for good? Can we still believe in Romans 8:28?” To answer that question we need to look at four biblical perspectives. Yesterday we saw the first Biblical truth: we must begin with God. Today, we will look at the second principle . . .
2) We Need a Long-Term Perspective
So many things in life seem unexplainable. Why does a tornado destroy one house and leave another untouched? Why does one brother excel while another struggles all his life? Why does a tumor come back when the doctor said he thought he got it all? The list of such questions is endless.
Seen in isolation, they make no sense whatsoever.
If there is a purpose behind such tragedy, we cannot see it.
Our danger is that we will judge the end by the beginning. Or, to be more exact, we judge what we cannot see by what we can see. When tragedy strikes, if we can’t see a purpose, we assume there isn’t one.
We must not judge the end by the beginning.
But the very opposite is true.
We ought to judge the beginning by the end.
Here is where Romans 8:28 gives us some real help. The Bible says, “And we know that all things work together for good.” The phrase “work together” is really one word – “sunergon – in Greek. We get our English word synergy from it.
And what is synergy?
It is what happens
When you put two or more elements
Together to form something brand new
That neither could form separately.
It’s what happens when my wife goes into the kitchen and makes a big pot of vegetable soup. She puts in the potatoes, the carrots, the celery, the tomatoes, the onion, the green beans, and several other vegetables, the spices, the meat, and a few other secret ingredients I know nothing about. What comes out is the best soup I’ve ever had. I don’t know what happens, but the combination of all those ingredients results in a really delightful dish!
That’s synergy . . .
The combination of many elements
To produce a positive result.
That’s what Paul means when he says that God causes all things to “work together.” Many of the things that make no sense when seen in isolation are in fact working together to produce something good in my life.
There is a divine synergy even in the darkest moments,
A synergy that produces something positive.
And the “good” that is ultimately produced
Could not happen any other way.
I read recently that Toyota opened a huge new automobile plant outside of Tupelo, Mississippi. The article was accompanied with an aerial view of the plant. What you see are two vast buildings that cover many acres. The article explained that day and night the trucks bring in the raw materials and various component parts of an automobile – the engine parts, the wheels, the chassis, the frame, the outer body, the windshield, the instrument panel, the seats, the carpeting, and so on. All of that goes into the plant and becomes part of the assembly line. At the end of the line a new Toyota Corolla rolls out.
Now suppose you decided to watch the process from the road. You would see the trucks arriving with the component parts, and you would see the new cars rolling out the door. What happens in between? From the outside you cannot tell. You hear the noise from within, but you cannot see the process. But you know this much: That new car did not happen by chance. Inside the building intelligent minds and capable hands take the raw material and the component parts and from them fashion a car.
What by itself seems to have no purpose is in the end indispensable.
Over time something beautiful is created.
Paul is saying that our experience is like that. God begins with the raw materials of life, including some parts that seem to serve no good purpose. Those materials are acted upon by pressure and heat and then are bent and shaped and joined together. Over time something beautiful is created. Not by accident, but by a divine design. And nothing is wasted in the process.
That is how we must look at life.
We must not judge the end by the beginning,
But rather the beginning by the end.
Can we still believe in Romans 8:28? Yes, we can. But we need a long-term perspective.
This is God’s Word For Today … This Is Grace For The Journey
Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!
Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”
Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”