And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 (NIV)
I sat down at a table and I sipped my coffee. I remarked, “This is good!” What did I mean? What was so good? Was it the machine which made it? Was it the quality of the water which was part of it? Was it the quality of the coffee beans? Was it the barista who served it with a smile? Was it the cup in which it was served? Or was it the fact that I was ready for it? The answer is that it was a combination of all of the above. It was the collective cooperation of each element.
So we are convinced that every detail of our lives is continually woven together to fit into God’s perfect plan of bringing good into our lives, for we are his lovers who have been called to fulfil his designed purpose. Romans 8:28 (TPT)
Paul says “all things”. All things are under God’s control and direction. We will not always understand how all the things we experience work for good, and we certainly will not always enjoy them. But we do know that nothing comes into our lives that God cannot use for His purposes. Paul used the Greek word sunergeo which refers to the working together of various elements to produce an effect greater than, and often completely different from, the sum of each element acting separately.
Remember Joseph in the Old Testament? The story goes like this: Joseph’s brothers were jealous of him, so they sold him to some traders who took him to Egypt. In Egypt, Joseph was sold into the household of Potiphar, who managed Pharaoh’s household. Potiphar was impressed with Joseph and put him in charge, and even grew very fond of him. But Potiphar’s wife wanted to seduce Joseph. Joseph refused her advances, so she framed him for attempted rape, and Potiphar threw Joseph in prison. He spent the better part of his twenties in an Egyptian dungeon, separated from his father, not knowing if he would ever see him again. But in that exact dungeon he was again successful. The warden liked him so much that he put Joseph in charge of the whole operation. And in that exact dungeon Joseph met Pharaoh’s head baker and Pharaoh’s cupbearer. His successful interpretation of their dreams led Joseph to Pharaoh. And when Joseph interpreted Pharaoh’s dream, he was put in control of the kingdom. As Joseph reminisced on his life, he could say to his brothers:
You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. Genesis 50:20 (NIV)
Even the trial of the famine was being used to reunite Jacob with his beloved Joseph and to provide for all his needs for the rest of his life. In commenting on Genesis 50:20, Dr David Seamonds, a Methodist pastor writes, “All of us need a 50:20 perspective on life.” The 50:20 perspective will promote you and position you to bless others. Realise that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him.