In Romans 8:28 the Apostle Paul writes, “We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.” (CSB) Sometimes, however, we can read this verse and look at the canvas our lives and see nothing but smudged shades of black -- and wonder, God works all things for good? Let’s face it, some things are just dark. There’s no bright side. And, we know, from other Scriptures, that this is to be expected in our broken world (John 16:33; Romans 8:20-22).
So, how do we make sense, in our minds and hearts, of Romans 8:28? Timothy Keller points out that the key to understanding this verse is the word “together.” God works all things together for the good… In other words, take a step back from our present circumstances. It doesn’t change the truth that the pain we’re experiencing is real – but it does help us to see there are other colors, shades and light around this moment. And, that God has a plan, a purpose, to make the whole picture into something beautiful.
How do we know? Well, we can’t – unless we are called. How do we know we’re called? We love God, we trust Him – even when things are not good, or not going our way. To put it another way, “We love because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19). The blood, the confusion, the pain of the cross was real. This happened, and it was horrible, but it happened for a reason, for us. So, by God’s grace, step back. Know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.
Not much has changed since last week. We’re still worshiping online through YouTube or the audio message, both of which are on the church website: fbcelma.org. We’re also continuing to connect through life groups via Zoom. And, this Sunday we’re taking communion at home. (An elder will drop off your juice and bread before Sunday.)
Further, people continue to give generously to the food bank and our mutual aid fund. Thank you so much for your faithfulness and bond of true fellowship in Christ. This has been a hard season, but it’s been good.
May God continue to guide you, direct you, and give you hope – according to His promises, for His glory.
Because of Christ,
Gunnar began serving as pastor at First Baptist Church, Elma in July 2012. He and his wife Corrine – and their three children Trinity, Eli, and Ian moved to Washington with a vision to help build a vibrant community of people who know the truth of God’s love for them in Christ, and express that love as they gather, and go out into the world. A veteran of youth, college, and young adult ministries for almost twenty years – Gunnar enjoys being in God’s Word, obsessing over sports, and spending time outdoors with his family.