“And we know that all things work together for good for them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose. For whom he did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.”
Well, tonight I decided to share with my fellow inmates who meet nightly for Bible study what the Lord showed me a little while ago. You know Romans 8:28. The last half says, “for those who love God and are called according to His purpose.”
But what is His purpose? I never put verse 29 together with verse 28, but it answers that question. His purpose in every circumstance is for us to become Christlike. It says it right there.
If you back up to verse 18, you get the eternal perspective on things – “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory, which shall be revealed in us.”. We rejoice in the glory that is to be revealed. God is causing all things to happen for our own benefit so that we will become Christlike, for in glory we will be fully Christlike. We will shine just as Jesus did in His glory on the Mount of Transfiguration, as bright as the stars! But He wants us to put on His character now in this pre-life here on earth in preparation for our ultimate life there.
That’s why we are going through what we are going through now. He is causing all things to work together for His good and His purpose, but we may not know what that is until it is fully revealed to us in glory. Verse 22 speaks to this – “For we know that the whole creation groans and travails in pain together until know.” If we knew His purposes fully, what hope would we have? What we have seen is not hope, it says. So, through all of this we have His hope! What awesome things to think about.
And just think how that also goes together with verses about suffering and persecution such as Matthew 5:10-11! “Blessed are they who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when men shall revile you and persecute you and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward n heaven; for so persecuted they the prophets who were before you.”
Our blessings will come in that life when it really matters. Yes, He may still bless us in this life, but that’s not where our hope should be. Our hope should be in glory; in our being with Him.
That’s a lot to think about.
In His Service in Ashland Correctional Facility,