“How can this be for my good?”
I’ve found myself asking this question an awful lot lately. With every disappointment, rejection and set back I keep thinking of Romans 8:28,
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.
I have a love/hate relationship with this verse. It’s hard to read it or have someone flippantly tell you it’s going to be okay because “all things work for good”. Those words certainly don’t feel very comforting when you are in the midst of chaos and confusion; when you feel like your world is spinning out of control and there’s not been any semblance of normalcy for what seems like an extraordinarily long period of time; when “good” feels more like “cruel”.
And then on better days, this verse encourages me. It reminds me that though everything seems to be falling apart around me, there is hope. This destruction is not the end but it is the beginning of starting something new. These endless valley days are preparation for something better. Even though this season is hard, it is for my good.
So often my thoughts drift towards the former way of looking at this verse. To question; to doubt; to struggle. Yet, I feel as if my heart is coming to accept the reality that even the darkest days are for my good.
There’s another verse in the Bible that says,
No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.Hebrews 12:11
“At the time,” this struggle is very real and painful. It’s not pleasant. I don’t enjoy it. I’m not a big fan of this season. But there is hope!
I’m grateful that the verse doesn’t just end there; it continues. “Later on” has never been two of the sweetest words known to mankind. Usually “later on” means having to wait; be patient; sit tight. My kids hate it when I tell them later on. Why? Because they want it now! But in this case, “later on” signifies hope. Hope that whatever trial or struggle I’m going through will not last forever, because “later on” there will be righteous and peace for those who are trained by it.
Training is not easy. Training is not quick. Training is the day in and day out arduous task of never giving up and remaining steadfast. It’s not growing weary and losing heart. It’s remembering that this process is for my good. Because all things, even hard things, work for good.