Seeing God’s Word with New Eyes
We are confident that God is able to orchestrate everything to work toward something good and beautiful when we love Him and accept His invitation to live according to His plan (Romans 8:28, VOICE).
I love the VOICE translation of one of the most famous verses in the New Testament. Reading it today gave me some much needed clarity.
Here is the version I know by heart:
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).
“God works for the good of those who love Him…” God is ALL good, but have you ever had trouble seeing the good? In the midst of bad, do you wonder, Where is the good? When you’ve lost your way, do you squint hard, looking for some sort of purpose? Yes. Yes.
I know I’m not alone here. This week I started thinking back, trying to remember just when the hard things began, but I couldn’t find the exact point where heavy burdens were first laid on my heart. I was very young, so struggle and heartbreak have been with me longer than most things. I realized a few years ago that I have self-identified as a wounded person for as long as I knew what that was. That all sounds pretty broken; and it totally is.
Yet, in the light of eternity, broken is where beautiful starts.
God promises to “orchestrate everything to work toward something good and beautiful…” God is at work for our eternal good, for our spiritual maturity — this means He is helping us to do what we could never do by ourselves — to be more like Jesus.
Paul says, “all of us [who have turned to Jesus] have had [the veil that blinds and covers our minds] removed [and] can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image” (2 Corinthians 3:18, NLT).
The problem for some of us is that we are too short-sighted…we don’t keep our eyes on the eternal treasures. When my goal is my comfort, I get easily discouraged. When my goal is to protect or promote my own name, instead The Name, I get distracted. When anxiety consumes my thought-life, I covet peace, not growth. Sometimes my goals for myself are just too small. Sometimes my “goals” are really diversions.
1: the act or an instance of diverting from a course, activity, or use <bad weather forced the diversion of several flights>
2: something that diverts or amuses: pastime
3: an attack or feint that draws the attention and force of an enemy from the point of the principal operation
4: a temporary traffic detour
Diversions force us off course. Diversions are detours. God’s goals for us are mile-markers along the right path, the best course to take. He knows what is good for us, His way is that we:
- love Him
- accept His invitation to live according to His plan
Because I’m struggling and I’m weak, I’m thankful that God is the One Who will finish the work in me. I want to love Him better. I want to learn to be at peace with His plans for me. And so I pray:
Lord, help me to love You more, because You’ve first loved me.
Help me to love You more than my own comfort, my own name, or my own fears.
Lord, help me to lay down my plans for myself and open my heart and mind to Your plans for me.
Help me to learn to wait, in hope. Help me to be a beacon of hope, as I wait for You to lead me along the path. Too often, I wait with dread or with impatience and these ways of living do not honor or glorify You.
Father, many days I’m just a sorry mess…but, with You, I am a beautiful mess. Thank You for being able and willing to rescue me from my mess.
Thank You that You promise to never leave or forsake me.
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