Saturday, September 2, 2017

The Rest of the Story (Romans 8:28)

Paul Harvey had a radio show called “The Rest of the Story.” He'd talk about someone who overcame obstacles, but he kept the person’s identity a secret until the end when would reveal it and say, “And now you know…the REST of the story.” Once you heard the ending, you then understood how all the pieces came together.

Romans 8:28 is the Christian’s “Rest of the Story.” God promises to turn the bad things that happen to His followers around for good. It says, “For we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” This verse doesn’t say 4 things, which helps us understand what it does say.

1. It doesn’t say “We hope” but “We know.” A boy always read the end of the book first. When his mother asked why, he said, “It’s better that way. No matter how much trouble the hero gets into, I don’t have to worry because I know it’s going to end well.”
Paul did not say, “I’m writing this letter to lots of people so I can’t say for sure how your situation will turn out. Good luck!” Even though Paul didn’t know what his readers were going through he says we can know for sure God will work all things together for our good.

2. It doesn’t say all things are good, but that He works all things together for good. Bad things happen to everyone because we live in a broken world.  If Satan can turn good into evil, why can’t God turn evil into good? Joseph was sold into slavery and unjustly thrown into prison. If you didn't know the ending you would think God had abandoned him. Instead, God used those injustices to get him to the right place and promote him to a ruler in Egypt (Gen. 37-41).

3. It doesn’t say God does this for everyone, but for those who love Him. Rom 8:28 “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God,” This is a promise to His followers but isn’t a guarantee to everybody.

4. It doesn’t say for our happiness, but for His purpose. “…to those who are called according to His purpose.” The Lord wants to accomplish His purpose in our lives. God may not have the first word in everything that happens but He does have the last word. Although bad things happen, God says, “I have the last word and my purposes will be accomplished.”
And now you know…the REST of the story! 
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