ALL THINGS WORK TOGETHER FOR THE GOOD OF GOD’S PEOPLE
“But as for you, YE THOUGHT EVIL against me; BUT GOD MEANT IT UNTO GOOD.” [Gen 50:20]
“All things work TOGETHER for good to them that love God and are the called according to His purpose”! [Rom 8:28]
But all these things, however trying to our minds, however hard to bear, however painful to our flesh, are decreed to “work TOGETHER“.
They do not work SINGLY, but they work TOGETHER with something else. It is like my watch. The wheel that turns the hand is not the same wheel that is moved by the spring; but one wheel works within another wheel, and one cog catches in another cog, until at length, the time of day is shown upon the dial. So with respect to our afflictions, our exercises, the trials of our minds, the various disappointments and perplexities we have to endure; they do not work singly, but together with something else; and it is by this working together with something else that they produce a divine and blessed result.
But what is that with which they work? The grace of God in the soul. The wheel of providence works with the wheel of grace; and the wheel of grace works with the wheel of providence; and together a blessing is the result. For instance, some affliction befalls your body; you are laid upon a sick bed. That affliction will do you no good in itself; but it works together with the grace of God in your soul; and by its working together with the grace of God in your soul, a blessing is the result.
Or, you are brought down in circumstances – you have a very difficult path to tread in providence. This will do you no good in itself; there are thousands of people in bad circumstances who get no good from them. But it works together with the life and power of God in your soul; and so it produces a blessing. Or, you may lose a wife, or a child, or have sickness in your family; in themselves no good is produced by these things; but they work together with the life and power of God in your soul; and this brings about the blessing.
In this word lies the mystery–they work TOGETHER!
[From J.C. Philpot’s sermon – “The Working of All Things Together for Good”]
Interestingly the NIV leaves out the word “TOGETHER” and reads –
“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”. [Rom 8:28]
I threw my NIV in the trash a long time ago!