Are God’s Plans Meant for Good?
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.” Romans 8:28
God knows the plans He has for your life, and they’re meant for good.
I don’t know your life, but maybe it’s hard to believe that a God with good intentions would plan each part of the life you’ve lived. I get it. But what if God’s definition of “good” is different than ours?
When I tell you God’s plans are meant for good, I’m not talking about the Western world’s definition of good: comfortable, easy and successful. I’m talking about the good described in Romans 8:28 (emphasis added): “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him.”
In the next verse, Paul tells us what he means by good: “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son …” (Romans 8:29a, emphasis added). While only God knows the plans, we can know something about His intent for every part of them. He plans to use all things for good. God wants to use the messy, the confusing, the painful and even that one part of your life to transform you more into the image of His Son.
If God’s good plan is to make us more like Jesus, then we can expect trials. After all, Jesus’ life was marked by trials. I can’t picture a “comfortable” way to carry a cross, but that’s exactly what Jesus did. And He asks us to do the same. Therefore, we need to accept our trials, instead of run from them.
Thankfully, we know from Jesus’ life that there’s purpose to our pain. God doesn’t waste anything, including suffering. He doesn’t always remove us from trials, because He plans to use them.
God didn’t rescue Noah by stopping the flood; God kept him safe in the waves.
God didn’t save Daniel from the lion’s den; He protected him with the beasts at his side.
God didn’t save Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego from going into a fire; He saved them in the midst of the flames.
And do you remember their faith-filled words in Daniel 3:17-18? After they proclaimed, “the God we serve is able,” Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego said these two words: “even if.”
Even if God didn’t rescue them from the fire, they chose to trust His plans. Wow! Even though God is able, we can trust Him when He doesn’t do what we think should be done. Even if God’s plans for our lives aren’t what we hoped for, learning to trust God is part of His good plan.
God is not saving us from trials; He’s wanting to transform us through them. And I don’t just know this from studying Scripture; I know this from my own life.
God has used my failures to make me dependent upon my heavenly Father. He’s used rejection to make me full of grace and truth. He’s used my lack of control to form me into a prayer warrior. He wants to use what you’re going through, too.
So, let me ask you, how might God use what you’re going through to form you more into the likeness of Jesus?
God uses all things. He even redeems suffering. God wants to take our pain and heartache and transform us through it. He wants to use it for His glory and for our good, to make us more like Jesus for our sake and the sake of the world. Because guess what our world needs? You got it — our world needs Jesus. And guess what God’s good plan for our world may be? A transformed you and me.
Heavenly Father, thank You for using trials in my life to make me more like You. Help me to trust You in the process. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Romans 8:29, “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.”
2 Timothy 2:11-12a, “Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him.”