daily devotional

Romans 8:28 – And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

This has been one of my favorite verses for the past 20 years. A verse I committed to memory and repeat often. But over the past few years God has truly revealed this scripture to me on another level and this morning I want to share it with you. Listen up, if you’re currently under pressure or stress, frustrated over the process, or in the middle of a mess, I believe God wants to speak directly to you this morning.

Oh, I’m so glad you’re here!

God causes all things to work together for good. I’ve always focused on two words here. All and Good. God causes ALL things to work together for GOOD. All good. In fact I would say it “it’s all good.” I’m all good. All this is good. And darn did I ever try to believe it.

And typically it was all good. But I guess you could say life happened, people got sick, I witnessed pain. Pain like I’ve never seen before. I witnessed loss and anger and heart ache. I saw bad things happen to good people and I struggled with my normal response of “it’s all good.” All good … but there were some things that simply WERE NOT GOOD. I felt so guilty because even in my world of “the glass is always half full”, it felt pretty darn empty. I couldn’t find the good.

So what do you do when it’s not good? No matter how you spin it, what you’re dealing with in your family, in your marriage, in your health, or in your finances is NOT GOOD. God said ALL things, but not this thing. It just can’t be good.

And then God brought me back to this scripture, one of my favorites and pointed out another word. Together. All things work TOGETHER for good. This bad thing, this hard thing, this seemingly unfair thing works TOGETHER with all other things and creates the good we seek.

What we often do is we single out this one event in our life and we say “this, this isn’t good.” And then we set up camp on that single event and life becomes overall pretty crappy. We get depressed. We even begin to lose our faith because God’s promise of “all good” somehow skipped over us.

This is NOT good. Maybe you’re dealing with one of those “NOT GOOD” situations in your life. Me too.

Here’s what we must do … remember it is a part of the ALL and let god put it TOGETHER. And when he starts working it TOGETHER, it will be good.

God is a master chef. He can whip up some amazing things in our life. And just like baking a cake, it takes all kinds of ingredients. And typically those ingredients on their own don’t seem remarkably good. Sit around and try to eat salt. Not good. Drink some vanilla extract. Nope. Here’s a tablespoon of baking powder. Not good alone. But worked TOGETHER, deliciousness.

God’s ability to create something beautiful out of our messes reminds me of a cooking show I once watched. A basket of random ingredients was presented to hopeful chefs, they were given a time limit to create a dish using all of these ingredients. They always seemed to be an impossible combination like turnips, black licorice, sardines and lemon drops …. uhmmmm yuck. This was not a challenge for amateurs. It required a professional. To my amazement they would create a dish worthy of a fine restaurant.

Why? Because they knew how to mix it.

God is the same. He is a master chef. Your seemingly random basket of life events may appear impossible to you, but in the hands of the master it becomes a masterpiece. Remember God didn’t cause it all, but he can use it all. We live in a fallen world. We are humans with free will and free choice, and sometimes we choose wrong. Sometimes the choices of others negatively impacts our lives. God never promised to stop all things, but he did promise to USE all things. He won’t leave a single thing out.

God uses EVERYTHING in your life … ALL things. And he works it together for good. Today, this “thing” may not seem good because alone it is NOT good. You may have opened your basket and discovered black licorice and you’re like “what the heck am I supposed to do with this?” And it’s completely okay to recognize that truth. Gosh I used to feel guilty about that. But there’s no guilt here. Not all things are good. Some days and some times and some things can really suck. I’m talking black licorice suck.

God sees the big picture, and it is good. We see this specific moment and we focus on this single ingredient and have a hard time understanding why.

But your entire life isn’t defined by this day or this event. It’s all part of the recipe and God uses it ALL, then he works it all TOGETHER and you know what he makes … he makes something GOOD.

All things work TOGETHER for good. I won’t single out this one bad ingredient and focus on it. I’ll let the master chef work it all together and trust that in the end, it’s going to be good. Real good. And at the end of my journey I’ll look back and be amazed how that black licorice was used in such a unique way, making it all together good.