Sometimes life hands you some real crap and you’re left to deal with it. Am I right? Sometimes you look at what you got and you wonder how you’re ever supposed to step back into a good life again.

But Sis, you have been given a promise, and that promise covers every detail of your life. This promise is for your past. It is for you today. And it is for your every tomorrow. And this promise, well it is a game changer. And with every good promise, the enemy comes in with his taunting lies and tries to twist it so you feel disqualified from the goodness planned for you.

Romans 8:28 has been one of my favorite verses for the past 20 years. “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.”

Now, in the beginning, I dismissed myself from this promise because I was sure I didn’t meet the 2 qualifications to receive it. Surely I didn’t love God enough to be completely covered by this kind of grace, and second, I was entirely too normal to be called for some greater purpose.

Have you disqualified yourself?

Oh there are not qualifications on your love for God. Do you love him? Okay, end of story. It doesn’t matter that you cuss a little, or a lot. It doesn’t matter that your mind darts down dark hallways of inappropriate thoughts or irrational worries. It doesn’t matter that you have a special and unique way of naturally screwing things up. Okay, so you’re dirty … you’re walking around with a past … you’re a little jacked up … God’s words says, IF you love me. You love God, okay, you’re covered!

The second qualification to receive this grace over your life is to be called by God for a purpose. It doesn’t say that you have to fully understand your purpose. It doesn’t say you have to be nailing it every single day. It simply says you have to be called by him.

And girl, I’ve got good news for you … your telephone rang! Colossians 1:16 “All things have been created through him and for him.” Why do you insist on making it fussier than it needs to be? Your purpose is simple. You were created by God FOR GOD. Your life is for God. The fact that you’re alive today reveals your very purpose, which is to to LIVE. I mean truly live.

So, we’ve checked and you meet both qualifications for this good grace over your life. You love God, maybe not perfectly, but perfection was never required, that’s what Jesus is for. And, you’re called to a purpose which is to live.

Yay you, you’re in! Don’t make it any more complicated than that.

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.

But even in my ridiculously peppy, notoriously energetic, almost annoyingly positive spin on life, I eventually was faced with the truth … it’s not ALL 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 get stuck. And we disqualify ourselves from any future good because it seems God’s promises 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. Maybe you’ve seen the show before, Chopped. The chefs are given a mystery basket of random ingredients and they must 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 is not a challenge for amateurs. It requires a professional. To my amazement they typically create a dish worthy of a fine restaurant.

Why? Because they know 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. I mean, who even likes that? Anybody?

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 let me tell you something, at the end of your journey you will look back and be amazed how that black licorice of life was used in such a unique way, making it all together good.

Why? Because you love God and you’re called to the purpose of living, therefore you are fully covered by his promise to work all of this together for something ridiculously good.

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