All Things Work Together for Good
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
I’d like to send a shout-out to my dad, Mike Mitchell. I think of him whenever I read this verse.
My first work as a minister was very much a “baptism by fire.” I was in my early 20’s, unmarried, untrained. I had never received any formal education for being a minister. I remember very naively thinking that there would be no problems and no worries that would come with the job of being a preacher, because I would be working with Christians, after all. Well, I was very much mistaken. Problems came…deep problems, the kind that bring ulcers and keep you up at night for weeks at a time. I was not prepared for any of them, and was in deep despair and anguish many a day.
My dad was my mentor during those days. Being a preacher himself for 40 years, he had more experience than me. During the terrible days when I came to him repeatedly wondering what to do, he would bring up this passage to me, over and over again. “Jon, remember that God causes all things to work together for good,” he’d say. I’ll never forget him telling me that, because time has shown him to be correct.
This world is hard, unfair, unmerciful, unloving, and unforgiving at times. Christians are not invulnerable to the wounds this life brings. Yet, our God still takes care of us. He uses the difficulties of life to make us stronger (Heb. 12:3-13). As he did with Job, he brings better times back to us sooner or later. Best of all, as the passage brings out, he called us by his gospel (2 Thess. 2:14) and we answered that call through our loving obedience of the gospel (John 14:15; Mark 16:15-16). That means that in the end, we will be victorious eternally in heaven rather than suffering eternal defeat and torment in hell (Rev. 21:3-4; 2 Thess. 1:7-10).
Praise his Holy Name!