Pursuing God's Willby Dr. Robert Jeffress
What is God’s will for our lives? The answer to that question is the holy grail, so to speak, of our existence. After all, once we know God’s deﬁnitive will for us, we’ll be able to spot every signpost and every trail marker on our walk with Christ. We’ll be able to march conﬁdently through this life, fairly certain of where we’re going. Or so the thinking goes. So we pray fervently for God to reveal His will to us and wait for His grand revelation. If we’re not careful, we may become frozen in place, afraid to make the wrong move, while we wait for His yellow-brick road to become apparent to us.
However, God has already revealed His will for us. It’s there, for the whole world to see, in Romans 8:28-29.
Let’s start with verse 28: “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good.” Those thirteen words are an optimist’s delight. They seem to imply that no matter how horrible something is that happens in your life, somewhere there’s something good in it. And if you just look hard enough or wait long enough, you’ll see the silver lining in the cloud.
What’s more, these words seem to offer an insurance policy for believers. If God causes all things to work together for good, then surely that means that if we take the wrong road in life, God will turn it into an incredible journey. Or if we bungle an attempt to witness to someone or to model our faith, God will turn our clumsiness into something special. As long as there’s a modicum of effort involved, whatever we do will turn out for the best.
If, in fact, that’s what Paul meant by those thirteen words. But it’s not.
There are some things that happen to us that are so tragic, so scarring, that to suggest good can come from them almost minimizes our suffering and our efforts to heal. That’s not what Paul was promising in Romans 8:28. To get to the heart of the matter, we have to examine the verse in its entirety: “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”
Paul’s point was that God is using everything that happens to you—the good, the bad, and the ugly—to accomplish His purpose in your life. And what is that purpose? This is going to surprise some of you. God’s purpose for your life is not that you have a satisfying marriage. God’s purpose for your life is not that you have a successful career or an impressive bank account. God’s purpose for your life is not that you be healed from every physical disease. No. God’s purpose for your life is found in verse 29: “For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the ﬁrstborn among many brethren.”
God loved Jesus so much that He said, in so many words, “I don’t want to have just one Son. I’d love to have many children—men and women who resemble the Son I love in the things they love, the way they act, and the thoughts they have.”
God’s plan for you is not just to save you, to rescue your soul from hell, but to transform you, to chisel in you the perfect image of His Son. And Paul was saying that everything in your life is working together for that one purpose: to make you just like Jesus. To make you love the things Jesus loved, to do the things Jesus did, to act the way Jesus acted in every situation. Every success as well as every sadness, every triumph as well as every tragedy, is working together for that one purpose.
Dr. Robert Jeffress joins James and Betty this Tuesday and Thursday on LIFE TODAY. Excerpted from What Every Christian Should Know by Dr. Robert Jeffress. Copyright ©2023 by Robert Jeffress. Published by Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group. Used by permission.