Rabbi Schneider - The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
You know, one of the most well-known but misunderstood scriptures in the entire New Testament is Romans 8:28, where Paul says that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love Him and for those that are called according to His purpose. God's causing everything to work for good for His own. But the reason I'm saying, beloved one, that that verse is so misunderstood is that many think that that verse means that, for example, if I have a favorite pair of pants and I love those pair of pants, and one day I took a walk in the park, and a stick snagged my pants and tore them, that means because God causes everything to work together for good, that means that God's going to give me another pair of pants that I'm going to like even better.
I mean, that's kind of a frivolous example. But what I'm trying to say is people take that verse and they apply it to the material world. That, you know, if I lost my job, God's going to give me a better job. But let me ask you this, if you're balding and you lose your hair, is God going to give you even more hair now? God causes all things to work for good to those who are called according to His purpose? No, it's not saying that God is going to change everything in the visible world to keep giving you something better in the visible world. What it means instead, beloved, is that whatever we go through in the visible world, the enjoyable things as well as the trials, God is causing all of that to work together for good in our life.
And what is the good that the Lord is referring to? It's referring to the fact that everything that you and I experience, the good, the bad, and the ugly He's using to conform us to the image of Jesus Christ. You see, sometimes we grow the most during times of suffering. God is causing all things to work together for good for you, beloved. And even your trials are producing in you an eternal weight of glory that's not even worthy to be compared with the momentary light affliction of your temporary trial.
So look up and be encouraged. Your redemption draweth nigh. Don't evaluate your life just according to your present circumstances. Rather know there's something bigger, something eternal going on, and God is using everything for your good.