“And we know that those who love God are helped by Him in everything for good.” Romans 8:28 The Ancient Eastern Text
“We are assured and know that [God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose.” Romans 8:28 Amplified Bible
“The circumstances of a saint’s life are ordained of God. In the life of a saint, there is no such thing as chance.” (My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers, November 7)
Lately. I find myself challenged by the words and truth Paul wrote to the Christians in Rome. My circumstances appear to be shrouded in a fog of hope, fear, anticipation, frustration, depression, and a sense that things continue to worsen. I read the words God inspired Paul to write as he (Paul) was sitting chained between two Roman guards under house arrest and recognize Paul knew how real this truth could be in someone’s life.
I recall Paul’s travels as he endeavored to fulfill the calling God undoubtedly placed on this former Pharisee. Paul was stoned, attacked, shipwrecked, bitten by a viper, and stood trial for what he believed, preached, and sought to live. And there he sat in “prison” writing that in the life of one who chooses to love God, circumstances will always be controlled by the plans of God. Not only will they be ordained (determined and established) and carried out by Him, they will turn out to be the best that could have occurred in a saint’s life.
Something to know here, when Paul refers to a saint he is talking about anyone who has chosen what God and Jesus offer those who will accept their gift of relationship, a relationship filled with their intimacy and passion. I see the verses in Matthew 11:29-30 fitting in with this understanding. Jesus invites us to be yoked, coupled, and bonded to Him, tied to Him in such a way that he does all the heavy lifting!
When I read the words offered by Oswald Chambers containing the idea there is no such thing as chance in the life of a saint, they confront my fear with a truth I find to be undeniable. Even in the midst of those things I feel are destroying my life, this truth remains active whether I believe it or not. It’s active because God makes it so, for no one knows the circumstances we face better than God whom, it appears, orchestrates all the circumstances of the saint.
“Never put your hand in front of the circumstances and say—I am going to be my own providence here, I must watch this, and guard that. All your circumstances are in the hand of God, therefore never think it strange concerning the circumstances you are in.” (ibid)
I look at this quote and immediately think how foreign this concept can become no matter how many times God proves Himself. We are living in a time producing fear of what we know and that which we don’t know. I am of the opinion our fear is generated by our lack of any ability to manage our circumstances, or truly understand where God fits in our lives.
Does He really work through all things to accomplish what is the good we need? Is it possible the good needing to be accomplished is for another person? We may simply be the tool in the hand of God fitting into His purpose for another. Are we willing to be what God determines is necessary for all things?
As we look forward into the new year that has begun, we have the opportunity as well as the need to remember why Jesus gave Himself for this broken world. And it is broken in so many ways. Yet the promise of the Savior is this, He has overcome the brokenness of this world and the brokenness of each one who will receive His gift, Jesus living in us, through us, for us, and for the World He so passionately loves!
And this truth remains active throughout all our circumstances. He loves you and me so much He is willing to be misunderstood as He works out what becomes the good in our lives or even in the lives of others. The circumstances surrounding our lives can often become more than we believe we are able to bear. It is for this reason Jesus tells us He has overcome all the circumstances you and I face.
I understand the extreme strain and stretch this provides in our daily living as God stimulates and inspires us to embrace Him rather than the fear generated by our situation. Because He has placed us exactly where He desires us to minister. And as we are unable to see through His eyes, He asks us to trust His love and grace. Instead of focusing on what isn’t, He asks us to focus on Who He is and what He promises to do, no matter how we perceive the actions He has ordained in and for our lives.
“When I am afraid,
I will put my trust and faith in You.” Psalm 56:3 Amplified Bible
“When you are in trouble, call for Me.
I will come and rescue you,
and you will honor Me.” Psalm 50:15 The Voice