Bible Reading: Romans 8:28-39
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.” (Romans 8:28-29)
The future may seem daunting to many of us. Adulthood is not far off for a teenager. It is only a matter of years, and we will be considered adults. Being an adult means owning up to much more responsibility. It also means we have to be individuals who are no longer reliant on our parents.
Questions such as will I get a job? Will I ever be able to earn a living? Will I have enough to buy a place to live? Will I ever get married and have a family? linger worry in our minds. For some of us, our worries may be the future of schooling. It will be whether we place well in our grades to get into the top class or how we will tackle the HSC that is looming ahead. What should we do with all our worry?
Romans 8:28 is a stronghold promise for all Christians. It promises that whatever happened in the past, whatever is happening in the present, and whatever will happen in the future are the things that God has deemed “the best” for the lives of His children. This includes the good, the bad, the joy, the suffering, our sins, our stress, our anxiety, you name it.
God deems these things “the best” because God has a plan to use all of these things so that we might attain His calling and His purpose for us. Paul elaborates in the next verse. “For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.” (Romans 8:29)
God is working through all things for our good, that we may be conformed to be like Jesus. We are sinful and broken people. Yet God saved us through Jesus because of His love, and now, He wants to transform us bit by bit so that we can be conformed to the likeness of the perfect human God wanted us to be. To be conformed to Jesus means to be conformed to His Holiness. It means God is working so that we put sin to death in our everyday lives, and we put on the new Holy self in Christ.
And so, with this in mind, how do we address our worry?
Firstly, turn the focus of our lives from our physical needs. Turn our focus to God’s calling in our lives - to be conformed to Christ. Make knowing Christ, living for Christ, following Christ, serving Christ, growing in Christ with the body of Christ the priority in your life.
Matthew 6:33 says, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you”. Seek to let God sit as the king in your heart. Seek that His righteousness becomes evident in our lives. Then, seek that the kingdom and righteousness of God may be present in our community and the world around us. This is our calling, and this is the focus of our temporal lives.
God’s promise for those who turn their eyes from earthly needs and desires and turn their eyes toward the expansion of God’s kingdom is the fulfilment of every single earthly need. God will always provide. He is always faithful. He never leaves.
As God works all things for our good, He will provide for our physical needs at the right moment and place. Also, He will guide us to continually grow in the likeness of Jesus through everything we have to endure. This is the secure comfort and joy of a Christian. It is our gospel of peace with which our feet are prepared. It is the abundant life that Jesus promises. What must we do with all of it? We’ve got to run the race. Like an athlete whose eyes are fixed alone on the finish line, our eyes must be fixed heavenward. We march on. We live for God’s kingdom here on earth. We battle on trust and comfort in God until we are awarded crowns of glory on that last day.
Lord, please help me to trust in Your promise. Thank You that all things work for the good of those who love You. Thank You for what You have done for us in Christ. Please help me to trust my future and all my worries in Your hands. Fix my eyes, not on worries but on Your kingdom. Make me more like Christ each day and use me so that my church and my community may also be made more like Christ each day. In Jesus’ name, amen.