God Is the One Who Works Out Everything According to His Will by Mark D. Roberts

Posted: September 26, 2012 in The High Calling
Tags: , , , , , , ,

In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will…

In yesterday’s reflection, I paused in the middle of a phrase to consider the fact that God is working. Today, I want to take the thought about what it means that God is the one who “works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will.”

The Greek word translated here as “everything” is panta (neuter plural of pas, meaning “all, every”). We just encountered this word for the first time in Ephesians in the previous verse: “[The mystery of God’s will is] to bring unity to all things [panta] in heaven and on earth under Christ” (1:10). Now we learn that God is working out (or working in) everything right now, taking the apparently disconnected aspects of reality and weaving them together into a tapestry of his grace. This thought in Ephesians 1:11 reminds us of Romans 8:28: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

The fact that God is working out all things for his gracious purpose can be comforting in times when our lives seem to be falling apart. Though we may not be able to see how God is at work, we trust in his plan, his goodness, and his faithful work.

Yet, there are times when we simply cannot fathom God’s work in our lives and in our world. It can feel as if God is distant or even cruel. We look around and see all things in disarray. Thus, our faith that God is working out all things according to his will can be sorely tested. When this happens, we need God’s help to hold fast to the truth of Scripture. Sometimes, this divine help comes through people who stand with us, pray for us, and embrace us with love. And, sometimes, we are the people whom God uses to reassure others that he is, indeed, working out all things for good, both his and ours.

QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: Have there been times in your life when you have doubted whether God is working out everything for good? Are you in one of these times right now? What helps you to trust God, even when appearances and experiences would encourage you to abandon hope? Are there people in your life whom you can encourage in faith today?

PRAYER: Gracious God, how thankful I am that you are working out all things according to your will. As I look back at my life, I can see now things I couldn’t see then. I can see how you were at work even in events that made no sense to me at the time. Help me, Lord, to trust you with what I cannot understand today.

I pray for those who are struggling to trust you, that you would make known to them your grace. I pray especially for those who are suffering and wonder why you seem so absent. Reach out to them with your love. Energize your people, Lord, to extend your embracing arms to others. Use me in this way today. Amen.

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  1. […] God Is the One Who Works Out Everything According to His Will by Mark D. Roberts (trinityspeaks.wordpress.com) […]

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