I read a familiar verse this week, the truth of its words striking a fresh note of understanding. Most of you will know Romans 8:28, “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.” It was the phrase, “His purpose,” that grabbed my attention. Exactly what are His purposes for us?
First of all, His purposes are grounded in love. That is why we know of God the Father in John 3:16 that He “so loved the world He gave His only begotten Son.” Love drove His purpose to provide forgiveness for all our sins and to guarantee eternal life with Him where there are no more tears or grief. That salvation is ours for the asking.
Second, His purposes are infused with compassion. There are many verses that describe His compassion for us. I like the one in Matthew 11:28, “Come to me all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens and I will give you rest.” He knows every hurt of our hearts and He seeks to comfort.
Third, His purposes seek to guide. Jesus assures us of that in John 14:16-17, “I will ask the Father and He will give you an Advocate who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit who leads into all truth.”
Fourth, His purposes are to fill us with His own courage in the face of our enemies. Deuteronomy 31:6 encourages us to, “Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them, for the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you or abandon you.”
Fifth, His purposes aid us in bringing glory to His Son, Jesus, who died to save us. We know that from I corinthians 10:31, “So whether you eat, or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
It amazes me to think that, no matter what difficulty, unfairness, misunderstanding, grief, and all pain that befalls us, His purpose is to take it all and arrange it for our own good. Only God who is ultimate love can design such a purpose — on purpose.