Aiming for God’s Good

Michael Beck

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

If we are the called according to His purpose, God has orchestrated the events in our life so as to glorify Himself. The good that He works all things together for is simply the opportunity to be conformed to the image of His Son. And if those events are painful, is God not good? Should He be committed to my pleasure – or, should I be committed to His pleasure?

We cannot be like Christ unless we share His calling. His calling was not to gain earth’s riches or rewards. His calling was to willingly lose all this world calls good. His sacrifice is not the guarantee that we now get all He gave up – it is the promise that we can share His life of sacrificial worship of the Father.

If there is one universal, inescapable fact of life in this world it is that each of us, to one degree or another, experiences pain. “For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.” (Romans 8:22) Loss is painful. We hate loss. We dread loss. We don’t want less good, we want more. But what does God call “good?” Conformity to the image of His Son. Paul counted all loss that He might win Christ. He wanted to know the life Christ lived.

And so, what if we get less than we want in this life? Less pleasure. Less success. Less reward for our labor. What if we would impress, but we are unimpressive in the sight of men? What if we would gain earth’s smile, but get a smirk? Will the loss of what this earth calls good be the cause of misery and chagrin? Or will we bless God for it, giving thanks to Him always for all things, knowing that He is working it all together for what He calls good – that we should be as His Son is in this world.

Pain is inevitable in this life, but there is a glorious liberty for the children of God to walk in. Our Lord was not overcome. He suffered well, and now reigns, far above all pain and death. Let us follow Him, through suffering, to glory.

Michael Beck is a pastor in the Dallas, TX area and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.