We’ve been working our way through misused, misinterpreted, and misunderstood passages for the past 7 weeks, and a familiar refrain has emerged. Our missteps happen because we handle the Bible carelessly and for our own purposes. We often go to the Bible looking for proof-texts that lend credence to whatever we want to do rather than approaching the text with reverence and humility to hear from the Lord. And most of the time it’s to our detriment.
“God works all things together for good.” That’s the phrase that has us in Romans 8:28 this week. It’s a phrase that I’ve been stewing on for just over 6 weeks. Unfortunately, the more that I think about it, the more frustrated I become with myself. While Nathaniel was in the NICU, I desperately wanted this phrase to be true. But it is, in fact, a misuse, a misinterpretation. I wanted God to promise me that everything would be ok. I wanted God to promise me that Nathaniel would live. I wanted God to promise me that Nathaniel wouldn’t have any developmental issues. But, the biggest temptation was that I could rationalize these misinterpretations to sound like solid Christian doctrine. And this is where it gets tricky. The particular misuse/misinterpretation that we have this week sounds right in line with what we believe to be true about God’s sovereignty.
So this week, we’re going to be ruthless about reading this phrase in context and be careful about its specifics. The reason we have to be so careful is because all of our desires for earthly security tend to warp the grand promises about the security we have in Christ. Not surprisingly, we’re going to see that God’s Word, in its whole counsel, offers us far more comfort and security than we could ever get from cherry-picked verses pressed into service for our own purposes. Hopefully, we are going to find that Christ’s designs for you, His plan for your life, is far more glorious than the idea that everything will work out.
See you on Sunday.