Everything… or Some things?
“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 order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of His glory.” —Ephesians 1:11-12
Did you catch that? God works out everything that happens so that it perfectly conforms with His will and purpose. In fact, Ephesians 1:11-12 sounds very much like Romans 8:28. Whether it’s “everything,” or “all things,” God uses triumphs and tragedies in order that we, who hope in Christ, might find our perfect fulfillment in Him.
Some people don’t like that word everything. We reason that only some things or occasional things, or things we can explain or understand actually conform to His purpose for us. Does God, in fact, mean everything?
Yes, He does. “Everything” includes the heart-twisting pain and the accidents that turn our lives upside down. If it were only the easy-to-accept inconveniences or the problems we can saunter over, then God would not be sovereign. Our great God, however, takes delight in working all things – yes, everything – so that it conforms with His will.
Verses like Ephesians 1:11-12 can be hard medicine to swallow for those who are genuinely facing heart-wrenching pain or an accident or illness that alters the course of life. But, in fact, believers can find ultimate comfort in knowing that their pain is not out of control. It is not beyond God’s plan. You are not the brunt of some divine cruel joke where it concerns problems in your life. Just knowing that God works out everything – not just some things – for His purpose can shore up peace and hope.
Great God, I commit to You everything that happens in my life today. May my patient response be for the praise of Your glory.
Taken from Diamonds in the Dust. Copyright © 1993 by Joni Eareckson Tada. Used by permission. Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49530