And the situations that we find ourselves in can be very difficult. We are surrounded by these... these... People! They are everywhere, and none of them treat us the exact way that we want to be treated, and most of them are just plain old selfish! Whether they are bosses, co-workers, family members, students, teachers, or neighbors... even when there are a few good ones, there are plenty of them that are treating us wrong.
But as I look to the Word of God, I find great hope in these circumstances.
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.
For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.
Romans 8:28-29 (NIV)
All things! That pretty much covers it. Whether it be a broken down car, a sick loved one, or a math teacher that you don't like so much, All of these Things God is working for good!
This truth transforms the perspective. No longer are these things in our lives random misfortunes, they are tools that the Master is going to use for our own good. And who knows what is best that is good besides the creator of the universe? Trust Him, He knows what He is doing!
"If we could only look upon a difficult crisis as an occasion of bringing out, on our behalf, the sufficiency of divine grace, it would enable us to preserve the balance of our souls and to glorify God, even in the deepest waters."
-- C. H. Mackintosh
And what is this good that God is working on? It is to conform you to the image of Christ himself. He is working to make you more like Jesus.
Some people would call Christ above the normal. In our state of mind, it might be easy to think that. But while Christ was on this earth, he lived what man should have been (Romans 5:12-21). He defined normal. The rest of us have fallen below the norm -- far below!
But God was not content to leave it like that. First He sent His son to pay the penalty of our sin, but then He raised Him up so that we might be like Him!(Romans 6:1-14)
Some people water down Romans 8:28-29 so much that they would have it to mean that God is going to fix everything that we mess up. Or that everything is going to "work out." But it is so much more than that.
I would like to encourage you to alter your perspective today. Have an eternal mindset today. When these things happen, remember that God is working! And His work is to make you more like what you were meant to be -- a child of God!