Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified. (Romans 8:26-30 ESV).
It never surprises me that I frequently am seen as an overly optimistic individual. Usually I am a “glass-half-full” kind of person. In fact, Mary and our sons have decided that it is not ever a good idea for me to go to a medical appointment alone. It seems that they have grown to believe that I either do not recognize the seriousness of a diagnosis, or I just find a way to dissimulate in sharing the information. I suppose I have earned that through the years as I have done both. At any rate, I am optimistic about my future. Even when life seems to surprise me with challenges and difficulties, I have a very firm conviction about the promise of God in our reading today. He WILL work ALL things to my good. This has caused me to be surprised sometimes as I have been able to get through some really tough things. You may have had the same experience. Even though you may have initially been convinced that it was more than you could bear, you found the path of God to be just right.
That’s a little unusual in many ways though. Research on immune neglect (a reference to our psychological immune system) suggests that we tend to underestimate our ability to cope with negative events. It’s not that we breeze through trying times, but we often fare better than we expect we will. When we are in the midst of the experience, we typically feel more negative than positive. In view of the promise of God, that really makes no sense. He promises to work all things to our good. Further, the Apostle Paul tells us that nothing will be able to separate us from Him. Those words alone ought to give us enough positive energy to work our way through the toughest of circumstances. Whether we “feel” that or not is another question.
Today, being one day away from Thanksgiving, I am thankful that I have this undeniable and irrevocable promise of God. When I receive bad news, I can know it is only temporary. When I receive good news, I can know it merely foreshadows better. Can you imagine looking back from a heavenly perspective, when we are taken to that perfect home, and seeing our journey from God’s perspective? I wonder how trivial the crises of my life will be then. Spend a little time today thanking God for this promise of good in your life too.
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