A Solid Conviction
The way we respond to life’s circumstances reveals a lot about us. Some look at life and think, “I’m stuck in a dead-end job. I eat the same lunch almost every day. My relationships usually bring me down more than they build me up. And I’m supposed to believe this is good—that this is the gift of God? I don’t see it.”
Yet if we are in Christ, then we are assured that God’s perfect plan is unfolding exactly as He intends. And we are taught that we exist for a purpose far greater than “just” driving a bus, being a teacher, or being a parent. An occupation is never meant just to pay the bills. A hobby is never meant just to entertain or pass the time. The content we consume with our eyes and ears is never meant just to distract our minds from life’s stresses. Everything we do is an opportunity to honor God, to become more like His Son, and to point others to Him. It is when we lose sight of this that even the most satisfying moments of life will eventually leave us feeling empty, and the worst times in life will cause us to question His presence or goodness.
When we look at life with a Romans 8:28-shaped perspective, everything changes. Sure, many of our circumstances stay the same. We face many of the challenges that we’ve always had—but we face them with a new heart and with the great hope of eternal life. God may see fit to leave you in the same situation you’ve been in for years, but He will never leave you alone in it. He has promised a Helper (John 14:16-17), and He has no abandoned projects. He has no forsaken children. You live within the framework of His unfailing providential care.
When God’s word reminds you that “for those who love God all things work together for good,” it points you away from your own view of things, away from the world’s view of things, and toward God’s unseen hand stitching together all the events of your life—including those you would never have chosen—to work for good. And what is that good? “To be conformed to the image of his Son” (Romans 8:29). In everything, God is shaping you to be more like Jesus, ready for the day when you have the joy of seeing Jesus.
Remember, then, that all of your circumstances, from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows, are instruments of divine mercy that God is using to accomplish His eternal purpose. What a comfort to trust Him every day! What a motivation to serve Him today!
How is God calling me to think differently?
How is God reordering my heart’s affections — what I love?
What is God calling me to do as I go about my day today?
Jesus Promises the Holy Spirit
15“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper,6 to be with you forever, 17even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be7 in you.
18“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. 21Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” 22Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, “Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world?” 23Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father's who sent me.
25“These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. 26But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. 27Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
Get the Program, Devotional, and Bible Reading Plan delivered daily right to your inbox.