God cannot lie and God is faithful and He can be trusted completely. Unlike us human beings, when God makes a promise, He actually keeps it. In this message, we will look at a promise that God has made to only a specific group of people, those that love Him.
What does it mean to love God? According to 1 John 5:3, to love God means to obey His commandments.
1 John 5:3 (ESV Strong’s)
3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.
Jesus said these words:
Matthew 22:37 (ESV Strong’s)
37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.
This therefore means that we must obey God with all of what we are. Those who do this, it is to them this promise is made. Meaning that those who don’t love God because they don’t obey Him, they cannot claim this promise for themselves. So, what is this promise then? We find it in Romans 8:28:
Romans 8:28 (ESV Strong’s)
28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
What does the above verse mean? Verse 28 begins with the words “And we know that”. The Greek words behind these words and the way Paul has used them in this verse, means that Paul is about to make a statement that was understood to be a fact by his readers, including himself, they all understood it to be an undisputed fact (BDAG). When Paul says “And we know that”, he means that what he is about to say is accepted by his readers as a fact. It is like saying, we know the sun rises from east and sets in the West. All of us know this and accept it to be a fact. What Paul is about to say was also equally accepted to be a fact.
What is this fact? The fact is that “for those who love God all things work together for good”. This part can be divided into two parts:
- For those who love God
This statement clearly shows that, the fact that Paul is about to state, only applies to a specific people. Those who love God
- All things work together for good.
Paul doesn’t say somethings but, says all things work together for good. The word “all” here means exactly that, all. This means good things and bad things work together for good, for those who love God. The words “work together for good” means that all things (good or bad) work together to assist in bringing about good for those who love God. What a promise this is!
Paul continues to say that these people who love God, for whom this promise is made, are those that “are called according to his purpose”. Paul explains in the next verse what he means by those that are called. These are those that have been chosen before the foundation of the world to be holy and acceptable before God and to be adopted as His children through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ ( Eph 1: 4-5). In summary, these are believers.
Therefore this promise is for believers. Those that have repented of their sins and have put their trust only in Jesus. These are the ones who show their trust and love in Jesus by obeying Him as Lord. This promise is for them. Paul says if you love God and live a life of obedience that shows that you truly love God, all things work together, no matter how bad, to assist in bringing about your own good. You might not always see it at the time but, because you trust, love and obey God, it will work out for your own good in the end. If God makes a promise, you can trust it.
What does this verse mean to us today? The same thing it meant to Paul’s readers. We too who are believers today can also claim this promise. If you have repented of your sins and have trusted in Jesus alone, this promise is for you as well. If you live a life today that shows that you love God by obeying Him, then this promise is also for you.
The question is: Do you love God? Does your life reflect that you love God?