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Romans 8:28

Twelve men, who met regularly to discuss the problems they were dealing with, began to argue about which one of them had the most serious problem. Unable to come to a conclusion, they decided to go to a counselor for his views.
As they began to discuss and debate their problems in his presence, each tried to make his situation sound the worst.
After a few moments the counselor asked them to divide themselves into two groups of six and sit in chairs facing each other. After sitting and facing each other, he gave them a piece of paper and said, “Write your problems on the paper and then exchange it with the one who is sitting opposite you.” They did as he asked.
As they read the other persons problem, they realized that their own problem was not as serious as it had been and asked for their problem to be returned.
As believers we must accept the fact that God causes everything to work together for our good. This does not mean that everything that happens to us is good – but that God will use every “thing” to His good. He does this to accomplish the purpose He has for each of us in knowing and doing His will.
Prayer: Give us strength Lord, to accept everything in our lives as a gift from You that can, if we let it, shape us into Your likeness. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
His family must have spent a fortune on his education. He studied under the greatest teachers of his day. He was thoroughly trained in law. Became a well-recognized warrior. Traveled extensively. Enjoyed athletic competition so much that he knew all the rules and measures used to evaluate athletes. One day God spoke to him in a dramatic way and his life was changed forever. He put his complete trust in God and decided to follow Him to the ends of the earth. Eventually, things changed. Life did not become easy for him, but difficult. As a result of his obedience, he suffered shipwrecks and stoning. He faced death from maddening mobs and whips that lashed his body. Even though he was thrown into prison, his spirit was never shattered nor his faith flawed.
How did Paul endure these hardships? He turned his dungeon into a mine of diamonds. He wrote some of the world’s finest letters, inspired early church leaders, formed the theological foundation of Christianity and endured hardships as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
It was while he was in prison that he wrote, “We know that all things work together for good.”
Prayer: Father, help me to find Your comfort in conflict, Your solace in sorrow and Your encouragement in times of discouragement: in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Scripture for Today: Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

His Best Break

February 11, 2016
From the time he was a small child, he dreamed of being a pitcher on a major league baseball team. After long years of developing his skills and becoming successful, he made it to the major league and was on the mound pitching his first game. Suddenly, after releasing a pitch he fractured his arm.
The surgeons examined his arm carefully and knew that his career was over. He was advised not to do any work that would strain his arm. He became disappointed and depressed during his lengthy period of recovery and had little hope for his future.
One day he decided to teach himself to draw. After several months of working on this new skill, he became a sports cartoonist for a local newspaper. His word-pictures and penciled drawings brought him much attention and eventually worldwide fame as “Mr. Believe It Or Not.” 
From being a cartoonist that drew sports figures, he went on to develop “Ripley’s Believe It Or Not!” that was published in many newspapers and became a television program. Throughout the remaining years of his life he would often quote his favorite Bible verse, “We know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love Him.” God can turn every tragedy into a triumph to fulfill His purpose in our lives.
Prayer: Lord, we thank You for working in us and through us to bring honor and glory to Your Name. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Scripture for Today: Romans 8:28 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.
He began playing the cello at an early age, and by the time he was eighteen he enjoyed playing in a small European orchestra. Unfortunately, he became nearsighted and as a result had to memorize his part and the parts of all of the other instruments if he was to play with the orchestra. Fortunately, he became very skilled at memorization.
One day the orchestra was to play before a large audience. Moments before the performance was to begin, the leader became ill. Arturo Toscanini, the cellist, was called upon to lead the orchestra because he was the only person who knew the music. His performance was flawless and the critics praised his skills. Other opportunities became available and he went on to become a world famous conductor. What may have defeated others became a successful career for him.
God has great plans for each of us. He sees and knows every obstacle we might ever encounter from the day we are born until the day our lives end. His part is to bring all “things” together; our part is to work with Him to achieve the “good” that He has in store for us.
Prayer: Help us, Lord, to believe that You have a great plan for each of us and never surrender in defeat. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
What do you do when you have a difficult time pleasing someone?

George Crum was the chef at a famous country club in Saratoga Springs, New York. One evening there was a guest who ordered fried potatoes to go with his meal. When his order of fries was served, he asked the waiter to return it to the kitchen saying they were too thick. This happened several times. Crum became frustrated. But he did not give up.

Challenged, he took his sharpest knife, sliced some potatoes wafer thin, deep fried them in boiling oil, sprinkled salt on them and had the waiter take them to the guest. The guest sampled them, smiled and decided to pass them around the table to his friends. Everyone enjoyed them and ordered more. The “potato chip” was born that evening and has become one of our favorite snacks.

There are times in all of our lives when people irritate us or bother us. It seems like nothing we do will ever please them or meet the standards they have set for us. No matter what we do or how hard we try, it is not going to be good enough. So, the temptation is there to give up or quit. Paul said, “God causes all things to work together for our good.” This includes the most painful problems and difficult demands of life. In all things we must trust Him, do our best and leave the results to Him. He knows what is best for our lives.

Prayer: Thank You, Father, for giving us problems to solve and challenges to meet, so we can grow strong. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture for Today: Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

The beauty of a rainbow after the dark clouds of a thunderstorm is a reminder of God’s love, grace and mercy. But it takes rain and sunshine to bring the brilliant colors to life. Endless clouds and constant rain would be depressing and the sun shining by itself would scorch the earth but together they are a beautiful combination that reminds us of His promises.

We know that the love, grace and mercy of God are at work in our lives when, after a siege of grief, discouragement or suffering we sense God’s presence and peace more than we ever did. We realize, perhaps, in a more important way, that God is at work in everything - not random or isolated events that seem disconnected. And, moreover, He’s at work for our good.

Perhaps we need to remind ourselves that what happens is not always good. But, His Word states that it is for the good of those who love Him. God will bring us closer to His will and the plan that He has for us in every experience that He brings into our lives. Nothing, absolutely nothing, ever happens to us by mistake. Either God is in control of our lives or He is not. Either He is a sovereign God or a God Who cannot be trusted.

Notice that He is not working to make us happy or wealthy or popular. But He is working through His Holy Spirit to conform or shape us into the image, the likeness of His Son. What more can we ask?

Prayer: We struggle - even resist - Lord, those times when we feel our lives are dominated by pain or loneliness. May we remember, however, that You are at work in our lives and for our Good because we love and trust You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture for Today: Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle studied to be a physician. After completing his studies he established a medical partnership with a friend. It did not go well and they soon parted ways.

 Shortly afterward, he opened his own practice. Initially he had very few patients and to pass away the long, boring days he began to write factious crime stories. His first writings were not well received. But since he had empty hours to fill, he continued to write.

Two of his characters were Sherlock Holmes and Watson. His stories were framed around much of the information he learned while a medical student, and it was his use of “differential diagnosis” in his writings that brought much of the intrigue to his works. It did not take long before his stories gained much attention and his writing career was established.

It may be intriguing for some to wonder why he did not go directly into writing crime stories rather than the field of medicine. Certainly that was an option. But it was his understanding of “differential diagnosis” that made his crime stories different and brought him success.

Often we wonder why we are sometimes called to go through “things” that seem foolish and worthless, boring and frustrating. But God has a plan for each of us and we must be patient with Him until He reveals it.

Prayer: Help us, Father, to be patient and open while You are preparing us for our life’s work. May we do our best to develop our talents carefully and wisely for You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture for Today: Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
Years ago a luxury ocean liner was making its way from England to America. Shortly after dark it encountered a massive thunderstorm and heavy seas. The ship began to heave first one way and then the other because of the enormous waves. One of the passengers sought out the captain and shouted in a loud voice, “Do something!”

“Madam, we are doing our very best,” he said calmly, “and we are trusting in the providence of God.”

“Is it that serious?” she asked.

The word “providence” comes from two Latin words, “care” and “preparation before hand.” For the Christian this means that before we encounter problems or pain, trials or troubles God has already made His preparation for us to be safe and secure no matter what He brings into our lives. We must realize that God sees “things” beforehand and knows what happens to us before it actually happens. Because of His knowledge and power, He will arrange the outcome of these “things” to fulfill His purpose for our lives.

Paul certainly believed in the providence of God. In his letter to the Romans he assures us that “God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love Him and are called by Him.” If it comes into our life it is because God has a purpose and plan for it.

Prayer: Help us, Father, to trust You when days seem dark and nights seem long. May we realize and accept Your “providence” for us in everything! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture for Today: Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
Many of us, from time to time, ask ourselves the age old question: “If God is God, and if God is a great God and if God is a good God and if God is a powerful God, why does He allow bad things to happen to me and others who have good intentions and want to please Him?”

Deep down we do believe that He is a good and great and powerful God. But that question still nags at our innermost thoughts and feelings and from time to time challenges our faith with subtle doubts. He certainly does have everything under His control and He does desire our very best. But not all things, such as sorrow and suffering, seem good while we are going through them.

I remember very well my mother’s homemade bread. I would return home from school and the entire house would be filled with the aroma of fresh baked bread waiting for some butter and homemade strawberry jam. But by themselves, I did not like flour, yeast, shortening or baking soda. But when Mom mixed them together, allowed them to “rise” and then baked them in a hot oven, the results were amazing and wonderful.

Is that not how God works? Some pain here. A lot of suffering there. A time of grief. Sorrow for a season. Financial problems. Discouragement over a loss. That’s God’s mixing everything together for our good and His will.

Prayer: Father, give us grace and courage to look at our lives the way that You look at them - knowing and believing that everything works for our good and Your glory. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture for Today: Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
An ocean liner was in the midst of a terrible storm while making its way from England to America. The ship was swaying violently from side to side and heaving up and down as the waves washed over the bow. The captain was trying his best to calm the people and encourage them not to be frightened. Suddenly a lady shouted, “Do something!”

“We’re doing our best,” said the captain calmly, “and we are trusting in the providence of God.”

“Oh my word,” she cried. “Is it that bad?”

The word providence comes from two Latin words. One means “before” and the other means “to see.” When the Christian speaks of “providence” it conveys the message that God knows the outcome of the events in our lives before they happen. Not only that, He knows and understands how those things which we sometimes resent are working to shape us into the person He wants us to be!

Paul said that whatever happens in the life of the Christian happens for the Christian’s best interests. In fact he said that “everything works together for their good who are called according to His purpose.” Not that everything that happens to the Christian is good in and of itself. It means that everything that happens is to shape us into the likeness of Christ. As we become more and more like Him, He can use us more and more to do the work He has for us.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, may we not only accept the fact that You are at work in our lives, but really believe it is because You love us and want us to be like Christ. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture for Today: Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
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