No harm befalls the righteous, but the wicked are filled with trouble.
What do you fear most in life? In those quiet, reflective moments as you contemplate your future, what anxiety robs you of joy?
If you are a student, maybe it is the fear that you will never graduate or that you will never be able to find a job. If you are single, maybe it is the fear that you will never find a mate. For some of you, your greatest fear is that you will remain stuck in an unfulfilling job or an unsatisfying marriage. For some of you, your greatest fear for the future is the loss of something important to you, such as the loss of your mate, the loss of your job, the loss of your savings, or perhaps the loss of your health. What is it that you fear most in life? Whatever that fear is, the concluding verses of Romans 8 have wonderful words of reassurance that should remove any anxiety that is draining your life of joy right now.
Last week, we looked at what I call the greatest promise in the Bible–Romans 8:28, which says, “We know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” That verse is not saying that all things are good, and it is not saying there is good in everything. There are some things that happen to us that are absolutely terrible and evil. But God has the ability to cause all those things to work together for good. And the “good” is not our happiness, our fulfillment, or the achievement of our potential. The “good” for which all things are working together is God’s purpose.
What is God’s one purpose for which He is working together all things in your life? Romans 8:29 tells us, “For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren.” God saved you to be conformed to the image of His Son, so that while Jesus will always be the first, He will not be the only child of God; there will be many men and women who thought like Jesus thought and acted like Jesus acted. That is God’s purpose for which He is molding all things in your life. God is using everything in your life, including those terrible tragedies, to make you like Christ.
Proverbs 12:21 says, “No harm befalls the righteous, but the wicked are filled with trouble.” That verse does not mean nothing bad ever happens to the righteous. That phrase “no harm befalls” in Hebrew literally means “nothing without purpose happens” to the righteous. That is the promise of Romans 8:28. You cannot be assaulted by adverse people or adverse circumstances except by the will of God, and He is working those things in your life to make you more like Christ.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “More Than Conquerors” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2014.
Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.