How do "all things work together"?

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From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Q: There is a phrase that bothers me and that is the saying that "all things work together." How does that actually work? -- S.P.

A: There are many sayings people use but they have no idea where they come from. Many of them come straight from God's Word -- the Bible -- as in "having the patience of Job."

God's discipline is one of wisdom. Horatius Bonar said, "What deep wisdom then must there be in all His dealings! He knows exactly what we need and how to supply it. The time and the way and the instrument are all according to the perfect wisdom of God."

When Charles Colson was sent to prison for his participation in the Watergate scandal, it was the wisdom of God that utilized his sentence. A judge may have been the human instrument through whom God worked, but the result was God's plan for the life of a man who ministered to thousands inside and outside of prisons around the world. In this case, all things did work together for good.

The wisdom of God's discipline may be obscured when we are in the midst of suffering. The Faith Chapter in the Bible (Hebrews 11) contains a list of some of God's great heroes, among them: Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, and Moses. Many were gloriously delivered from hardship because of their faith, but they still went through difficulties.


This is what it means when Scripture declares: "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God" (Romans 8:28).

Let's not miss the meaning of this passage. God loves mankind, but He tenderly cares for His own; for those who have received Him as their Savior and walk with Him in the new life that He gives.


(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)



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