All Things Work Together for My Salvation
Not only is the Christian not to worry, we are also called to be confident. Confident in what? Confident in our God. Confident in the promises of our God. Confident in the assurance that God will bring about, for us, that which he promised to bring about for us. And confident that no matter what woes and trials may assail me in this sad, fallen world, God’s plans are never foiled or frustrated. But His will is done for His glory. Thus, the Apostle Paul can confidently say:
“ For we know that for those who love God, all things collaborate for good — for those who are called for this purpose; because the ones whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son so that he might be firstborn amongst many brothers. And the ones he predestined, he also called; and the ones he called, he also justified; and the ones he justified, he also glorified. What then shall we say of this? If God is for us, who can be against us? Indeed, he who did not spare his own Son, but delivered him over for us, how will he not also freely give us all things when associated with him? Who shall accuse God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who can pronounce a sentence? Christ Jesus, the one who died — but more, was lifted up — is at the right hand of God and also intercedes for us! Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Tribulation or distress or persecution or famine or dire straits or nakedness or sword? Just as it has been written: “for the sake of you, we are being put to death all day long; we are counted as sheep of the slaughter.” Rather, in all these things we are victorious through the one who has loved us. For I have been persuaded that neither death nor life, angels nor powers, neither that which has been nor that which will be, neither powers nor heights, neither depths nor any other creature is able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
What justifies this level of confidence? This confidence comes from nothing within us. This confidence comes from the fact that our salvation has nothing to do with us — not our works, not our will, not our decisions. It totally and utterly is a work of God in our lives for his glory. If we could lay any claim on our salvation, two great disasters would befall us. First, we would grow proud and boast in our works or in our decisions. Second, we would fall from salvation. For if some of our salvation fell into our hands and was our responsibility, none of us would be saved for what a wretched lot we are when it comes to resisting temptation and sin.
So, be confident that he who has called you will never allow you to slip from between his fingers. And live a life of gratitude toward God in that confidence. Will that make everything go smoothly and eliminate trials and temptations from your life? Certainly not! Did not our Lord go to heaven through the pathway of the cross? Did he not also call us to take up our crosses daily to follow him? Shall we expect that God would treat us any differently than was suitable for his only-begotten Son? No, Christian, suffering and trial is the means by which God chooses to refine and discipline those he loves. If we are to be conformed into the image of Christ, then such is the path we must confidently walk.