"It's All Good"

I'm not sure where they picked up the phrase, but somewhere along the way, "It's all good" has become a stock response from my children whenever there is a crash or a thump or a bump (at which point they know they are going to hear, "What WAS that?"  from Mom...:))  "It's all good!" I'll hear before I can even get my question out.  It isn't especially reassuring, and I typically respond with "That's great, but you can go ahead and tell me about it anyway." ;-)

Recently, however, "It's all good" seems to be a theme in what God is teaching me.  Bro. Kent's sermons, the Sunday School lesson I taught this morning, blog posts I'm reading...seem to revolve around the truth that "It's all good."  It may not always *seem* good at the time, but IF we are His children, then it is all working for our good and His glory.  LOVE these verses from today's SS lesson...

In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith--more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire--may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.   Though you have not seen Him, you love Him.  Though you do not now see Him, you believe in Him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls. (1 Peter 1:6-9)

Our suffering is going to result in the praise and honor and glory of God!  And it is going to result, as I keep being reminded this week, in our being purified as gold is refined in fire.  And He gives "joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory" in the midst of what we think of as the "bad".  What could be better than all that?!

A few notes from Bro. Kent's sermon a few weeks ago...from Romans 8:28...

"All things work together for good..."  You say, "But does that include ________?" Yes, it does.  Whatever you would fill in that blank with, it is included in "all things".  There is NOTHING with which you can fill in that blank that changes the answer.  All things.  God can even turn evil to good.  That doesn't mean the evil wasn't wrong...it was evil, and evil is NOT okay.  But God still is using it to accomplish His plan for our ultimate good and His ultimate glory. (Gen. 50:20)  
 Our definition of "good" is very different from God's...we don't even have a frame of reference.  "Work together" here in Greek is the word from which we get our word "synergy": parts working together to produce a whole. Brings about good in the "here and now" AND as part of that "eternal weight of glory" (2 Cor. 4:17)
"So we do not lose heart.  Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.  For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen, but to the things that are unseen.  For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal."     (2 Cor. 4: 16-18)
This promise is only for believers, for those saved by His grace.  For the unbeliever...everything is working together for bad...for judgement.  If one has not repented of sin and accepted Christ's free gift of salvation...there is no true good. 

And then this blog entry that I came across yesterday (perhaps via Ann Voskamp?).  Wow.  I have so very far to go...so much dross that needs to be burned away...(Even if you don't usually click through to links, I encourage you to take the time to go to Katie's blog and read this post.)  Here are a few quotes:

“'What ever He wants,' she chuckles.
I look at the joy that is spilling out of her wrinkled face and I repeat the words that she has spoken in my head and that doesn’t make sense. She is hurt and she is suffering and she is laughing about it and sparkling with beauty and radiating Joy."
That doesn’t make sense. Not to me. Not yet.
But she already knows what I am just learning. That even this, it is from Him. Even this, it is Holy ground. This thing that I label suffering, it is really Joy. 
Suffering, pain, loss, shame – all these things I have blamed on a broken world, Satan even. But can’t a broken world and even Satan only give what God allows? Suffering, pain loss and shame are only these things because I label them as such. Because I, a sinner, choose to eat from the tree, choose to turn away from nail-scarred hands and ignore the grace and miss the gift. He is beautiful and everything He creates is beautiful and if I choose to label it suffering I am choosing to miss the beauty that is freely offered me. 
“Surely, just as I have intended, so it has happened and just as I have planned so it will stand.” Isaiah 14:24
Just as He intended. Even this, planned by God.

All good.  It is all good.


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