The Hidden Good
Pastor John C. Berg
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.
This is your daily devotion for May 12th. Today we begin a new series based on and inspired by Romans 8:28. This is one of my favorite passages in Scripture. It can provide comfort in ALL situations because of that little word, “all.” Imagine how different it would be if it said, “in some things God works for the good of those who love him.” Then we would apply it to happy events like worship and family time. But you wouldn’t think of Romans 8:28 when you were furloughed from your job and I probably wouldn’t find comforting it when my child is sick.
Because of that little word “all” we know that even during suffering, tragedy and every-day drudgery God is working for our good. Sometimes we may even notice it as it’s happening, but most often we don’t see how God does this until much later, if ever. It is easy to see the negative. Social scientists call it the negativity bias. We are much more likely to let the bad affect our mood than the good. When you have your performance review at work the one or two negative comments stick with you a lot longer don’t they? Those who study this say that, in general, it takes four or five good things to balance out how we are affected by one bad thing. They also say this is a product of evolution. Being worried about a lion eating you was more important than being happy about the food you just ate. There’s a better explanation isn’t there? Sin. Our sinful natures are incredibly negative.
We need help seeing the Hidden Good. Every day we will look at an example in the Bible of someone going through hardship and how God used that for their good and/or the good of others. Hopefully this will help us see God doing the same with us. Today let’s talk about the most obvious and most important time this happened.
It's hard to imagine that any of the people who loved Jesus saw any good at his trial before Pilate. Were John and Mary aware of anything but horror as Jesus hung on the cross? We call it Good Friday, but it seems likely the people who experienced it didn’t see any good at all. And yet their very redemption was being accomplished. Jesus was paying the price for all of us to be forgiven. It was the greatest good in history, but to the people who were there it was a Hidden Good. Keep your eyes of faith open and look for the hidden good in your life. Amen.