After affirming that we are children of God, and therefore His heirs, the apostle Paul testified that the afflictions and sorrows we endure will be overshadowed by the joy God has promised to the faithful. It’s true that our perspective is limited. We don’t always even know what to pray for. But a perfect Father knows what we lack. He loves us, and He will provide help we didn’t know we needed. Paul then makes the following assertion:
We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.Romans 8:28
In March of 1833, the Lord provided the same reassurance to members of the church in Kirtland, Ohio:
Search diligently, pray always, and be believing, and all things shall work together for your good, if ye walk uprightly and remember the covenant wherewith ye have covenanted one with another.Doctrine and Covenants 90:24
How can all things work together for our good, particularly when we see so many instances of what Elder Dale G. Renlund called “infuriating unfairness?” One answer is that even tragic events can have positive consequences. As Lehi reminded his son Jacob, who had endured significant hardships in his young life:
Thou knowest the greatness of God; and he shall consecrate thine afflictions for thy gain.2 Nephi 2:2
Another answer is that God can help us turn potentially negative circumstances and experiences into good things. He can help us learn. He can help us adapt. He can help us transform liabilities into assets and weaknesses into strengths.
More broadly, when we recognize that there is so much in this world that is beyond our control, we can begin to see divine patterns in our lives. We recognize that beneficial things happen all the time which we never could have planned. We learn to recognize that there are forces beyond our influence at work in our lives, and that our experiences are connected in ways we can’t explain.
Today, I will remember and trust Paul’s reassuring promise. Even though I can’t see how God is making all of my experiences work for my good, I will believe that He is and that He can. I will trust His plan and His program in my life and will trust that seemingly negative experiences can lead to positive outcomes.
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