All things work together for our good?


#1

In Romans 8:28 it says, “And we know that God works all things together for the good of those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose.”

Growing up in Evangelical Christianity, I was told that nothing could happen to a Christian Believer and Follower of Christ unless God approved it first. And if it was something seemingly bad, then, as was promised, God would ultimately work it out for their good.

My question is: I have known (or known of) some very strong Christians who have put Christ first in all things and who lived for him. In each case, they ended up being hit with the disease of depression and ultimately took their own lives.

So I’ve been wondering for quite some time:

Is Romans 8:28 just Paul’s own opinion?

Was the teaching I received wrong?

Does God plan to use everything for our good, but we get involved and it just doesn’t work out that way? If this is the case, why would God let it happen in the first place?

I know this is a difficult question, and we probably can’t know for sure, but I’d appreciate insights.

THANKS as always!


#2

The whole point of our existence is to glorify/love/worship God … and … to attain our happiness that God appointed for us, heavenly happiness.

It means that we live in another kingdom in spirit, while we live in an earthly kingdom in body. Then all that we do in spirit will be for the gloification of God and will be directed simultaneously to our own joyful end. In this way, we can say without hesitation that all things in this way work for good, even suffering, which is earthly unhappiness. We can have satisfaction in knowing that our sufferings will do good for ourselves and others if done out of pure love of Jesus.

Jesus once told us that if we are only good to those that do us good, then we are no better than theives. For the theives expect something in return. Jesus says we should do good to others just out of love expecting no return. Suffering for others accomplishes this.

Jesus also said that if we suffer for what we did wrong, then that is merely justice. But if we suffer for something we did not deserve, then this will produce good. Just as he was innocent on the cross and not deserving of his sufferings, yet gave those sufferings to his Father for our benefit and needs. When we suffer, we can unite them with Jesus’ sufferings for the good of others, especially at Mass.

As far as the depression and ending of those you knew, IMO we would need to know them as God knows them to determine what happened. Each person is unique.

We also only know others looking at the outside, but not always knowing what battles they are facing on the inside. And as you well know, we all tend to show our best side to others while keeping the closet closed where our dead bones are hidden.


#3

No one loved God more that his Son and his pain, sacrifice and ultimate death worked for the good of the salvation of the whole world.

Mike


#4

I’m not sure I’d agree with the particular wording of that translation. He works “for good, for those who love Him”; but “for the good of those who love Him” is a translation that I’m not entirely certain flows from the original Greek of the letter. I might be picking nits, but it seems that the translation subtly changes Paul’s original wording…

Growing up in Evangelical Christianity, I was told that nothing could happen to a Christian Believer and Follower of Christ unless God approved it first. And if it was something seemingly bad, then, as was promised, God would ultimately work it out for their good.

Was the teaching I received wrong?

I think I’d say it this way: God works all for the good. That doesn’t mean that he thwarts the free will of individuals, though, such that he’ll stop us from making our own decisions.

In the case of suicide, the Church doesn’t teach that they automatically are damned. Remember: she teaches that one who dies in a state of mortal sin cannot be saved. One commits mortal sin only if one commits grave sin with full knowledge and deliberate consent. Would we say that one who suffers from mental illness acts with ‘deliberate consent’? Would we say that one who acts counter to the deep-seated human instinct for the preservation of one’s life is acting with full knowledge? I think it’s reasonable to say that suicide, by definition, cannot be presumed to be a mortal sin.

So, even in the case of suicide, would we say that Romans 8:28 seems to be in error? I would answer ‘no’.

Does God plan to use everything for our good, but we get involved and it just doesn’t work out that way? If this is the case, why would God let it happen in the first place?

I would say that it’s not the case that “it just doesn’t work out that way.” I would say that, despite their illness and the ultimate end of their earthly lives, they still haven’t thwarted God’s will for their salvation.


#5

Knox

28 Meanwhile, we are well assured that everything helps to secure the good of those who love God, those whom he has called in fulfilment of his design.[6]

[6] Some Greek manuscripts read ‘God helps in every way to secure the good of those who love God’. ‘In fulfilment of his design’; the Greek fathers, however, interpret, ‘in accordance with their wills’.

This is about spirituality. There is a good explanation of this in this book, but I don’t have it on me right now to quote from it.


#6

If I can add anything constructive to this, it might be this:

Our Father who are in heaven
*
hallowed be thy name
thy kingdom come
thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven*

before we say “give us…[anything]” we make these statements which I will call oaths. we pledge ourselves to keeping God’s name holy. We pledge ourselves to establishment of his kingdom. We pledge ourselves to God’s will here in our lives whatever that may be…cancer, poverty, wealth, reversals, etc.

This echoes the ‘pledge of allegiance’ in Deuteronomy (6:4ff) Hear O Israel the LORD is our God, the LORD alone. You shall love the LORD with all you heart, with all your soul (even to giving your life), and with all your strength (all our resources, if need be, all our wealth).

The Israelites experienced hunger, thirst, dangers such as snakes, etc. in the wilderness. I think this symbolizes our own lives. We also have Job as a model of faith and steadfastness and hope.

I can’t speak for anybody else, but the blessings in my life have buoyed me up through many trials…and setbacks. and as Sirach 2 verse 4 says, as gold is tested in fire, so are men in the crucible of humiliation. HUMILIATION: I got asked to exit from my parish’s bible study, publicly, at the first meeting. Whew! that’s a tough crowd. (the leader said I wouldn’t learn anything there – ouch.) And our parish’s mission statement ends with the words “all are welcome.”

As St Paul would say, that door was closed to me but another one opened, I continued my advanced reading at home, quite a bit in fact.I don’t consider it a loss, overall. I put everything in prayer with faith and humility.

I am gifted with a sense of humor, which helps when I see that there practically no responses to what I have posted in these forums over the years. Maybe there’s one person out there who I have helped.


#7

Look at what God did at the tower of babel, those people were trying to find their own way to heaven, and God effectively threw a wrench into their plans, even though the people wanted to do this,(their free will?) one could also argue people today are essentially doing the same thing, they arent constructing an actual tower, but many are trying to find their own ways to heaven without God, but no supernatural intervention today…??


#8

Depression, generally speaking, is of the world-due to attachments to what we want. what we desire. Christianity offers an opposing view, rejecting the world’s values. To the extent that we truly love God above all else (which is a tall order that isn’t fulfilled the moment we become Christian), the world-and our desire for its offerings-affect us less.


#9

GREAT POST & Q!

God can be accurately defined as:

ALL GOOD THINGS PERFECTED:slight_smile:

What this ought to tell us the “good” & and “goodness” reside in God; who IS the author of all GOOD THINGS.

God in-order to retain the definition I just shared cannot be DIRECTLY AND intentionally the source / cause of evil. God CAN and does permit evil for both His possible later GLORY and OUR possible later sanctification; BUT never the cause of EVIL for the sake of EVIL.:eek:

Let’s take three evident examples

[1] Christ Crucifixion & death
Which gave Rise to Easter-Sunday and Christianity

[2] Christian Martyrdom: their BLOOD the fertilizer that GREW Christ Church [singular]

[3] Serious Mortal sins; so severe as to SEVERE for a time, one’s relationship with Jesus.

Which leads to Sacramental Confession; The Forgiveness of sins AND the now STRONGER bond [commitment] NOT to sin [with Gods GRACE] that way again.

ONLY God is able to evident evil, wrongs and abuses and miraculously turn them into something better
:thumbsup:

Evil EXIST because of the precise reason and manner that humanity ALONE is able to fulfill God’s Design for us and only we, in all of Creation with similar [but lesser in perfection] Godly attributes of a Mind, Intellect & Freewill which are permanently attached to OUR souls; can choose to Love God or to hate God.

That ability * sets us apart of all other created things.is the SOURCE of Evil, as man’s OPTIONS are exercised freely.

And yet in the end; God is able to be Glorifed wither THROUGH or right choices OR by offering us the POSSIBILITY to have made BETTER choices:thumbsup:

God Bless you,
Patrick…*


#10

You hit the nail on the head.:thumbsup: The great battle in the interior life is to rise above all else,
to the TRUTH, in order to be set free.

Mike


#11

Thanks to all of you. Your comments have been helpful.

I really like the wording of this version. It seems to me to say, that no matter what happens to us, God will help in every way to turn it around for our good. It’s not teaching, as I had been taught, that God would not allow such problems to come to us in the first place, because He knows the end-result would be disastrous.

I like this too, particularly your last sentence.


#12

There are some very wise and true answers to this question posted here, and I agree with all
those that I read. I can not add much to them except to try to say something
in my own words to try to help bring an answer.

The enemy does try to defeat us and deter us from following God, especially
when we are walking in Him. The enemy comes to kill, steal and destroy
while our Lord comes that we may have life more abundantly. Even if
the enemy finds a way to kill us here on earth, the Lord will save us, save us
for Heaven. Thanks be to God.


#13

NO friend, what you suggest is both a Moral and a Theological IMPOSSIBILITY:o

It’s termed “predestination”; which IF and WHEN rightly understood means ONLY that God had FOREKNOWLEDGE of what each soul will select for themselves.

Knowledge OF DOES NOT mean to be the cause "Of."

Thank you for your reply.

Your position brings to mind two questions:

[1] Have you ever considered WHY we exist?

Isaiah 43: verses 7 & 21
“And every one that calleth upon my name, I have created him for my glory, I have formed him, and made him. & This people have I formed for myself, they shall shew forth my praise”

[2a] The Book of Genesis cleary sates that humanity Cf. “Is MADE in the Image and likeness of God”

Gen. 1: 26-27 “And he said: Let us make man to our image and likeness: and let him have dominion over the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the air, and the beasts, and the whole earth, and every creeping creature that moveth upon the earth. And God created man to his own image: to the image of God he created him: male and female he created them.”

Now God never showed “His face” [His person] in the Old Testament, but only as a voice, a flaming bush, a cloud, and so on. WHY? Because He IS a Spiritual Reality. John 4: 23-24 " But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true adorers shall adore the Father in spirit and in truth. For the Father also seeketh such to adore him. God is a spirit; and they that adore him, must adore him in spirit and in truth."

So then my friend this raises two additional questions:

HOW does humanity emulate our Spiritual God?

WHY does humanity resemble our Spiritual God?

[2 b] In the Universe their are BILLIONS of stars, galaxies and planets; BUT ONLY ONE; Planet earth can be PROVEN to support the life forms we are aware of.

On Planet Earth, with hundreds of thousands of “Living THINGS” ONLY ONE; only humanity can choose to rationaize, choose to love and or choose to hate: WHY IS THIS?

In order to rationalize, love or hate requires in an absoulate sense the following attributes:

a mind [not speaking here of the brain]

A intellect [not meaning ones "IQ]

and a freewill

All of these attributes are “spiritual things” LIKE OUR GOD; and are permantey attached to mans Soul [defined here as the source and activator of all life forms]

Like God who is ETERNAL; this “other self”; our Spiritual self cannot be killed and never dies. Its the part of us that WILL face Gods necessaryly Just and Fair Judgment; based on our lives decissions here on earth, while we still have our bodies; which, I remind you return to DUST when we die.

Genesis 3:19 “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread till thou return to the earth, out of which thou wast taken: for dust thou art, and into dust thou shalt return.”

It is precisely the manner that humanity alone DOES emulate our God that REQUIRES God follow His owh physical laws of “Cause and effect” with actions DO cause consequences.

These Consequences MUST [fairness and Divine Justice] last for Eternity; and that is where Heaven, Hell and Purgatory are a critical part of God Plan for Creating man “in HIS Image.” Amen!

Your position denies God’s Sovereignty His very ability to be a GOOD-GOD

And it denies humanity the opportunity to accomplish the very reason for our existence; namely to FREELY choose to know, love, serve and OBEY God in and through HIs Catholic Church. Amen:thumbsup:

Blessings,

Patrick


#14

To Patrick,

God bless you! I think that I did not write my post well and that you did not
understand what I meant to say. But if I am wrong then I apologize to all here
because I respect and love those who are Roman Catholics. Some of you
prayed for me when I was dying of my illness, and I will always be grateful!!!

I was trying to respond to a person who had lost loved ones to depression and
suicide who had been solid Christians we are told. To me, the devil and his
own attempt to kill, steal and destroy and attempt to drive people of faith away
from God and even to depression and suicide if they can. Even if sometimes this really happens…it does not mean that God will forsake us, but surely he will bring the faithful to Heaven even if we have been tricked and driven to our own earthly deaths.

I reject predestination, as I understand it, and thank the blessed Lord for saving
people like us, people who are not perfect and are not worthy of his help. I prayed
before I wrote this and hope that I wrote what He would want me to write.

John


#15

Hi John, Thanks:thumbsup:

Your correct in understanding that Satan’s access to humanity is through our emotions.

But we should understand that Satan cannot command us to do “evil”. THAT my friend has to be our own freewill choice.

God will save us IF and WHEN we permit Him too.

Salvation does not equate to predestination which violates God’s very Sovereignty AND man’s freewill.

Also, salvation is a Process, that only begins with our acknowledgment of as Jesus as LORD of our life.

God Bless you my friend,
Patrick

.


#16

Patrick, Now I understand you, and I agree 100%!!!


#17

Thanks Be to GOD:thumbsup:

Blessings,

Patrick


#18

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