One promise I look to in the Bible when I feel everything in my life is screaming, “There is no God! You’re all alone in this,” is Romans 8:28-29.
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.”
The first part of that section feels good. “God is going to work everything for my good,” I tell myself. And then I ask, “What is my good?” The answer is found in the next verse.
My good is to be conformed to the image of the Son of God. The good God is promising to work in every good and bad circumstance in my life is making me more and more like Jesus. The question is, do I value this good God is promising to work for me above everything in my life?
Because everything is up for grabs.
Jesus didn’t make any bones about what it meant to be his disciple. He didn’t say we had to earn being his disciple, but he said, if we follow him, we’ll let go of our grip on everything in our lives.
There’s this underlying thing about being a Christian. This constant undercurrent of a question threatening to grab me by my ankles and pull me under. And the question is, “Why are you doing this? Why church? Why care about telling others about Jesus? Why keep striving in a hard marriage? Why read the Bible? Why sing?” And if the answer isn’t , “Because being made like Jesus is more valuable to me than anything else,” then I’ll sink.
In all the hard things that come with life, I will not endure in following Jesus if I haven’t tasted his goodness and value being being made like him more than anything.
Jesus prays for us, that our faith won’t fail. And like Peter, the question Jesus is asking us, every new-mercied morning is, “Do you love me?” And by his grace, I do. I have tasted that there is no comfort, to escape of hard things, no self-preservation or functional savior better than finding within me the heart of Christ.