“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
I love chocolate chip cookies. My wife knows that when I start mentioning chocolate chip cookies while I preach that it is time to make them. She makes the best chocolate chip cookies. She knows how I like them, which is soft in the middle. When she serves me the chocolate chip cookies, she often serves them to me right out of the oven, and those cookies give me pleasure for the moment.
However, when those cookies are being made, the ingredients are not for the benefit of the cookie, but for the one who consumes the cookie. My wife gets the ingredients out and places them on the counter, and slowly begins to mix the ingredients in a bowl. That bowl has no choice as to what ingredient goes into it; only my wife knows what needs to go into the bowl. She then mixes the ingredients and eventually places the dough that the ingredients made into the oven to bake it. Once the cookies are done, she then serves those cookies to others for their enjoyment.
The verse above is very much like a chocolate chip cookie. God says that “all things work together for good.” You will notice that all things didn’t work together for the good of the ingredients or for the good of the individual, but it works together for good. Let me share several thoughts about the good of the ingredients.
First, you don't get to pick what ingredients come into your life because you don't know what God is making of your life. There will be many ingredients that God chooses to put into your life that you will not like. Some of the ingredients are not bad, but most of the ingredients by themselves are not enjoyable.
Second, the ingredients mixed together is what makes it good. Every little ingredient that God has placed in your life will be for good. You take one ingredient out and the taste that God wants your life to give will not be as tasteful as it should be. God knows what taste He is making with your life, and every ingredient mixed together is what makes your life so good.
Third, the good does not come immediately. There is a mixing time and a baking time for the ingredients to be the product that can be good. It is the heat applied to the ingredients of your life that makes you into the good that God imagines. Without the heat, the good that God intended for your life will never be realized. In other words, trials take the ingredients of our lives and makes those ingredients work together for good. Somehow, the trials have a way of putting all the ingredients of our lives into a product that can be for good.
Fourth, the good is not for you to enjoy, but for others to enjoy. Your life will not turn out for good if you try to make everything benefit yourself. When you love God and try to fulfill your purpose for which God has placed you on this earth to do, you will take the ingredients to help others for good. In essence, your life is for the good of others to enjoy.
Now, when you make your life about letting others enjoy the product of your ingredients is when you find good in what you have endured. Everything will have a purpose in your life when you take your product to help others.