28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[i] have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.
Tim Keller says that a Christian’s Happiness can be found in these few verses, because it shows us that:
- Our bad things turn out for good
- Our good things can’t be taken away, and
- The best is yet to come.
But sometimes these truths can be hard to see in the midst of trials in our lives, where we rarely see how it all comes together.
Believe it or not, but it was through an ABC celebrity art program that I got a greater understanding of these verses. Anh Do’s ‘Brush With Fame’ was the show (I wonder if you’ve seen it?). The premise of the show is that Anh interviews a celebrity while he paints them. By the end of the show you get to know the subject of the painting in a lot more depth and then there is the final reveal of the portrait, which reveals the skills of the artist.
During the show the camera will focus in on a small part of Anh’s canvas, showing only part of the overall portrait. Anh is busy throwing paint onto a canvas in what looks like a haphazard way, and not with brushes, but cake decorating tools! Rarely can you tell what the painting will look like, which is the appeal of the show, but you know that somehow he’ll make it look incredible, because you can see some of the other canvases in his gallery.
I am reminded that God is the painter and I rarely get to see the full canvas. What may look like mistakes from my perspective, never are to God. What I can trust in, is that God is great at what He does, and that the final product will make me stand in awe of Him. I know this because of the canvases I have seen (read about) in His Word. He makes all things come together, even if it may not be within one lifetime. His overcall canvas is bigger than I could imagine, but every brushstroke is a masterpiece, revealing His glory.
Pat Barret’s lyrics in ‘Canvas and the Clay’, also reflect the truth of these verses:
doubt it, Lord, remind me
I’m wonderfully made
You’re an artist and a potter
I’m the canvas and the clay
all things work together
For my future and for my good
You make all things work together
For Your glory and for Your name.