Tim, a good friend of mine, mentioned something to me the other day. We were talking about a Christian band, and how he was sort of shocked that a lyrical line stated that “You make all things work together for my good.” Is this a true statement? Well, there is the verse in Romans 8:28, that says:
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
The key to this verse is the part that says “for good to.” This section could also be read “for good for,” which changes the interpretation greatly: instead of all events being good to all lovers of God, it could be all events are good for the sake of all lovers of God, meaning you’re not always going to be in the winning boat. God doesn’t always show immediate favour to everything you do. God doesn’t change all situations that are bad into good situations.
Sometimes, God wants you to suck it up and endure situations. In today’s Christian culture, it’s all about me. “God, I want you to do this for me,” “God, make sure you bless me,” “God, make my ministry successful.” Are these good prayers? Maybe, it’s not my place to judge, but what I can say is that these prayers take the focus off God. You address God, then tell him what you want Him to do for you. Where in these prayers do we address what God is doing?
My point isn’t to not pray for your own situations. My point is to make you refocus where you’re at. So many Christian songs, sermons, Bible studies, and churches put a focus on you as an individual. In Christ, we are not individuals. We are called to be a community of believers, an ecclesia of worship. When we focus on our own problems (“us”), our focus is no longer on God (“You”).