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. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
Expectation is natural for us in every circumstance. Some people might say that they do not expect anything but merely hope for the best. Others might say that they enter situations simply waiting to see what will happen but without expectation. Interestingly, a single word in Spanish means to expect, to hope and to wait. I think that some true introspection would show us that most, if not all, of us go through our days regularly expecting certain results. This is certainly the case when we have promises which lead to those expectations. We have a faithful Father who loves us and gives good gifts, and that will lead us to expect certain outcomes. Expectation is not necessarily a bad thing, but it must be framed correctly, and this passage gives us a good example of that.
When I first learned of this passage, I pictured that every day of my Christian life would be great. I read these words as telling me that every adventure, every risk, every attempt at anything I did would end well. After all, does “all things” not mean “all things”? Well, it is not exactly like that. While all things work out this way in their final and cumulative result, it does not mean that the process of them being worked out is not painful or not marked by hardship and disappointment. Not everything that happens to us is good or enjoyable or even tolerable, but all things ultimately end in our promised perfect eternity. When we take off imperfection and put on perfection, only goodness will exist.
Today might be one disaster after another, but that is okay. This result, although not what I might be expecting or hoping for, does not mean that the promise of this passage is untrue. I should not expect every moment of my Christian life to be wonderful. That is a wrong expectation. What is certain to come, however, is a final result to all things which results in only goodness. The end of the tale is completely good. There is no strange twist, no unfortunate disaster. The ending of the story we call this Christian life is the only genuine happy ending. Father, we thank You that every high and every low, every bright day and every dark night, all leads to perfect goodness for those who love You.