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.
For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son,
that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
We don't often hear the whole of this beautiful passage. All too often it's left just as a nice garantee that everythings going to be fine. At times, I've found discouragement even here, when I could not find the good that is being brought about-- that some things did not seem to be to my benefit. I think the problem lay in what I considered to be my good. We are told right here what that entails. God is using all the trials, the struggles, yes, even our failures to conform us to the image of His Son, in His love, His holiness, His purity... "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is." (1 John 3:2) This is His purpose, and He foreordained His children to that purpose. He gave us the assurance that He would work about our sanctification knowing that we of ourselves could never bring that about anymore that we can our own justification. But He will work all things to form us into the image of His Son. This is a promise, and God never fails His promises.
He doeth according to his will in the army of heaven,
and among the inhabitants of the earth: and
none can stay his hand, or say unto him,
What doest thou?