For good to those who love God

Joey Crandall

Joey Crandall


“And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”

— John 17:26

There is an imminent finality that looms over these words recorded by John the apostle.

The scene is this: It is the evening before Jesus will be taken to the cross. He has already washed His disciples’ feet. He has broken bread and poured from the vine in representation of what was about to come to pass.

On this night, He has taught -- at length -- about love and truth. About the triune nature of God, and the way to eternal life.

About sorrow. And about joy.

For the horror He is about to endure; for the horror His disciples – His friends – are about to see, He offers them the hope of what comes next.

And then He begins to pray.

The words are precious and intimate – offered from a Son to a Father.

And in these words, a striking, humbling truth emerges.

Jesus, after praying briefly for Himself, turns his attention to His disciples. And then He prays for those who would believe in Him in the future.

His prayers – in this moment where He is about to be bruised and torn – are for others.

He knew that His trial would ultimately bring forth the salvation of many.

Romans 8:28 states “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”

The natural assumption -- at least mine -- has always been that God works all things together for my good.

And that is true. But it drastically undersells the full scope of the verse.

It says “He works all things together for those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”

God will indeed see us through our trials, but we can’t miss in that truth that our trials also serve the greater body of Christ -- both present and future.

What happens to us isn’t about us at all.

It’s about Him, and what He wants to do through our lives – that His love might be in others.

Jesus knew that His trial served a perfect purpose – eternal life.

The death of the one for the lives of the many.

Our trials are windows into the very nature of God. It is when we find ourselves at our lowest points – in our weakness, and in our grief – in our hopelessness – that a God of strength, and of comfort and of hope shines through.

Only at our most broken, surrendered into the hands of the Living God, do we fully realize that His love is all that can piece us back together.

Prayer is often, and inaccurately, seen as a means toward achieving our intended resolutions.

The prayer we see in John 17 – true prayer – is giving the situation into the hands of God Almighty, that His resolution, His will, would be our sole intent.

“Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me, nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” – Luke 22:42

Joey Crandall is the pastor of Calvary Chapel Carson Valley.


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