Acceptance element #4: The willingness to trust that, on the aggregate, God steers creation in a hopeful direction
We know that God works all things together for good for the ones who love God, for those who are called according to his purpose.
~Romans 8:28, CEB
People often point to this verse as a way of saying that things that are bad only seem bad and that, one day, we'll understand better because all things are actually good once you have time, distance, and perspective.
That isn’t actually what’s being said, if we pay attention to context. As short as I can be, Paul is telling his readers that, though their current circumstances have caused them to despair, their ultimate hope is in a God who, through his spirit, works through creation to bring about his good purposes. He is speaking on a very wide scale here. God’s plan, what he intends to accomplish in his creation, is ultimately for the good and will be of most benefit to his followers. Paul is not talking here about lost pregnancies or children with substance use disorder, or any specific tragedy that a person may undergo. He is simply highlighting the fact, once again, that God is in the process of transforming creation and this will be undoubtedly good news for people like those in the Roman church who are suffering on account of their faith.
More on this tomorrow.