Predestination should be a comfort for us. It’s a doctrine that many hate, but when it’s embraced, it truly provides peace and joy. Calvinists often quote Romans 8:29-30 to explain the doctrine of predestination:
29 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.
30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified. – Romans 8:29-30
But Paul wasn’t making a defense of predestination. Instead, he was stating it as a matter of fact. Why? For our comfort. The verse before this passage is the one that is more often quoted for comfort. It reads:
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. – Romans 8:28
So for those who are called according to His purpose, that is, the elect, we know that . . . all things work together for good. How do we know this? Because for those whom He foreknew, etc.
From eternity past, His chosen people have been predestined to be conformed to the image of Jesus. Today, His chosen people are justified by faith in Jesus. And in the future, He will glorify His chosen people. In summary, from eternity past to eternity future, God always has and always will work all things for the good of His people. This is a comfort for us, especially in times of trouble. Predestination is the basis for which we have that comfort, because God is always in control and always has our best interests in mind, even when it’s hard for us.
So, we cannot separate predestination from application. Predestination is meant to comfort us, as we rely wholly on God who is sovereign over our lives and souls.