Romans 8:28 is one of my favorite Bible verses. The NKJV puts it this way, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” The NLT puts it like this, “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” What an incredible promise that is. As children of God, we are assured that God will work all things together for good.
Many people like to say that “everything happens for a reason.” I don’t really believe that is true, to be honest. Sadly, we live in a fallen world. That means many cruel and evil things will happen to us and around us. Add on top of that all the mistakes we make as well. I don’t believe initially there is a good reason behind everything. But we often hear people say this as an attempt to bring comfort to a difficult situation. I would like to suggest, however, that instead of saying, “everything happens for a reason,” we turn to God and to the promise found in Romans 8:28.
As Christians, we can trust that God can and will turn things around for good. That promise really gives me comfort when I am facing something difficult that I do not like or do not understand. Or when I look back on my life and I wish I could erase some things from my past. Or when a loved one is struggling with something hard. In difficult times like these, we can find solace in knowing that God will work all things for good.
And, yes, the verse says ALL things or EVERYTHING, depending on the translation. There have been certain things in my life that I didn’t believe could be worked out for good. But one night when I was praying about some of those things, I felt God speak to me. He said, “Yes, even that.” What a simple, yet beautiful, statement.
As a child of God, this promise is true for you too. God can and will work everything in your life for good. Even the worst things in your life. Even the things that have brought you the most pain. He is a loving God and will love you through your suffering, if you allow Him to. The Contemporary English Version puts Romans 8:28 like this, “We know that God is always at work for the good of everyone who loves him. They are the ones God has chosen for his purpose.” That first sentence is so beautiful and truly portrays God’s love for you.
But perhaps there was something in your life which you have not seen anything good come from it. In our human eyes and human understanding, we might not see or comprehend the good that came out of some things. But we have to believe God, trust God, and have faith in God.
Charles Stanley puts it this way, “On this side of heaven we may never understand how all things can work together for good for God’s children. Though not all things we experience are in themselves pleasant or helpful – some of them are very painful – we are promised that God uses everything for our benefit. Therefore, we must have faith that He will turn our failures and hardships into opportunities for spiritual growth.” (The Charles F. Stanley Life Principles Bible)
Our God is trustworthy and faithful. He does not lie and He keeps His promises. So when you are facing something painful in your life, or when you look back on something painful, run to the Lord and hand it over to Him. Pray about the situation and tell Him that you are trusting Him to work it all out for good. This process of surrender will take a weight off your shoulders and you will feel a peace that surpasses understanding.
© 2020 Bridget A. Thomas