And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Before we consider what this verse says, let’s think about what it doesn’t say. Romans 8:28 does not say or mean: “And we know that in all things — everything is going to be good.”
And our focus text doesn’t mean that your current crisis will turn out to your satisfaction. It could. But again, that’s not what this verse means. If that were the meaning, then people would never die from cancer, marriages would never end in divorce, and every sickness would be cured.
So, what is Paul trying to tell us about God’s work in our lives? “In all things” means that God is interested in and involved in all aspects of our lives. “God works” reveals that He is not passively observing but actively laboring “for the good.” But He’s not working for the good of everyone, just “those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
God’s good work benefits believers. But how?
Years ago, I fell in love with a beautiful girl who professed her love for me, and we were married. After several years of growing in our relationship together, we decided to start a family and God blessed us with two boys. And so we began working, doing all we could to provide them with everything they needed to be productive and successful adults. When necessary, we disciplined. We taught them right from wrong, to love others as themselves, and to love God. We encouraged them to eat healthy food, to hang with the right crowd, and to work hard. Most of all, we loved them with all our hearts. In all things we worked for their good.
We gave our best — did our best. Today, they are grown and doing well, but that’s not to say they haven’t had problems and setbacks. We worked for their good to prepare them to handle life.
Now back to our text. God is working for your good by preparing you to handle this life. That’s why studying His word and putting it into practice is so vitally important.
My grandmother went on to be with the Lord in the 80s, but I still hear her voice, those often repeated instructions exhorting me to do the right thing. More important is the voice of God in my head, scripture verses and Biblical principles that guide me through life’s challenges. All of that wise counsel is for my good.
Even when you go through the fire, God is growing you in the faith, and strengthening your witness so you can tell others about Him and His faithfulness.
Consider again the analogy of how we work for the good of our children. Sometimes – they rebel, refuse to accept our advice or discipline. Our good efforts are rejected as foolishness. That’s how we are with our God who works for our good.
All of His instruction regarding godly living is for our good, “in all things.” As we yield to Him and learn from Him; He helps, guides, strengthens, heals, disciplines, delivers, comforts, matures, protects, blesses, gives, loves, provides, and so much more — and all of it, for our good.
For more on this topic, check out this article: God Plays Favorites with His Children
Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 2 (April – June) Get your copy here: Paperback and eBook/Kindle formats.