Romans 8:28 is one of my favorite verses of scripture. It ministered to me at a time many years ago when I was going through a very stressful time. A time where I was completely unable to orchestrate the events or the outcome. The thing that caused me to take hold of this scripture what comes in the next two verses because it lets me know God’s purpose for working all things together for good.
Romans 8:29-30 (ESV)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. (emphasis mine).
These verses say that God’s purpose is to conform me to the image of His Son. His Son is Jesus so God works all things together so that I can become the image of Jesus.
Let me unpack verse 28 a little bit. The first thing that it says that things get worked together for those who love the Lord. If you love the Lord then you will obey him.
John 14:15 (ESV)15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.
This verse says to those who love God and are doing their best to obey his commands, that He works everything together for good.
Secondly the verse says work all things for good. It does not say that all things are good.
No matter how rose-colored our glasses are, there’s nothing good about cancer, murder, sex trafficking, or death. Until Jesus returns and conquers Satan once and for all, sin will continue in this world, damaging and destroying everything in its wake.
The truth of Romans 8:28 reminds us that although sin and Satan are powerful, God is more powerful; He is able to redeem and restore anything for our good and his glory. All things may not be good, but God can and will use all things for good.
As long as we live in this world, people will attempt to reconcile God’s sovereignty with humanity’s suffering. The suffering that we endure in this world is not wasted. God is always at work for our good and his glory. When we can’t understand why we have to go through difficulties, sickness, and death, we can rest in the security that God is in control.
“Maybe you are facing a major difficulty right now. It may be an illness or guilt or a financial problem or strain in a relationship. Does God have a word for you while you’re going through your difficulty? Absolutely. God is saying to you, “Don’t give up. Grow up.”
Fulfill the purpose of your difficulty — becoming more and more the person he created you to be. You’ll face trials in life, no doubt about it, but God will use them to free you.
Father, sometimes I can’t understand how you can bring beauty from the ashes of my life. I struggle to trust you with the broken pieces. You say in your Word that without faith it is impossible to please you, and I want to please you. I want to trust you. I want you to make me more like Jesus and use my trials for my good and your glory. Help me believe the promise of Romans 8:28. In the strong name of Jesus I ask, Amen.
Editor’s Note: Prayer from “A Romans 8:28 Prayer” By Lori Hatcher