The promise of Romans 8:28 that God works for our good “in all things” is reassuring. It means that, there are only two qualifiers for God to be working all things together for our good, no matter the circumstance.
First, if you love God, you can trust that He is working for your good.
Second, He works for “those who are called according to His purpose.” Following God requires that you submit to His purpose for you. You have been called by Him for a purpose that He holds for your life.
In fact, the wording of this verse suggests that these two qualifiers–loving God and experiencing His call–are actually one. Those who love God are called according to His purpose. And vice versa.
Being called according to God’s purpose also reminds us that “our good” is not for our comfort or what the world calls success. It’s the furthering of His purpose through us.
God never said that all things are good. He said everything that He created was good when He created it.
Genesis 1:31 NIV God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.
But when Adam and Eve sinned all bets were off.
Genesis 2:15-17 NIV The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”
Their sin had also had a negative effect on the whole creation.
Romans 8:19-22 NIV For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.
No matter how rose-colored our glasses are, there’s nothing good about cancer, sex trafficking, or death. Until Jesus returns and conquers Satan once and for all, sin will continue to drag its destructive path across our 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.
God allows everything into our lives for one of two purposes—either to bring us into a relationship with himself or, if we already know him, to make us more like his Son.
Romans 8:29 NIV For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.
As long as we live in this world, people will try to make sense of God’s sovereignty with humanity’s suffering. Romans 8:28 assures us that no suffering is wasted, and God is always at work for our good and his glory. When we don’t understand why trials come and we struggle to imagine that anything good can come from them, we can rest in the security that God is always in control.
Sometimes I can’t understand how you and bring beauty for 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 that you will work everything the good, the bad, and the ugly for my good so that I look more like Jesus.