“All things work together for good.” Popular verse? Yes. Overused? Maybe. Misunderstood? Unfortunately, often.
Romans 8:28 is a promise from God, so why do we have such a hard time trusting it? Because we don’t understand what the “good” is. The passage is often quoted to comfort those caught in the suffocating clutches of life’s trials.
A woman who just found out she has breast cancer.
A young man paralyzed as the result of a car accident.
A father sitting beside the bed of his little girl in the ICU. “All things work together for good” we methodically state. The problem is we have just as difficult a time believing anything good can come out of the situation as the recipient does.
We need to look at the passage more closely. To whom is it being said? For whom do things work for the good? Verse 28 says, “to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose”—Christians. This promise only applies to Christians. Why? Because of what the “good” is that all things work toward. The “good” is found in verse 29, “For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son.” You see, the “good” is not found in the circumstance, the “good” is found in you. It is the process of molding and shaping you to be more like Christ. Every trial we go through, every valley we traverse, every heart-aching tragedy we find ourselves in, God is using to conform us more and more into the image of Jesus. Little by little, like a master sculptor, He shapes us and He molds us.
Is it painful? You bet. Is it tiring? No doubt. It is worth it? Definitely.
Maybe you’re in one of those valleys now, maybe you just came out of one, or maybe there’s one just over the horizon, God promises it will work out for the good, not necessarily in the situation, but necessarily in you. Submit yourselves to God, allow Him to work in your life to humble you and bring you to greater reliance on Him. And in doing so, He will make you more like Jesus.