Romans 8:28 (NKJV)
28 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.
One of the most loved verses in the Bible, this promise offers such comfort to believers everywhere. It gives us an assurance that everything that happens in our lives, especially the hard and difficult times, will be used by God for our good and His glory. But I wonder how much truth do we really understand regarding this passage. Let’s slowly take it apart and learn more.
The preceding verses of this part of Romans 8 talks about the suffering that we, believers, have to endure at present (Romans 8:18) and the bondage of corruption that the creation is now temporarily captive of (Romans 8:21). Along with these are our responses to these suffering and bondage, that we, ourselves and the whole creation, groan and long to be delivered from it and let the glory in us be finally revealed (Romans 8:18-23). Now the next verses come with the promises of hope, perseverance and help from the Holy Spirit through intercession (Romans 8:24-27) where our verse comes next as an addition and a conclusion.
Yes, we will have tribulations in this life that we need to endure. Yes, we will long to be set free from the evil that our innate human nature has. We will experience pain and suffering, failures and setbacks. But God promises us His comfort amidst all these. He promises hope in Him as we persevere and eagerly wait on Him. God promises that the Helper, the Holy Spirit that is, will aid us through rough and confusing times when we do not know what to pray for and even how to pray anymore. And lastly, He promises that all that we will go thru will be used by Him.
we know that.
To know in a sense is to have the possession of a certain truth, fact, or knowledge as Merriam Webster defines it and most people superficially perceive it as only that. To know is to be informed. But actually, to know goes beyond getting the information. To know means having direct cognition, awareness and understanding of the information given, also as defined by Merriam-Webster. The mind should be able to process and digest the information through the use of our senses. The information will not be left as it is but it will create something inside of the receiver and be utilized and manifested outwardly. It isn’t something of mere passive receiving. It has to be something that is actively perceiving.
Having said that, this promise that we have in Romans 8:28 should not be just a mere fact or information we know about God, like “Oh, I know God is like this and that; I know He also will do this and that”, but it should be an unshakable rock where our faith and trust in His character as our God should be deeply rooted. This amazing truth should manifest in our daily lives: how we interact with people, how we face challenges, how we fight sin and the battles within ourselves, how we make choices and decisions wherever we maybe. These actions proves that we have a great understanding and perception of who God is in our lives and what He is capable to do.
Ah! This one made me smile. Usually when we read this part, we right away think of good and bad things. We think of the comfort and pain we have in this life, our successes and defeats, health and sickness, blessings and afflictions, joys and sorrows. But we should not limit it with these.
When the Apostle Paul said “all things“, he really meant it. It includes the big and small events in our lives, from the smallest decision we make to hardest choice we have to choose. Even the things that we think are unnoticeable and insignificant, the implications of our actions, well, God includes that as well.
It also includes the times we reluctantly disobey God due to fear and doubt and also the times we surrendered and willingly obey Him.
It includes all sorts of people we meet and know and may it be for a few seconds or a few hours or days everywhere.
It includes our past, present and our future.
It even includes the places we have been thru. The sights we have seen. The experiences we have.
It includes our hopes and dreams, our failures and nightmares.
It includes all things my finite mind can think of and cannot think of anymore.
All these things are not out of God’s self-indulgence or compulsion or ignorance. God, with all His infinite wisdom, will have all these things used by Him and not be wasted. All things.
And everything listed up will work together! HUH?! Really??? Even the times when I failed Him because I cheated? Even the times I got angry and hurt someone? Even when I deliberately disobeyed Him? I mean good and wonderful things, when combine, are meant to produce good and wonderful results. We get that. But to add the bad things, the sour things, the bitter things, even the evil, ugly, gruesome, scary and dirty things? Oh Yes! It’s like God making a delicious meal with a recipe including all that we are and all that we have. Adding mud and manure to sugar and cream! Only He, in His awesome power and infinite wisdom, can mix everything together, no exclusions, and make everything work together in harmony to produce a delightful taste!
If you want to know more about Romans 8:28, stay tuned for Part 2!
If you want to have all things in your life work together by God for your good in His glory, click here.