By Pastor Jeff,
Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
My understanding and how others have used this scripture was that no matter how bad of situation, event in your life, or catastrophe that God would always make it to be a good thing! Right?
Well as was hearing this verse and that explanation from others I started to ask God if that was what He really meant by what Paul wrote here. That no matter how bad things are happening in my life of in others of those around me it was going to be good!
I mean I do love God and I do believe that I am what is called according to His purpose, so why all the bad stuff?
So first I started to look at the verses around it and I found in chapter 8 that it is talking about the Spirit of God in our lives, verse 1, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Verse 9, “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” verse 14,” For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” Verse 26, “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered”
It also talks of suffering, verses 17-18, “And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”
After reading all this I decided to look at verse 28 more closely to see if I could gain a better understanding, in the Amplified Bible it is written like this, “We are assured and know that [ God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good!”
Philippians 1:6-7, “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: Even as it is meet for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart; inasmuch as both in my bonds, and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers of my grace.”
The next part is “to them that love God” agape love! It is really a matter of trust, trusting that the one we love, the one who loves us is not the source of evil in this world and in our lives, that He desires us to be saved and for us to tell of His love and they will become saved.
The last part is “to them who are the called according to his purpose.” What is God’s purpose? Once you gain an understanding of what the lord is telling us here it will help you to understand the true meaning of this verse. For the word “called” means “invited, that is, appointed, or (specifically) a saint” “Purpose” means, “a setting forth, that is, proposal; specifically the show bread (in the Temple) as exposed before God:—purpose, shew [-bread].”
2Timothy 1:9, “Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,”
Romans 8:28 is really not about looking for good in everything that happens in our lives. It’s really a salvation message, His purpose for us is to be saved and this verse is one of those precious pearls that should not be cast at the feet of unbelievers. The unsaved cannot possibly understand its significance, and are likely to gain from it a perverted view of God, or an image of the Christian faith being a naive game of “let’s pretend everything is rosy, even when the roof caves in.”
The essential point about Romans 8:28 the focus is not on isolated events in the believer’s life, but on the sum total of all events. Do you see the difference between saying “each thing by itself is good” and “all things work together for good”? The verse does not tell me I should say “it is good” if I get an a car accident, or if my child dies. But it does say that God will use these events, and weave them together with every other facet of my life in order to produce what He knows to be the very best for me!
Have you ever baked a cake, would you try each ingredient by itself, taste the baking powder? How about baking soda? The great thing is that when you mix it all together in the right amounts, place it in the oven, an amazing metamorphosis took place. The cake becomes delicious. While the individual ingredients tasted terrible, the final product tasted terrific! If we would have judged the whole cake on the basis of the individual ingredients, we would never have believed it could be good.
The individual trials and apparent tragedies that come into our lives are neither “delicious” nor desirable. In fact, at first taste they are often not very good or even bitter. But God is capable of carefully measuring out and mixing up these ingredients in order to produce a final product that is truly good which is to spend eternity with Him.
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