One of the hardest verses in the Bible to understand is Romans 8:28. In fact, it’s one of the verses that gives many people fits and they just give up and decide to not believe it. The question it poses is: Do all things that happen in our lives work together for our good? Even though many Christians struggle with Romans 8:28, it’s one of the most beloved verses in the Bible. Some people have been sick and this verse was like medicine to their soul. Others have had a loved one die and the words of this verse somehow carried them through that dark valley. Other people have been crushed and beaten down by some other adversity in life and this verse gave them hope to go on. But the reality is that many followers of Christ secretly doubt Romans 8:28. They hear this verse quoted and instead of a comfort to the soul, it seems like a mocking and cruel joke. They say, “What do you mean by good? Sickness is not good. Murder is not good. Divorce is not good. Suicide is not good. The death of a child is not good.” This poses another question: Can we believe in Romans 8:28?
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
If we are honest, we would admit that some of us have struggled with Romans 8:28 and we have at least two problems with the words written by the apostle Paul. First, this verse promises something we have trouble believing. ”And we know that all things work together for good.” If we could, we might ask Paul how he could be so sure about that. Most of us are not as sure as Paul was. We hope all things work together for good. We want them to. We want to believe they do. But do we really know that the words in this verse will turn out to be true? The second problem we have is the words of Romans 8:28 include things that maybe ought to be left out. When Paul says, “All things work together for good,” that seems too definite and too sure. All things? We might go so far as to say that “some things” work together for good. Yes, some things work together for good. But can we be 100% sure it is all things Paul? Perhaps these words are true in the theoretical sense or perhaps as a statement of faith. But are they true for every part of our lives here on earth?
Have you ever struggled with what Romans 8:28 claims? How would you describe an event in your life that seems to contradict the words of Romans 8:28 as far as you’re concerned? When have Paul’s words in this verse ministered hope and healing in your life? Do you think it’s possible to understand why God allows tragedy to come into some lives? How would you explain this statement? “When tragedy strikes, if we can’t see a purpose in it, we assume there isn’t one.” What do you believe is the “good” that Paul refers to in Romans 8:28? Would you be willing to go through more than your share of pain and suffering in this life in order to become more like Jesus Christ? Have you ever quoted Romans 8:28 to someone who was facing trials and heartache and later realized it wasn’t the right time to do so?
Prayerfully ask God to help you believe in Romans 8:28 for your life and the lives of those you love. Meditate on the great truth this verse teaches us which is all things ultimately contribute to the ultimate good of those who love God.
Dear Heavenly Father, please help me believe all your Word and especially the hard verses such as Romans 8:28. I want to acknowledge that you are the sovereign God who knows exactly what He is doing in the lives of those who love you. I’m one of those who love you Lord and I rest in the fact that you are working in my life to make me more like your Son Jesus Christ. Amen.