“But keep on hoping and working still. For in spite of the grumblers who stand about, somehow, it seems, all things work out.” – Edgar A. Guest
“We are assured and we know that [God being a partner in their labor], all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose.” – Romans 8:28 Amplified Bible
When I read the Bible, I love the passages that are filled with so much substance, it’s hard to slow down enough to absorb all the wonderful messages hidden within just a few sentences of text. Romans 8:28 is one of those passages for me.
It has become one of my favorite verses immersed in one of the best chapters you can find in the New Testament – the 8th chapter of Paul’s letter to the Romans. This chapter reminds us that God never condemns us, cares for us with an enduring love, and that nothing in this world or the universe can separate us from Him.
If that isn’t great enough all on its own, it conveys the idea that all things within this life are working together in a twisted, intertwined and entangled sort of fashion with our best interests at the very center of it all.
Just stop here for a second and let that sink in.
All things good, bad, indifferent, routine, exciting or bland – whether packed with pain or overflowing with blessings – are working in unison, “fitting into a plan” as it says in the Amplified Bible for our benefit.
We are Assured and we Know
I love how the verse starts out with an affirmation of belief – a statement of faith! It begins with a testimony that we believe in God and his active, participative role in our life. I love how the Amplified Bible says He is a “partner in our labor”.
When you think about the other aspects of this chapter, how God can never be apart or separated from us and that He is for us and never against us, then it makes sense that He is right next to us as we move through each day of our life.
The first six words of this verse are such a great example all on their own of how we need to live life with faith and expectancy – knowing God is right in the center of each event and circumstance we face.
What are you going through right now? Try using this idea and finding comfort in attaching an affirmation of faith to “all things” you face:
“I know God is working this very minute on helping me heal from this disease.”
“I am confident God is right in the middle of this relationship struggle – helping me to say and do the right things to move toward reconciliation and restoration.”
I take comfort and assurance in the fact that God will take care of all my needs. He knows my financial struggles and how to fix them better than I do!”
“With God as my partner, I know I can handle this new job position and all it entails!”
All Things Work Together….For Good
This part of the verse encourages us to look at life in its entirety – not singularly focused on the present, difficult circumstances or situations that surround us.
Our human nature pushes us into thinking and feeling like whatever bad is happening in the present moment will continue happening. We tend to get stuck in the emotions and feelings that are surfacing within the immediate hardships we face.
But the truth is this is only one piece of the puzzle – a piece that is necessary, vital, and a prerequisite to the good things that will transpire from them. Without this part of the puzzle, the plan doesn’t come together 🙂
Stop here for a moment and let that idea, these six words of the verse, sink deep inside of your being. That difficulty is a key piece of the puzzle. That divorce, that job loss, that rejection, that sickness is a critical aspect to God’s wonderful, good plan. If it wasn’t, He would NEVER allow it in the first place.
When I look back at my own struggles, the moments I thought I could never get through, I can now see how that part of the puzzle of my life was needed. I can see how it changed things moving forward – how it worked together for my ultimate good.
How about you? Can you look back and see how a piece of your life’s puzzle is interconnected to what is transpiring now? Can you see the change, the good and the positive that has unfolded as a result? If not yet, do you believe in your heart it is necessary right now in order for the good things that are to come?
To Them That Love God
Many people get stuck here. They look at these five words of the verse and believe they just aren’t capable or worthy of having “all things work together for good.” After all, if they loved God, they wouldn’t struggle with going to church, they wouldn’t doubt Him at times, and they wouldn’t go days on end without uttering a prayer or thinking about Him at all.
“Yeah, if I really loved God, well then maybe all things would work out good. But I guess this verse isn’t talking about me because things aren’t working out for me. I guess it’s because I’m not good enough. I guess if I really loved God, then I could easily do everything He requires of me.”
If you feel this way, go back and read some of the special verses in this 8th chapter of Romans:
“So now there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus…” – Romans 8:1
“For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God…” – Romans 8:14
“Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect [when it is] God who justifies – who puts us in right relation to Himself? (Who shall come forward and accuse or impeach those whom God has chosen? Will God, who acquits us?) – Romans 8:33
One thing I have learned in my Christian walk: It isn’t how much I love God that matters, it’s about how great His love is for me and everyone else in this world!
God’s holy, gracious love covers any unworthiness found within us. It justifies us – making us right with Him 🙂
Simply receiving this, believing it, and marveling in it is loving God 🙂
Our love isn’t defined by what we do. For if it was up to us, no good would ever transpire. But God knew this in advance and crafted a plan that keeps us close to Him. Take some time to read Romans 8, verses 3 and 4 that explain this wonderful truth.
Called According to His Design and Purpose
The world tells us that if anything good is to happen in our life, it’s up to our own efforts, our own attitudes, and our own abilities. We dictate what happens to us so we better have a good plan, some good breaks along the way, and the necessary perseverance and strength to muster through the difficulties that get in our way.
But here is the good news of this verse: If we know God is a partner beside us, we can be assured that good things are coming if we allow His plans, designs, and purposes to unfold within our life.
Too often (myself included) we complain about the bad things and we fight like crazy to get out from under them. We craft our own plans and this is where we end up falling short.
Remember, we must believe that “all things work together for good”. If God has allowed it then it is critical to the plan – His good plan for us! We must live in a fashion that allows God’s purposes and plans to unfold – not fighting for our own way. Our own way often contradicts the place we need to be or where God wants us at the time.
Ask yourself daily:
“Am I allowing God to work within my life or am I more dedicated and determined to work out my own plans and desires for my life?”
“Am I waiting for, leaning on, and diligently seeking God’s direction for me? Am I allowing His purposes and His design for my life to unfold?
Learn to relinquish your way to His way and good things will ALWAYS come as a result!
I hope you take some time this coming week to read all of the 8th chapter of Romans. It will take you about 15 minutes – a small amount a time to invest in a wonderful, reassuring message!
And I hope you have found a new or renewed love for this 28th verse – finding great comfort that all things are working together in your life for good 🙂