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 (NIV)
The Living Bible translation words it this way: “And we know that all that happens to us is working for our good if we love God and are fitting into his plans.”
The Apostle Paul wrote the book of Romans, which many consider to be the most rich theological treatise in Scripture. He begins chapter 8 by discussing the differences between living by the Spirit and living by the flesh. He points out that living by the Spirit makes us sons and daughters of God.
The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. – Romans 8:16, 17 (NIV)
Then Paul compares the sufferings that we face in this life with “the glory that will be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18). He entreats us to wait patiently and to trust that the Spirit intercedes for us when we don’t know what to pray for.
All Things Work Together
The promise of Romans 8:28 that God works for our good “in all things” is reassuring. It means that no matter the circumstance, there are only two qualifiers for God to be working all things together for our good.
First, He works for “the good of those who love Him.” If you love God, you can trust that He is working for your good. He loves you back, and when we love people, we seek their welfare.
Second, He works for “those who are called according to His purpose.” Do you realize that following God entails submitting to His purpose for you? You have been called by Him for a purpose that He holds for your life.
In fact, the wording of this verse suggests that these two qualifiers–loving God and experiencing His call–are actually one. Those who love God are called according to His purpose. And vice versa.
Being called according to God’s purpose also reminds us what “our good” actually is. It’s not our comfort or worldly success. It’s the furthering of His purpose through us.
How About You?
Are you going through a circumstance where you can’t see God working?