A New Look at Romans 8:28

Recently I’ve been thinking about the present tense of Romans 8:28: “All things work together for good…”

I typically don’t see the “good” of the “all things” in my life or the lives of those I love until later. Then I think, “God, you’re so faithful.  All things worked together, just like you said.”  The insinuation of that comment is that the good didn’t come until the very end when enough time had passed for God’s glory and goodness to happen.

But Paul didn’t say, “All thing will work” or “All things have worked” or even “All thing might work.”  His God-inspired word “work” was intentional by our wise and sovereign Father.

This verse has been on my heart recently because I’ve been walking through some personal challenges. Nothing urgent or life-altering. But hard nonetheless.

The Holy Spirit has been consistently reminding me that God’s work is being done today; this hour; this minute. Things are working together day by day and situation by situation in my life that I will someday recognize as good. The disappointments; painful situations happening to those I love; uncertainties; disagreements; worries; and perplexities I am facing are for my good now and not just sometime in the future.

What good is at work this week in my friend’s cancer?

What glorious purpose is there in the anxieties I’m having right now about my child’s relationship with the Lord?

How was good happening last Thursday during Benny’s and my conflict?

The questions for me are these:  Do I really believe that even in the midst of my sinful fretting, unkind words and temptations to distrust Him (which certainly require repentance) God is at work in my heart and life? Does my sin disqualify me from the good work of His Spirit happening right nowDo I have faith to believe that in the midst of my troubled heart a loving, patient and powerful God is doing good? Or do I think that good will only come later — especially once I deal with my unbiblical thoughts and attitudes and allow Him to work His good out in my life?

Often I don’t write about things until after I’ve figured out what to say. Not this time. I’m still in process and, in fact, welcome your thoughts, comments and prayers. I know God is faithful. I’ve watched Him work all things together for good in my life over and over. And I now have faith that good is at work this week; today; tonight as I type. Even writing this post has been good for me; not only because I’ve had to humble myself to put my thoughts out there (anything that requires humility is indeed good for me!), but also because I’m realizing that Romans 8:28 is taking on new meaning in my soul.

I’m grateful.

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7 thoughts on “A New Look at Romans 8:28

  1. I’m grateful too, sister. This post was so very encouraging. I am amazed at the work He does when we just share our testimonies. We overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony, amen? He keeps bringing me back to that, and I experienced His grace and kindness through your post this morning. Oh how He loves us! Thanks for sharing, sister – I love you.

    • Thank you, dear friend. I’m grateful that my struggles are not only common, but God can bring good out of me just sharing them when I haven’t even worked it all through yet! I love keeping up with you over the miles. Much love!

  2. I’ve often not wanted to talk with others during my times of confusion or discouragement, but only when I have some kind of a grasp on what’s going on. You have demonstrated that I/we can share with others even in the midst of the storm. Thank you, Sheree.

  3. Thank you, Sheree, for sharing. It’s good to hear that others struggle with this concept also. Our understanding of Romans 8:28 should effect our prayers. They are the only things that will remedy our particular situations. Unfortunately, my fretting can get in the way of my prayers. You have given me a good reminder that in ALL situations, right from the very beginning, God works ALL things for good…no matter how long the situation lasts. And then, eventually, there will be another situation to follow and He still is working all things for good. The key is to keep loving Him and remembering His purpose. Thank you, Sheree!

  4. Wow! I’m in such a similar place and so encouraged to put this into practice!!!!
    I’ll share where I’m at:
    Today I was in Luke 8. I’ve been praying and processing through some circumstances and my heart in them. Today, as I read Jesus calming the storm, I was struck by 2 things:
    1- there was real danger. Luke didn’t say it was perceived that the storm was sonking the boat. He says the boat was filling and they were in danger and they knew it.
    That’s how I’ve been feeling. One circumstance we have is short paychecks from churches/individuals who didn’t give. That’s a real hardship we’re facing, not perceived….

    And 2- Jesus asked “Where is your faith?”Jesus told them to go over to the other side of the lake. This whole trip was his idea/plan. They just followed. He knew the danger they faced and he slept through it. They had seen His power and authority. In their panic, they woke him to save them. He calmed the storm just like that and then asked where their faith was.
    That’s what I’m begging God to help me see in our circumstances. I want to know where my daith is and I’m begging him to help me in my weak faith and strengthen it so my trust is fully in Him alone. I want to remember confidently that He lead us here. It was His plan. He knew the “dangers” and He is with me during these real trials, teaching me to trust Him. And all His ways are good.

    Thanks for sharing so openly. Obviously, it was super timely in my life today. God comforted me in His Word and affirmed it even deeper through you. Thank you!!!

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