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.