In Romans 8 there is a familiar portion of a verse that often is quoted to those in difficult circumstances. I’m sure you’ve heard, “For we know all things work together for good” (verse 28). Do we? Do we know? Many of us have difficulty at times accepting this. But this difficulty may reflect on our failure to consider the whole verse.
The entirety of the verse reads, “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” (New Living Translation)
I believe there’s a way of looking at this verse that will give special help to those who struggle with the circumstances of life they may be experiencing now or in the future.
If you look at this verse and ask, “What have I done with what has happened to me?” you have changed the focus. No longer is it the question of how this “thing” can be good. Rather, it is now how can I use this “thing” to become more of what God wants me to be? Or, how can I minister to others because of this “thing”?
God’s ways are so much different from ours. Seems obvious, huh? But think about his viewpoint. He sees the end from the beginning, because He is omniscient and omnipresent—all knowing, and present in a way we cannot fathom–in all times at all times.
Difficult as it is, our goal should be to align our thoughts with His, not view circumstances as an interruption in our plans.
In the study of Romans 8:28, we must read and comprehend the whole verse. The circumstances are working for good to those called according to His purpose—not our own! If we find things seem to be falling apart or are like a wall in front of us, we may need to re-evaluate the intent and goal of what we are doing. How is God furthering His purpose and His work for us on earth?
Our daily prayers should include asking the Father to guide us to see His ways in all our experiences. We need God’s help in our lives so that we may be used to advance His kingdom and help in the welfare of others.
The situations in which we find ourselves may not come with thunder and lightning or floods and earthquakes, but they are opportunities for us to see God working for our good. We may always ask for God’s wisdom and strength to endure and positively know that He will give it.
by Cindy Best