Romans 8:28 has been my favorite verse since I was a pre-teen. My mom actually gave it to me when I had to face consequences for something I did wrong. I actually made a “few” (eh-hmm) wrong choices growing up. This is a great example of how knowing and memorizing scripture can be so powerful. Being able to pull up a verse at just the right time can be life changing. A great challenge to us all.
I have gone back to this verse countless times. In times of death. Divorce. Depression. Heartache.
It has brought me comfort and peace. Understanding and challenge.
But what does it mean? To say that ALL things in life are “good” would be absolutely untrue! Cancer is NOT good. The death of a child or spouse is NOT good. Addiction is NOT good. A tragic accident is NOT good. A broken family is NOT good. Life is full of HARD. But, I think this verse has shown me that God can take HARD — really tough things, and within His love and provision for our lives – work things together for good.
Romans 8:28 shows us that we may have all sorts of “circumstances” in our lives that are difficult, hurtful, heart wrenching, and tragic – yet; He is with us in the midst of it all.
I love that the very first part of the verse says “we KNOW”. The word KNOW shows us there is a CERTAINTY in the statement. We don’t HOPE He will work things for the good. Having the assurance that God’s got this, gives us strength to power through our circumstances. Although we may be struggling with something He will provide His comfort and peace. He will draw us near to Him IF we allow Him to. Even when it looks like a tangled, ugly mess.
Picture the backside of a beautiful tapestry. You see all the ends of threads, and you cannot see the beautiful picture of the design. But from the front it looks stunning. I oftentimes think that we are looking at the backside of the tapestry, and someday, in His timing we will see that beautiful pattern and design. It is there! Maybe it will be in Heaven. But we WILL see it.
In the second part of verse 28, it says – “For those who are called according to His purpose.” What is our calling? Our calling isn’t just to be happy and healthy. Our ultimate calling is to conform to His image. To be like Jesus. To pursue holiness. To BE Holy. 1 Peter 1:16 – for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”
It doesn’t matter what our current circumstances are. Our circumstances in our lives are fleeting and temporary. But our God is unchanging. He remains the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. He is who He says He is. You have a calling on your life – and that is to be like Jesus. To reflect His image at home, at work, at play, in line at the new Starbucks at Target! 😉 We are CALLED to live as HIS. Daily.
I can honestly say; there are many things I would NOT want to go through again in my past. Broken marriage vows, and divorce being one of the biggies. But, today; I can honestly say that I am thankful for those painful times. I have grown, and been stretched beyond anything I could’ve imagined. No I would NEVER want to go back and relive divorce, or the tragic death of a dear friend… but I am thankful and resting in His goodness, and His faithfulness to me. The GOOD that has come out of several tough situations in my own life has been that they have drawn me closer to the heart of Jesus. God has become exponentially more real to me.
The dark times have shown me that God is merciful, and gracious. Still working through some very painful consequences such as guilt and shame for past choices. But my faith so much stronger and mature than it was before. My relationship with God is much different than it was 20 years ago.
So, have I seen some good come through pain or hardship? Absolutely.
And for that…
I am so very thankful.
Think through some of the things you’ve gone through in your life. Can you apply this verse to your life?
Have you seen God work things together for the good in your life? How?
Has it increased your trust in Him?
What is your take away from this verse?
Be blessed today. Love BIG!!