And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. — Romans 8:28
Romans 8:28, if standing alone from the rest of the text, can be confusing to people. It says: All things work together for good to those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose.
I’ve met many people over my years of ministry who were embittered because they ground their teeth and tried to force themselves to swallow that pill of Romans 8:28 when they couldn’t see anything good coming out of it. They were told by people that if you really believed, then you have to see the death of your daughter, the accident that killed your husband, the cancer that took your loved one as God’s ordained purposes, and they were good for you. If you’ll just humble yourself, you’ll see the good in them.
The Bible doesn’t say that at all.
The Bible does not say that all things work together in and of themselves. The Bible says all things work together for good in a context where people who see the invisible recognize there is a warfare and a struggle going on that is much larger than this present era. It is a cosmic struggle in which our experience is only a microcosm, a pivotal part in the larger panorama.
We must see the invisible here. We need to allow the Holy Spirit to help us move in the energizing resources He gives for prayer, so that we can confront the things that happen at their source level. That level is the evil source of those things coming to steal, to kill and to destroy. Until we move with the Holy Spirit’s enablement, until we draw on the invisible resources we have to minister to those situations broken and damaged by the adversary, things will not work together for good.
The Lord has given the power of the Holy Spirit and the power of intercessory prayer to become the means by which things may be changed in a broken, beat-up and battered world. That’s why in the present hour, the Holy Spirit helps us. In the larger arena of things, beyond our lifetime, verse 18 says: I consider the sufferings (or the evil things, the tough things, the unexplainable things) of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us.
If you know Jesus, that’s talking about you and the glory that transcends anything we can conceive of in the future. So, be comforted in the glory to come, because that glory is for your good!