All things for good

prosperity-dummiesRomans 8:28 may sound like a cliché, but it’s profoundly true.  In times of turmoil and tragedy it is the Christian’s great comfort and solid ground.

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)

The Apostle Paul writes, “And we know”.  He assumes the Christians in Rome would have been taught this foundational truth about the sovereignty of God.  

What does Paul assume they know?

“all things work together for good”

He does not say, “good things work together for good”.

He does not say, “some things” or even “most things”, but “all things” work together for good.

I wonder if we grasp the enormity of this statement.

God, because he is sovereign, is working all things, even the bad things, tough things and sad things, for our good.

We must be careful to define what the “good” is.

Our good is not our health, wealth or prosperity.

Our good is not out bank balance or comfort.

Our good is not what we may think our good is.

Our good is defined in the very next verse.

For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son. (Romans 8:29)

God, who is sovereign, is ordering the entire universe and our individual circumstances for our good, which is that we may become more like Jesus – who was and is the greatest demonstration of good.

If God thinks you losing your job or health or bank balance will make you more like Jesus, that’s what God will do.

For whose good is God working together all things? For every human being’s good? No

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good… (Romans 8:28)

Who are those that love God?

…for those who are called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)

It may surprise you to know that God is not working for the good of every single human being, but only for those who are called according to his purpose (cf. 29-30) i.e. those that have been called by God and therefore have put their faith in Jesus.