There are some circumstances in life that are difficult to endure and hard to comprehend. When you feel like you’ve been singled out and beaten down, keep in mind that people everywhere, regardless of race, religion, or riches, deal with problems of tragedy, injustice, and suffering.
These are the times Paul had in mind when he wrote: “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).”
You may be familiar with this verse, but have you considered the context from which it is taken? Romans 8 is a chapter that speaks of the consequences of sin and the coronation that awaits the believer in heaven. Think about verse 28, when you read the following verses:
- 8:18: I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is going to be revealed to us.
- 8:26-27: Because we do not know what to pray for the Spirit intercedes for us according to the will of God.
- 8:31-32: If God is for us, who can be against us? He that did not hesitate to spare his own Son but gave him up for us all—can we not trust such a God to give us, with Him, everything else that we can need?
- 8:35: Can anything separate us from the love of Christ? Can trouble, pain or persecution?
- 8:38-39: I have become absolutely convinced that neither death nor life, neither messenger of Heaven nor monarch of earth, neither what happens today nor what may happen tomorrow, neither a power from on high nor a power from below, nor anything else in God’s whole world has any power to separate us from the love of God in Jesus Christ our Lord!
What I’ve said is more than theory. Paul said it is something that we can know. Paul’s faith had been tried and proven, and he said: “And we know ” The heartache, trials, and tragedies that Paul endured did not weaken his resolve; they matured and strengthened his faith.
Six words out of verse 28 remind me of a statement made by Charles Swindoll. Paul said: “all things work together for good.” Swindoll said: “If you allow it, suffering can be the means by which God brings you His greatest blessings.”