In Romans 8:28 we read that,
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose”
This is a very common verse used by Christians. I have personally used this verse countless times in my life during good tidings. When a good thing happens we relate to this verse as a fulfilled promise. We say see God has established this verse in my life by doing this good thing for me. On the contrary, when we wait for a good thing we relate to this verse as a promise to claim. We say Lord you have promised that you would do good to those who love you. So we pray that this good thing will happen. We use this verse to acknowledge a fulfilled promise and to claim the promise when it is tagged to a good happening.
How do we use this verse when the situation in unfavorable or during a bad happening or while undergoing pain?
I have not done this personally until very recently when God unfolded this lesson before me. The two misconceptions I had and their actual meaning are given below.
- God helped me to recognize the presence of the phrase ‘in all things God works’ in this verse. All things literally include everything that happens in my life. Here we acclaim the fact that controls the situations and happenings in my life. All things obviously would include the good, the bad, the favorable, the unfavorable, the joy, the pain, the uphill and the downhill.
- The next phrase is ‘for the good of those who love him’. The good that the Bible mentions here is not the fleeting temporal good that we yearn for in this worldly life. Instead, the good is the eternal and immortal good that God has prepared for us.
God works through all things to make us look good in the eternal life. Like a sculptorp who uses his chisel to chip off each piece to stone to uncover the final statue, God use each of the situations to shape us to our future good. The prototype of the word ‘God’s good’ can be related to the fruit of the Spirit mentioned in Galatians 5: 23 (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control). All the situations that we undergo are worked by God for his eternal purpose. A few sample situations and their potential effect on us are given below.
- A downhill defeat would instill patience in us.
- An uphill victory would teach self-control.
- An annoying person would tutor gentleness in us.
- The good tidings implant goodness and joy.
- Bad situation pave the way to practice peace.
- The pain that we endure teaches us to forgive and forbear.
- Unfavorable situations kindle our faith.
- Being hurt might embed love and kindness in us.
God is interested to design us according to His eternal purpose. God uses situations to fashion us according to His good. So when we undergo any situation let us acknowledge the fact that God has allowed this situation on us. Also that God is using this situation to sculpt us. This understanding will help us traverse through all situations acknowledging God’s supremacy and marching towards God’s good.