"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose."(Romans 8:28)
With the exception of John 3:16 and II Chron.7:14, the above verse is one of the most misunderstood, misused, and misapplied passages by religious, moral, dedicated, unregenerate sinners. Let me begin by pointing out that the absolute promise of this verse is applicable to NONE but those "loved of God", seeing the ONLY ONES who "love God" are the ones He loved first - "We LOVE Him, BECAUSE HE FIRST LOVED US." Tragically, even in the case of many of God's children, His redeemed, those justified and sanctified by the blood and righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ, they too misunderstand and even misapply this PRECIOUS PROMISE of our God to every object of His love. There is no "hit or miss" with this ABSOLUTE PROMISE. It doesn't say "all things could possibly work out for good", nor does it say they "would probably work out for good". It tells us clearly that "ALL THINGS work together for good". What are the "ALL THINGS"? Well, let the Scriptures tell us - "For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."(Rom.8:38,39) Included in this list are a variety of things to which our remaining flesh have a deep aversion, namely "DEATH". The Holy Spirit by the Apostle Paul expanded this list even further a couple verses earlier - "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?(Rom.8:35) Now listen to me: NONE OF THE THINGS in either of these lists are inherently good. In fact, to our human nature and our unbelief, they aren't good, but what we consider bad. Death, tribulation, distress, persecution, nakedness, peril, or sword, none of these things seem good to me at anytime. Oh, but in the hand of our God, the God of Abraham, the "true and living God", all these things that seem so evil and harmful, are directed by infinite wisdom and brought to pass by infinite power for God's glory, His people's good, and the advancement of His kingdom in this present world. To Joseph, being betrayed by his brethren, sold into slavery, falsely accused by Potiphar's wife and cast into a dungeon, and even forgotten by one he helped, all of that SEEMED bad for Joseph. But in the end, "all things worked together for good", DIDN'T THEY? And Joseph KNEW IT - "But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive."(Gen.50:20) It was the same with Abraham when called to offer up Isaac; the same for Lot when he chose Sodom and Gomorrah; and Job during the trials God purposed and sent his way. And it is the same for ever elect sinner whom God the Father chose, Christ the Son redeemed and justified, and God the Holy Spirit regenerates and converts. I myself KNOW how hard it is to believe and rest in this when every thing seems to come up thorns and heartache. But we must always keep in mind WHO is directing all things, and by God-given faith BELIEVE this precious promise He has so freely given US - "And we KNOW (literally, ARECONVINCED) that ALL THINGS work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [HIS] purpose."
Richard Warmack has been the Pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Ruston, Louisiana since it's establishment in October of 1987. The message he has faithfully and...