I’m going to attempt to tackle a HUGE verse in Paul’s letter to the Romans. If you’ve been around the church long, it’s probably a verse you’ve heard a few times. We quote it often. But don’t mistake it’s commonness for simplicity. One could unpack this verse for days or longer. So with that disclaimer, let us dive in.
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God. (Romans 8:28a, NKJV)
I’m going to share one of the best examples I’ve ever heard to hopefully understand this verse better. Often we get hung up on the fifth word, ALL. Yes, ALL things work together for good…to those who LOVE God. That last bit gets ignored frequently as well. This is a promise from our Heavenly Father to those who love Him. This isn’t for everyone. It’s an exclusive promise. I hope you’re on the VIP list. If not, pray right now asking God to forgive your sins and promise to live your life for Him, the one, true God. (It really is that simple.)
How can God use ALL things for my good? What about the bad things? Does He really use those too? Earlier in Romans 5 we can read how God uses tribulations to build character, perseverance and ultimately hope. What a perfect growth process from something hard to something GOOD!
So here’s the example I heard recently. Imagine sitting down at my dining room table for dinner. I offer you a spoon of white flour. Next I offer you a spoon of baking soda followed by a spoon of sugar (which you should totally take). Next, I plop a stick of butter on your plate and round it out by cracking a raw egg into your hands for you to gobble up as well. Alone, all of those ingredients would not be very appetizing. But when mixed TOGETHER they could create a gastric pleasing cake!
God is not limited by ingredients. He can use anything in the cake of a believer’s life. He’ll mix in the good, bad and ugly for the good of those who love Him. That’s how we can say blessed be Your name when He gives and when He takes away. Praise the sovereign God who’s ways are higher than our ways!