This precious verse has often been misunderstood, so it’s good to look at it closely so that we can get a proper understanding of it. Romans 8:28 says, “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.”

AND WE KNOW – These assuring words are drawn from the fact that all things are under the direction and watchfulness of our infinitely wise God and Father. Nothing escapes His eye. Nothing happens outside His direct or permissive will.

ALL THINGS – Everything that happens in the believer’s life…all things. Things deemed good. Things deemed sorrowful, sad, bad, etc. All things are included here.

WORK TOGETHER FOR GOOD – All these things are not necessarily good in themselves, but they “work together” for good. (Perhaps not for our own immediate individual good, but for the fulfilling of the purpose of God.)

* Consider the words of David in Psalms 119:67, “Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word.” David acknowledges how that affliction was good for him. Before it came, he went astray from the Lord. Because of it, he now keeps God’s Word. David therefore concludes in Psalms 119:71, “It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.”

* Consider the words of Jeremiah in Jeremiah 31:18-19, I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself thus; Thou hast chastised me, and I was chastised, as a bullock unaccustomed to the yoke: turn thou me, and I shall be turned; for thou art the LORD my God. Surely after that I was turned, I repented; and after that I was instructed, I smote upon my thigh: I was ashamed, yea, even confounded, because I did bear the reproach of my youth.” Ephraim, after his chastisement repented for his actions.

* Consider the words of Christ to Peter in John 21:18-19, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not. This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God.” The Lord would use Peter’s martyrdom to glorify Himself. What an honor for one’s death to bring honor to the name of the Lord!

* Consider Romans 5:3 which teaches us that, “…tribulation worketh patience.” Those things which cause us to suffer only work to produce patience in us.

TO THEM THAT LOVE GOD, TO THEM WHO ARE THE CALLED ACCORDING TO HIS PURPOSE – Who are those who love God? Who are those who are the called according to God’s own purpose? We read in 2 Timothy 1:8-9, “Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; Who hath SAVED US, and CALLED US with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.” This is speaking of all who have put their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, who are saved, not because of our works, but according to the purpose and grace of God. Blessed thought!

Romans 8:28-30 was written for the comfort, encouragement and consolation of every true believer in Christ. Let’s end our little meditation by also reading Romans 8:31, “What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?” We are conquerors indeed! All that happens in our lives will work together for our good as the Lord uses each event to benefit us or those around us. (294.2)