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October 24, 2017, 5:52 PM

Romans 8:28 In Plain English

When tragedy strikes, like it has in our community here in Schuyler County this week, there are many questions. Why did this happen? Why did this happen to this person? What is God's plan in all of this? Is there any good that can come out of this? 

Romans 8:28 is an oft-quoted verse and oft-misunderstood verse. Let's just read it and let it speak for itself. 

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. Romans 8:28

Let's just break it down and see very simply what it says. 

And we know...

Believers in Jesus have a different perspective...or we should. Our perspective is not just an earthly one. We also have an eternal perspective. We have a different timeline and a different point of reference. When this verse says "we know" it's referring to this perspective. Christians are to see more and understand more. So because we look at like differently we can see situations a little differently. 

In all things...

God is not limited to doing positive things with just positive circumstances. God can do positive things in all things. Now we must understand that God does not cause everything to happen. God does not have a cosmic plan for everything. There are things done by people, because they have free wil. Car accidents, gun violence, murder, and so forth are done, because people have free will to make poor or even deadly decisions. God does not control all things, because that would make us robots. If we have no free will we have no love. We are certainly capable of love, aren't we? This only happens when we have free will. 

But again, God can work in all circumstances and he does. It's just many times he works when people respond to circumstances with faith instead of unbelief. 

For the good of those who love him...

What an incredible and hopeful promise. God works for the good of those who love all things. There are some horrific things that happen in this life. There are accidents that leave people paralyzed. There are women who lose children. There are soldiers killed in combat. But many people are who they are today, because of negative things that have happened to them or to their loved ones. 

God is working for your good, but it's not always in your timing. Just imagine yourself in a valley. You are in a dark spot in your life. You cannot see the good yet, because you are in the valley. But you don't give up, you keep climbing. You can't see any good yet, but you believe that at the top of that mountain is something good. When you get to the top you see the view you've been waiting on. It's beautiful and majestic, but there was no way of seeing it in the valley. 

This is a great metaphor for life. When you are in the dark valley you cannot see any good coming from this valley. There doesn't seem to be any pot of gold at the end of this rainbow...just more misery. Galatians 6:9 tells us to not give up, because at the PROPER time we will reap a harvest. We will see good come, but the condition is that we can't give up. If we give up we will never see the good. 

According to his purpose...

Not everything is for OUR purpose. The first words of the first chapter of The Purpose Drive LIfe are..."it's not about you." God has created us for his purpose. The things you endure in this life may not be about your purpose. Your purpose may be to have a life of ease and then die, God may have other ideas. God may be getting you ready for something greater in your life. 

Overall, God's purpose is eternal. God told Isaiah in Isaiah 59 that his thoughts aren't our thoughts, and his ways aren't our ways. We won't understand all that God does or all that God allows. I don't know why children suffer. I don't know why young people are allowed to die. I don't know why God doesn't just cure cancer. All I know is that God is the Father and I'm the child and I have to trust him. I have to trust that his purpose for my life is better than my own. I have to trust that he knows what he's doing.'s okay to be sad, it's ok to be mad...even at God. 

When you read the Psalms you do not read a sterilized version of truth. David lets his sorrow and his anger toward the actions or inactions of God come through.

He asks God, "How long?" in Psalms 6:3. David is waiting on God to respond. 

He asks God, "Why do you hide in times of trouble?" in Psalms 10:1. 

Questions are long as they bring us to searching and finding God. These questions are hard ones, but God is a big God, and he has the answers. 

Romans 8:28 is a simple verse with a lot of truth in it. As we read it and try to understand it for our lives today we must decide to trust God. We must decide to be obedient even when we don't have all the answer. This is called, faith. We must have it to get where we are trying to go. 




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