Romans 8:28 – 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.
One of the early church fathers said that if the whole of scripture were a feast for the soul, Romans eight would be the main dish! Verse twenty-eight is no doubt considered to be one of the greatest promises to a Christian.
Many people wrongly assume this verse teaches that everything will work out and things will get better. Others insist that this verse teaches that there is no point in what we do because God pulls all the strings. Both of those views err.
The verse is a certain promise. It is not conjecture. “We know…” it says! There are many things we don’t know (like how to pray sometimes – Rom. 8:26) but this is not one of them. It is not a chance but a promise. We might not have certainty about the immediate, but we have certainty about the ultimate! It is not merely a conviction because it is true whether you are convinced about it or not. The “promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen” (2 Cor. 1:20).
This verse is also a comprehensive promise. It says, “all things” not just some things we might agree with, or just good things. This is what makes it a complex promise. It is hard for us to understand how God could use sin or tragedy in our lives, but He can and does!
The fact that God can turn what others meant for evil and work it out “for good” is illustrated in the life of Joseph and his brothers. Joseph was betrayed, slandered, and sold as a slave but God used it for Joseph’s good and His glory. He works our past, our present and our prospect for His supreme purpose. This makes it a comforting promise as well as a conditional promise for it only applies to “them that love God” – the saved.