Out of Context
Romans 8:28 "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 8:17-18 "Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings so that we may also share in his glory. I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing to the glory that will be revealed in us."
Romans 8:28 may be one of the most quoted Scripture verses. You have heard it thousands of times. You have seen it on t-shirts and plaques in kitchens. "Don't worry, it will all work out for your good." That sounds like a fantastic deal. Sign me up! It makes us believe pain may happen, but it "sugarcoats" it. But we will get clarity if we look at verses 17 and 18 in the same chapter. In these verses, we discover Christians are not exempt from suffering; we should even welcome suffering for his sake.
The next step we must take is to define what is truly good. "Good" can be defined in this portion of Scripture as something that makes us more like Jesus; "good" brings glory to Christ. Paul says in these beautiful bites of truth that troubles and trials will happen, but through it all, we can give God the glory and we can praise him. Although suffering isn't a good thing, it can bring forth a good thing.
When we focus on truth, we get direction and wisdom. God's "good" for us far outweighs what we consider beneficial. His plan is eternal, and he sees beyond the present. Because of his unwavering grace and mercy and continual lovingkindness, we can trust the process through the pain.
What is an area of your life where you can't feel God’s presence amid your suffering? How can you respond in this situation so that you bring glory to God? Trust his plan. He is working for your good even if it doesn’t feel good right now. Allow peace and hope to walk hand-in-hand through your life today.
God, allow me to feel your presence today as I walk through these difficult times. Remind me that my purpose is to glorify you. Teach me that you are with me and will never leave me through these challenging days. In Jesus' name, Amen.