Out of context: Romans 8:28

Out of context: Romans 8:28

Romans 8:28 proclaims, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.” This scripture seems to be a verse individuals look at and interpret wrongly. 

Many people may read the verse and think, “I am a Christian, so since I love God, everything in life will be good and work as I want it because I am God’s child.” 

Some may think differently, but assume life will be perfect once they believe in Christ. In this verse, Paul is saying the opposite. Paul of all people knows what trials and actual persecution are like from being beaten, threatened and arrested, to being martyred. 

The hope we have in Christ is knowing that although life is challenging and bad things happen, God will work it out for God’s purpose and glory, and ultimately for our good. 

1 Peter 4:12-16 puts this perfectly: “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange was happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name.” 

Other scriptures warn us about suffering in this world, but we shouldn’t be surprised by that. Christ suffered and we will, too, because we are not of this world. But God gives us hope and comfort in His sovereignty by promising that He will work it out for His glory, which is for our good. God is in control and loves the children. He hasn’t forgotten about us or forsaken us. 

2 Corinthians 5:21 shows us that through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, we find salvation by God’s grace and through faith in Christ. By Jesus’ blood, we are cleansed and God looks at us with Jesus’ righteousness because Jesus bore our sins on the cross for our sake.

In God’s providence, God orchestrates every event in life— even suffering, temptation and sin—to accomplish both our temporal and eternal benefit.

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