Rom. 8.28

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

                Entire books have been written about Romans 8:28. This verse about God working everything for good is probably the most frequently quoted verse spoken to those who are suffering and afflicted.

                In some case, the delivery of this message actually fans the fires and is downright hurtful. But the world has many alternatives to Romans 8:28 that are not Biblical and are quoted by mindlessly by meaning-well Christians.

For example, during an ecumenical ceremony honoring those who died on 9/11, the speaker misquoted God’s word by merely saying,” All things work together for good.”

                Several important elements are missing from this misquote: It is God who does the working. It is not a promise for everybody, but only for the called/those who love God. The good that is worked together is God’s good which is according to his purpose. The good in this verse is God’s good, not whatever “good” you desire or describe.

In some cases, we will never know what “good” was the purpose. Deut. 29:29.

Besides misquoting Romans 8:28, we also encounter many lookalikes or worldly substitutes.

Below is a list of some worldly wisdom commonly offered as a substitute for Romans 8:28.

Romans 8:28 Doesn’t Mean:

                 1. ”Every cloud has a silver lining.” The “good” in Romans 8:28 is not in the things themselves. It is in their divine purpose. It is in the plan God has for the things.

                 2. ”Things just have a way of working themselves out for the best.” Romans 8:28 is not about benevolent fate. It’s about a personal God who takes care of those who love him.

                 3. ”If life hands you a lemon, make lemonade.” Romans 8:28 is not a command, it’s a promise. The good that God purposes in the lives of the called is not dependent on human efforts.

                 4. ”God helps those who help themselves.” God’s promise in Romans 8:28 is unconditional and applies to those who are called and love God, not those who are self-reliant.

                 5. ”Trust God but keep your gunpowder dry.” There are no exceptions or surprises for God. He works all things together for his good purposes.

                6. ”Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.” We can be assured that the things in our lives truly work for good, even if they appear not to.

                7. When imagining Gods plan for our lives or when struggling with the issues of God’s sovereignty being used selectively to ensure that only those who love God and are called according to his purpose will benefit. Especially before loading the debate and argument guns, it is very advisable to take a moment to worship God and remind ourselves of just how much above our understanding God truly is.
                No illustration I could ever conceive would do justice to the vastness of the universe, let alone God its Creator.