One of most well-known Bible verses, one that gets quoted quite often is Romans 8:28. Sometimes the verse is used to try to comfort someone in need, but it’s really not one of the most comforting scriptures. If you’re going through something tough, you don’t really want to hear that God works all things for good…mostly because if it’s tough, it doesn’t feel good, and how can a good God make you go through something that feels so awful? That’s the question that often gets asked, isn’t it?
Just so you have some context, let’s look at the scripture itself. I grew up reading the New International Version of the Bible. But I think it often gets quoted in the King James:
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.
That’s the phrase: all things work together for good that sticks in our craw.
Today, I was reading a devotional and they used the NIV version of this verse, and though I’ve studied it hundreds of times, I noticed something for the first time.
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.
In this version, it jumped out at me that God works. It’s present tense. He works. In all things. That’s so much more comforting! We have a God who is working for us. All the time. We may not like what we are or someone else is walking through, but it doesn’t say we like all things. It says God works in all things.
I’d still be careful quoting this scripture to someone going through a tough time. This scripture is for Christians, and you need to process this one at the right time. You need to comfort someone? There’s a gazillion other scriptures that would work better. But if you need reassurance that you have a God working for you, then this is a go-to scripture.
I remember a pastor’s wife once saying that she had gone through some miscarriages and now knew how to help others going through a similar situation. Maybe that’s one of the things God’s working for…to ask your help to comfort others in your tough situations. To be his arms holding another. To be his ear, listening out for the cries. You never know, but it’s something to consider. Just know, whatever it is, God works.
DAY 330 HOMEWORK: Where can you be God’s arms and ears? You’ve probably had some tough situations, and maybe someone out there needs a hug directly from God. Search out ways you can volunteer in areas of your past hurts. Your tough time will lend a lot of credibility to your words, and you may be the only one who can help someone else going through a similar situation.