There are many promises in them bible, both to those who love the Lord and also to those who do not. Those who choose to reject Jesus Christ and reject God have the promise that a day of reckoning awaits when they will learn and earn the results of their folly. Judgement awaits, not just in the end time when everyone will stand before God and give account but as they live and do wicked things they will be judged and sentenced day by day.
However, in this scripture we see one of the greatest promises given to those people who choose to follow Jesus Christ and who listen and learn the things of God. This verse gives us hope as well as a promise and it is a message we can all take to heart and live by for there are many times we will need to remember these words as www await the salvation of the Lord.
God's Promise to His People
This scripture reads as follows and I have included it in a few different versions so that depending on which translation you use it will be something you can recall and remember. I urge you to check out Romans 8:28 in your own version if you do not use one of these.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. (ESV)
We know that in everything God works for good with those who love him, who are called according to his purpose. (RSV)
We are assured and know that [God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose. (Amplified)
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. (Authorised KJV)
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. (NIV)
Each of these translations says basically the same thing. Each of them give us this great promise that whatever we do and whatever is going on in our lives, it will and it does work in our favour.
ALL things, no matter what they are or how we may perceive them, whether we think them to be good or bad, work together through the hand of God for our good.
Consider the times we are disciplined by the Lord. If we have done something wrong and He gives us a whack on the back of the head…it is for our good. The discipline of the Lord is designed to teach us and to lead us to greater perfection. Besides, if we suffer for doing the wrong thing then we are really only receiving the justice of the Lord. The value or the good that comes out of such suffering is that we learn (hopefully) the difference between right and wrong or good and evil…and don't do it again!
When we suffer for doing what is right, it is also for our good. What is more we are told that if we suffer for doing what is right we receive a blessing from God. Check out what the bible says in 1 Peter 2:19-21
19 For one is approved if, mindful of God, he endures pain while suffering unjustly. 20 For what credit is it, if when you do wrong and are beaten for it you take it patiently? But if when you do right and suffer for it you take it patiently, you have God’s approval. 21 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.
In verse 20 Peter starts by saying that if we suffer with endurance when we do the WRONG thing we are in essence only receiving the due penalty for our error. But then he continues adding that if we do the RIGHT thing and suffer for it, we receive the approval of God. We are blessed because like Jesus Christ we have suffered unjustly for doing the right thing and doing what is good in the sight of God.
But there is more to this verse that we can take from it and remember in our times of need.
God has a plan.
We know that there is a master plan for the eventual completion of all His works and a day of judgement yet to come and so on, but here He is saying that for each of us who have been called by Him, there is a plan.
Each of the versions quoted above talk about those who are called according to God's purpose, Andy the purpose of God is carried according a definite plan.
This stands out most clearly in the Amplified version of the scripture above where it says, “…all things work together and are [fitting into a plan]…”
There is a plan for you and there is a plan for me and God is in the process of executing the steps of His plan in each of us. The end game for all of us who come to Him according to His purpose is to be remade and transformed into the image of Jesus Christ. That is the overall plan for all His children. To prepare us to be able to live together with Him in His eternal kingdom.
But while we are walking that path and taking the steps of His plan for us we will make mistakes and we will have the need for His mercy and compassion when we mess up.
That is why there is such a great hope in this verse because we can take comfort and KNOW without a shadow of a doubt that God is working with us for our good. Regardless of what is going on it is for OUR good.
And there is one other point in this verse that is also brought out best in the Amplified version of the scripture.
Partners With God
We are not alone.
The RSV version says that God is working “with” His people, those who love Him, and the Amplified version takes it one step further saying, “…God being a partner in their labor…”
We are not in this battle and in this world alone for God is working with us and in us in accordance with a plan that He has established for each one of us in order to bring us to perfection in readiness to enter His eternal kingdom. And He works with us and in us executing the steps of His plan through the Holy Spirit that He has given us to do the work of transformation. For more on this, check my last post which spoke about the work of the Holy Spirit.
That is the promise of the hope contained in this one verse. And it is a hope that we can cling to when we need it for the promises of God are more solid than stone. Stone wears away with time, but the promises of God stand eternal and unchanging.
Take hold of it and remember this promise when you are suffering and know that whatever is happening, it is for your good. And if it is something unpleasant, know also that it will pass for that too is a promise of God.
(Image sourced from freeimages.com provided by Sanja Gjenero)