What Does Romans 8:28 Mean About All Things Work Together For Good?

All things work together for good

Romans 8:28 is a well-known verse that Christians usually memorize or list down under "God's Promises." It says, "We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God:  those who are called according to His purpose."

Is this really a promise from God? Is this a sure promise that we can claim? Is Romans 8:28 true? Or is the Bible lying in this particular verse? Because, by experience, people know that NOT all things turn out good in the end.

So, what exactly does this Scripture mean? And is it for everyone? Let's take a closer look at Romans 8:28 and understand what the verse is actually telling us today.

Romans 8:28 in different bible translations

  1. We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose. (HCSB)/similar in form with NIV.
  2. And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. (NLT) /similar in form with NASB
  3. 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)
  4. 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. (KJV)
  5. We are assured and know that [[a]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. (AMPC)

What Romans 8:28 promises

  • ALL things. This means everything, all situations, all circumstances. Whatever happens, good or bad, will turn out good. There is nothing so bad that God cannot turn around for our good.
  • WILL work together for GOOD. This means that the end result, the final outcome, will always be good. This is guaranteed. No matter how unlikely it may seem at the moment. God will work things out for a benefit, for a good purpose. Every situation has the potential for bringing good in the future and God promises the result to be just like that.

Is Romans 8:28 for everyone?

Preachers have differing views on this verse. I would not put God in a box and strictly say that this verse is exclusively promised to Christians nor even go as far as saying that Romans 8:28 is a promise only for faithful Christians.

I see God's faithfulness and miraculous grace on all people. The world is upheld by God's mercy and faithfulness. God is good and loving both to the lost and to the redeemed. God is supremely good and God is consistently Himself regardless of who may be in front of Him.

I've seen God turn tragedies into triumphs both for the unbelieving lost and the saved. Time and again, I've seen God sparing people from the consequences of their poor decisions and detrimental behavior. Whether dealing with the godless unbeliever, the devout worshipper, or the wayward child, God can and does good all the time.

So, is Romans 8:28 a promise for everyone? I can't say for sure. God will be merciful on whom He chooses to be me merciful. God may [and does] work things out for good even for the lost or the backslidden Christian and that is totally consistent with His character.

What I can say for sure though is, Romans 8:28 assures us that the person who has a spiritual connection and abiding relationship with the Father [based on sole faith in the saving work of Jesus Christ on the cross] is bound for a good future at all times. AT ALL TIMES.

Note that I mentioned the words SPIRITUAL CONNECTION and ABIDING RELATIONSHIP. Romans 8:28 says that all things will turn out for good TO THEM WHO love God, TO THEM WHO are CALLED according to His purpose.

The one who loves God, the one who walks in God's purpose will always find the right direction. He will be set for the right destination. He will find the good in every bad situation. He will find the lesson behind every failure and unpleasant consequences to his sins. He will reap a good harvest out of a very laborious, trying, and tumultuous season.

Romans 8:28 means ALL things and ALL times.

God does not save people only to doom them in the end. God, from the beginning of time, intended for all creation to be blessed and fulfilled in their existence. Man's sin and rebellion has made that very difficult to achieve. But the child of God who devotes himself to sincerely loving God and to living the life God has ordained for Him (Eph. 2:!0) will continually see and enjoy better days and a bright future in store.

Satan is constantly at work to ruin God's plans. He schemes continually to cause sin and chaos in this world. His goal is to rid the world of the thought and worship of God. The world will sink deeper into evil and ungodliness. The Christian will be tempted and tried. But if you love God and trust His plans for your life, you will abide in Him and His word. And nothing will keep you down.

Victory is promised to the abiding Christian. Rewards await the faithful and persevering. And as the Amplified Bible so aptly puts it, we are assured and know that with God being a partner in our labor, all things work together and are fitting into a plan for good.

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photo credit to Bessi

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