In the past week I have cared for three families who experienced death. Two of the three found themselves suddenly bereaved of husband and father. We all somehow internalize Romans 8:28 and either remember it, hear it quoted, or preached to us when a moment like that comes. “And we know that in all things God is working for the good….” Unfortunately when a death surprises us or suffering attends, that portion of the verse is all we manage to remember and we wonder how something so painful can ever be called “good.”
Does “good” mean it feels good, or ever will? No.
Does “good” mean it will ever make sense to us? No.
Does “good” mean we are somehow better off because of it? No.
But if we can remember the rest of the passage we can begin to have hope. “…For the good of those who love Him and who are called according to His purpose.” What is His ultimate good for us? His ultimate purpose? That “we might be conformed to the image of His Son.” (Romans 8:29). All things work together in our lives… as followers of Christ… to the end that we may become like Christ.
And that is good even when we can’t see through the tears.
“For those he foreknew He predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son.” Romans 8:29
FOR REFLECTION: Can you thank God for the painful times in your life you didn’t understand knowing they are the means of making you like Jesus?