Romans 8:28 is one of the most used, and misused verses in the Bible. It is an encouraging verse, telling us that all things work together for good. There is qualifier: to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. Even so, it is often misquoted as saying that everything works out good. There is a big difference.
Everything doesn’t turn out good. Bad things happen to good people. Battling Covid-19 for over 6 months was not a good experience. Somehow, this old man managed to survive, while many others even younger than myself did not. I lost nearly 25% of my body weight. I couldn’t talk above a hoarse whisper for about two months. Suffice it to say, it was not a pleasant experience, but God used it to produce good things in me spiritually.
However, God did use it to produce a lot good in my life. He taught me deeper levels of the spiritual principles I shared in Extreme Gratitude. I re-read that book four times while in rehab. I needed it. I needed to be reminded of His truth. I needed encouragement in days of physical, emotional, and spiritual weakness.
Romans 8:29 is the key to understanding verse 29. It continues the thought: “For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would the firstborn among many brethren.” We are brothers to the Son of God, the heir of all things! He uses all things for the good purpose of conforming us to the image of His Son. All things—everything you do, everything you say, everything you experience, everything that’s done to you—are tools in the hands of your loving heavenly Father to make you more like Christ.
Here’s a corollary. “God won’t give you dying grace on a non-dying day”—Oscar Thompson. What that means is, you have nothing to fear, nothing to worry about, not even death. If you’re going to die today, God will give you the grace to deal with it, so you don’t have to worry about it. If you’re not going to die today, God won’t give you the grace for it, but that’s okay—you’re not going to die, so you don’t have to worry about it.
God has grace for any and every situation we may face. God gave me coronavirus grace. As I tapped into His grace through prayer and faith expressed in thankfulness, He gave me the peace and comfort I needed. He showed me how to pray. He showed me spiritual things I needed to believe and hold on to more faithfully. He called me to intercede more faithfully for others, as others did, and are, for me during this season.
Trust Him today that He is giving you the grace you need for the day. Trust Him that He is using this “thing,” whatever that may be in your life today, to mold you into the image of Christ. And that’s a good thing.