Although the apostle meant the word “all” in a general sense (Romans 8:35, 38, 39), he referred especially to “the sufferings of this present time” (v. 18). God, in His providence, actually turns all things to work together for good in the lives of His children. He does that for their eternal good. And nothing can harm them except by the Lord’s permission (Job 1:12; 2:6). For all circumstances, even the unfavorable ones, the Lord directs to bless them.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
Work together for good
If God permits pain and hurt to come upon us, it is not to destroy us but to cleanse and purify us. “If indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together” (Romans 8:17). The troubles and heartaches of this world take our cares from the world. They permit us to look to heaven for our eternal home. They teach us the truth about our weak and frail state. And they cause us to depend upon God for redemption and strength to carry on. They also develop in us a more meek and submissive spirit, a more kind and caring nature.
This has been the story of God’s children throughout the ages. For at the end of their lives, they have been able to proclaim that it was good for them to have been so tried (Psalms 119:67, 71; Hebrews 12:11). At the end of his trials, Joseph was able to tell his brothers, “Ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good” (Genesis 50:20).
To God’s children
Romans 8:28 apply only to God’s genuine children, those who have true faith and who trust in God’s guidance. Their love for God is in response to His love for them and His providence in all things works mightily for their salvation. When the love of God works in the heart of a man, that person is changed and he can love and trust God to guide his life (1 John 4:19). All this is done by the work of the Holy Spirit who enlightens a man’s mind (Romans 8:26).
In His service,