“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. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.” — Romans 8:28 – 29
I am a big fan of a classic brownie — cut from the corner. It’s chewy, chocolatey, and perfectly pairs with a glass of milk. It’s the ideal dessert. Want to hear something weird? Making brownies changed my perspective on life. They’re extremely basic with only a few ingredients — oil, sugar, eggs, flour, and coca powder. It’s pretty straight-forward. Have you ever tried any of those ingredients on their own though? Drinking straight oil is probably dangerous, raw eggs will make you sick, a spoonful of flour can send you to the hospital, and cocoa powder low-key tastes like poison. However, when those bad things come together, it creates something extremely good.
This passage teaches us that God can transform bad into good. That is ultimately the message of the gospel. We were separated from God, but through Jesus we can be united with Him. Our sin was strong, but Jesus was stronger. Jesus was murdered on a Roman cross, but God even worked that out for the good of all mankind. The biggest miracle in human history took place after the biggest tragedy in human history — the death of Jesus. The cross is proof that God can transform hurt into hope.
People often cite Romans 8:28 to claim that God always makes good things happen, as if life is supposed to be perfect for Christians. That is not what this passage is proposing at all. Paul is explaining that God ultimately takes the bad and works it all towards good. That doesn’t mean bad things won’t happen — it just means that God knows how to bring purpose out of pain.
Unfortunately, I am sure you have faced some bad stuff in life.
Maybe had to deal with disease in your family.
Maybe you’ve had to work through loss.
Maybe you’ve had a hard time finding acceptance.
Maybe you’ve had to deal with physical suffering, relational conflict, or emotional anguish.
All of those things are awful. God completely agrees with that. As a matter of fact, the Bible teaches that God is hurting with you (Psalm 34). However, we can find hope in the message of the Romans 8:28. God is ultimately going to bring good your way. If it’s not good, then God’s not done.