Summary: This will answer the question asked by many and you will find of course the answer is YES!
All things are not good. It would be a mockery to say that they are. The death of a child is not good. Cancer is not good, drug addiction is not good, war is not good, blasphemy is not good.
But the Bible says, “We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
(1) In the chemistry of the cross, God takes things that, in and of themselves, are bad, and He puts them together, much as a chemist might take chemicals that, in and of themselves, may be poisonous and mixes them to make a medicine that brings healing.
Now, we have some salt with our meals. Table salt is made up of both sodium and chloride. By itself, sodium is a deadly poison, and so is chloride. Put them together, and you have table salt. Salt flavors food, and a certain amount of salt is necessary for health and life. We cannot live without some salt in our systems.
God can take things that are bad and put them in the container of His wisdom and love. He works all things together for good, and He gives us the glorious, wonderful promise that He will do so. We know that we have victory over sin and over Satan, but this verse in Romans teaches us that we also have victory over our circumstances. It says that all things work together for good.
I want to point out five things about this promise in Romans 8:28 so that we can see how God works together to help us rise above our circumstances.
No. 1 is: Certainty
The certainty of the promise. Notice how the verse begins: “We know.”(1) This is not guesswork, this is not luck, this is not perhaps, this is not maybe; this is absolute certainty. “We know that all things work together for good”(1)–it's not a hope, not an unclear opinion. Sometimes it may look as if God's plan subsides and drifts, but in God's timing, His plan will be high tide. We can be certain. We live by His promises.
No. 2: Completeness
The completeness of the promise: “We know that all things work together for good.”(1) That’s a big promise, but it’s there, and it’s absolutely certain.
God is a teacher who, by our standards, seems strange. He gives the test first, and then He gives the lesson. We learn through affliction. Think about Joseph in the Bible. Think of all the terrible things that happened to Joseph. He was slandered by his brothers. He was thrown into a pit and sold as a slave; he was lied about and accused of rape. Then he suffered in prison. But Joseph, as he looked back, said something that is much like Romans 8:28. Talking to his brothers, Joseph said, "As for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save many people alive."(2)
No. 3: THE Cause
The third thing is the cause of the promise: “We know that all things work together for good.” But don’t get the idea that things naturally, in and of themselves, automatically work for good. Greek scholars tell us that literally, the verse says, "We know that God works all things together for good."
In his Letter to the Ephesians Paul clarifies this point: “In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.” If there were not a God in glory, there would not be the promise of Romans 8:28 in the Bible.
God is not dead. He is alive and well. He’s not sick. He’s not worn out. He’s not even old. It is God who made this promise. He is the cause of it.
No. 4: The fourth thing is the condition of the promise.
It’s not obvious, it’s not automatic. The promise has a condition. What is the condition? “We know that all things work together for good to them that love God.” If you don’t love God, you can’t claim this promise. The condition is that we must be lovers of God. Haters of God cannot claim this promise.
Some people may be able to sing better than we can sing. Others may be able to teach better than we can teach, preach better than we can preach, lead better than we can lead, give more than we can give. But can we love God? That above all other thing pleases and honors God. The first and great commandment is, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.”