Summary: There are many famous verses in the Bible, and this is one of them. We love to quote it. We love to claim it. We love to hold God accountable to it. But what does it mean?
Good Things Guaranteed
Griffith Baptist Church – 8/3/08
Text: Romans 8:28
Key verse: Romans 8:28 – And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
There are many famous verses in the Bible, and this is one of them
We love to quote it
We love to claim it
We love to hold God accountable to it.
But what does it mean?
Well, God makes a promise here that is sometimes confusing for us, because it seems that as Christians all things don’t seem to work for good.
In fact, sometimes they go from bad to worse.
Where is the promise we are guaranteed by God?
A Peanuts cartoon pictured Lucy and Linus looking out the window at a steady downpour of rain. “Boy,” said Lucy, “look at it rain. What if it floods the whole world? “It will never do that,” Linus replied confidently. “In the ninth chapter of Genesis, God promised Noah that would never happen again, and the sign of the promise is the rainbow.” “You’ve taken a great load off my mind,” said Lucy with a relieved smile. “Sound theology,” pontificated Linus, “has a way of doing that!”
God, here, gives us sound theology. He encourages us in our lives with this verse.
Transition Statement: First, we need to understand what this phrase, “all things work together for good” implies.
1. What do “all things work together for good” mean?
A. A good end comes from God working through the “things” of our lives – all things
i. Things – covers pretty much every detail so that nothing can be left to chance, it is under God’s control.
ii. Remember that God is the one that works through the things of our lives. There is no inherent power in the things.
iii. The thing of:
b. Events and circumstances
iv. Some of the parts may not necessarily be good
a. God can use bad things to achieve a good end
b. God can use evil conditions to achieve a good result
c. God can use negative circumstances to achieve positive goals
B. We will rarely, if ever, see how those details are woven together, but God does - work together
i. To work together comes from the greek where we get the word synergy
a. Def - The working together of various elements to produce an effect greater than, and often completely different from, the sum of each element acting separately.
b. In the physical world the right combination of otherwise harmful chemicals can produce substances that are extremely beneficial. For example, ordinary table salt is composed of two poisons, sodium and chlorine.
ii. This sometimes comes in small, unnoticeable events
iii. This sometimes comes in large, unavoidable events
iv. One may seemingly have nothing to do with another, but they fit into God’s plan
C. Our view of good needs to have a godly perspective
i. We do not view, for the most part, afflictions, trials, and negative happenings as good
ii. James 1:2-4 - 2My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; 3Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. 4But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
iii. God sees the beginning and end and that view is not available to us. Otherwise, why the need for faith.
a. Jeremiah 29:11 - For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
b. God wants the best for us, but the expected end is only in His view
iv. Isaiah 55:8 - 8For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. 9For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. 10For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: 11So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. 12For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
Transition Statement: Now, how can we be assured of this promise?