Summary: God works for our good not just in some things but in ALL things! This verse was fulfilled in the lives of Joseph, Esther, and Jesus. I would be delighted if you could rate this sermon and give brief feedback.
In All Things God works for the Good
Rom 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.” (KJV)
Rom 8:28 – “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.” (NIV)
This verse is not saying that everything that happens to us is from God and is used by Him to accomplish His purposes in our lives.
Paul begins with a basic axiom: We know. Then he states this truth: To those loving God, he (i.e., God) works all things together for good.
Paul puts the phrase "to those loving God" first so that there will be no mistake about who are involved in "God works all things together for good." Our love for God is simply a response to the divine love and grace. It is for those who continually express love for God both in attitude and action. These are further defined as those who are called ones in accordance with (God’s) plan or purpose.
What is the meaning of "all things"? It most likely refers to those things that, while themselves adverse, are turned to good account by the sovereign God working on our behalf. The "good" (GK G19) is not defined, but should be sought in the intended conformity to God’s Son.
Doctrine of Divine Providence: Providence may be thought of as having two aspects. One aspect is God’s work of preserving His creation in existence, maintaining and sustaining it; this is generally called preservation or sustenance. The other is God’s activity in guiding and directing the course of events to fulfill the purposes which he has in mind. This is termed government or providence proper.
[Work together for good] They shall cooperate; they shall mutually contribute to our good. They take off our affections from this world; they teach us the truth about our frail, transitory, and lying condition; they lead us to look to God for support, and to heaven for a final home; and they produce a subdued spirit. A humble temper, a patient, tender, and kind disposition. This has been the experience of all saints; and at the end of life they have been able to say it was good for them to be afflicted; Ps 119:67,71; Jer 31:18-19; Heb 12:11.
a) To them that love God; b) the called according to his purpose. These are those who enjoy the blessed assurance just given. These two expressions are different ways of describing the same class.
Though affliction, which is evil in its own nature, cannot bring forth good; yet surely GOD CAN bring forth good out of evil, light out of the way to their triumph, and every cross providence a step to the accomplishment of his promise.
1. Joseph’s Life
Genesis 50:20 – “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”
Pit, Pothiphar’s house as a slave, prison, and finally palace.
In all these events of Joseph’s life, God was working for the good of Joseph and whole of Israel. Joseph knew that and that’s why he persevered even in the midst of terrible afflictions and trials.
A daughter of Abihail (Est 2:15; 9:29) and a cousin of Mordecai (Est 2:7,15), Esther was raised by Mordecai as his own daughter after her mother and father died. Esther was a member of a family carried into captivity about 600 BC that later chose to stay in Persia rather than return to Jerusalem.
[The events in the book occurred about 100 years after the leading citizens of the Jewish nation were carried into exile by Babylon in 587 BC. Shortly after the Persians overthrew the Babylonians, they allowed the Jewish exiles to return to their native land. Many did return to Jerusalem, but thousands of Jewish citizens chose to remain in Persia, probably because this had become home to them during their long separation from their native land.]
Her Jewish name was Hadassah, which means "myrtle" (a flower) (Est. 2:7). The story of Esther’s rise from an unknown Jewish girl to become the queen of a mighty empire illustrates how God used events and people as instruments to fulfill His promise to His Chosen People.
Following several days of revelry (merry making), the drunken king Ahasuerus-generally identified with Xerxes I (reigned 486 BC - 465 BC) - asked his queen, Vashti, to display herself to his guests. When Vashti courageously refused, she was banished from the palace. Xerxes then had "all the beautiful young virgins" (Est 2:3) of his kingdom brought to his palace to choose Vashti’s replacement.
Scripture records that "the young woman [Esther] was lovely and beautiful" (Est 2:7). The king loved Esther more than all the other women. He appointed her queen to replace Vashti (Est 2:17).