Summary: Romans 8:28 runs a close second to John 3:16 as one of the best know and loved verses in the Bible. It comes to the heart of every Christian when facing a time of crisis, difficulty or trial. It comes to the mind of the Christian when circumstances are
The Certainty of Faith
Romans 8:28 runs a close second to John 3:16 as one of the best know and loved verses in the Bible. It comes to the heart of every Christian when facing a time of crisis, difficulty or trial. It comes to the mind of the Christian when circumstances are too difficult to explain or beyond figuring out. It serves as one of the strongest tools in the arsenal of the Christian counselor, pastor and teacher. And perhaps no verse speaks more directly to man’s walk of faith and his seriousness about God than Romans 8:28.
I’m sure you’ve heard or read many sermons on the verse by great men of God both present and past. And for that reason, some pastors may shy away from preaching Romans 8:28 thinking nothing more could be proclaimed or all that is worthy has been said. However, this should not be a deterrent for the truth and beauty of the verse is immeasurable and reaches as far as God’s love did for us when He sent Christ from heaven’s glory to this earth to die for our sins. Therefore, I pray, as we examine this verse together, God will give you a new sense of freshness and awakening to the immensity of His sovereignty, goodness and faithfulness. Finally, I pray your “faith working through love” (Galatians 5:6) might abound more and more for the glory of God and the furtherance of His Kingdom.
Now, listen to this wonderful verse from the Apostle Paul in Romans 8:28: “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” What a statement from the one God chose on the Damascus road to pen this statement! How could a man who suffered so much and endured so many hardships and injustices and trials (read 2 Corinthians 11:23-28) make such a statement -- and with such absolute resolve? One might ask if Paul were totally insane or just putting words together than sound nice for the early churches to hear but have no real substance behind them? Of course, the answer is no and the words that are written are as true today for us as they were for Paul and his Christ followers two thousand years ago.
I believe Paul and his followers can make this statement with complete honesty and resolve because they are experiencing the CERTAINTY OF FAITH in their daily lives. Hebrews 11:1 tells us, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him (Hebrews 11:6).” No doubt, Paul and his followers believed God and were seeking Him daily and as a result they were being rewarded with the certainty of faith.
The Certainty of Faith is a great reward God gives “to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” It is a resolve that is “steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord (see 1 Corinthians 15:58).” It is a settled belief that “God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name, in having ministered and in still ministering to the saints (See Hebrews 6:10).” It is a decidedness that “we must not grow weary in doing good for in due season we shall reap if we faint not (see Galatians 6:9).” Finally, it is an unwavering commitment that “though he slay me, yet will I trust in him” (Job 13:15).
Thus, it is with this certainty of faith that Paul says, “And we know…” in Romans 8:28. Without one element of doubt the certainty of faith leads Paul to conclude that God is working for Him and not against Him (see Romans 8:31). So the question is how do you and I get where Paul is? How do you and I, like Paul, say without questioning I know God is causing all things to work together for good in my life? How can I experience this reward -- the certainty of faith? Well, Paul gives the answer in Romans 8:28.
First, BELIEVE IN THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD AND LIVE ACCORDING TO THAT TRUTH. Notice Paul says “And we know that God causes all things to work together…”. Paul knew without doubt that God is the one in control of all things not just some things. Paul knew well the words of Jesus in Matthew 28:18, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth” and he lived it with confidence. I am sure Paul could recount the words of the Psalmist, “The Lord reigns, He is clothed with majesty; The Lord has clothed and girded Himself with strength; Indeed, the world is firmly established, it will not be moved. Thy throne is established from of old. Thou are from everlasting” (Psalm 93:1-2). The evidence of Paul’s belief is seen in his words to the church at Colossae “…by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities – all things have been created by Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:16-17). Therefore, Paul never had to fear who was at the helm of the ship in his life. By faith he drew strength that “the mind of man plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps. (Proverbs 16:9).” Paul knew His Shepherd, the Lord Jesus Christ, when he puts forth all his own, he goes before them (see John 10:4). What certainty this gives you and I to know without question: God is in control. Even when circumstances seem out of control, the truth remains: God is in control. We must never doubt His wisdom, authority and power. The key is accepting it by faith and living out the truth in our daily lives as Paul and his followers did.