And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified. Romans 8:28-30
As human beings, we experience change every day. We experience inward change with our emotions, we experience outward change with our circumstances, and we experience change in the way we understand the world around us.
It is precisely for this reason that Romans 8:28-30, the bedrock of our salvation, is the firm ground of truth for the Christian’s feet to stand on.
Romans 8:28 speaks of God working things together for our “good”- but what does that really mean? “Good” here means nothing less than the full completion of our salvation, as explained by the next two verses. “Good” means that God Himself, before the world was formed, foreknew you and I, and predestined us to be made just like His Son, Jesus Christ. “Good” means that God called us through the Gospel and through the Spirit. “Good” means that God Himself justified us through the gift of faith (Eph 2:8-9). “Good” means that God will ensure that we are glorified with Christ (Rom 8:17; 1 Cor 15:51-57).
You see, the promise of Romans 8:28 means very little without the promise of 8:29-30. God’s working all things together for our good is nothing short of His using and working all things together throughout our life for our calling, our justification, our conformation to Christ, and one day our glorification.
Make no mistake, only a few verses earlier Paul stated that we will “suffer with [Christ] in order that we may also be glorified with him” (Rom 8:17). God’s working all things for our good does not mean that He will keep us from suffering. In fact, quite the opposite is true. The suffering that God ordains and allows in our lives is purposed to accomplish the very things described in Romans 8:29-30. God may use suffering to bring a person to a place where they cry out to Him and believe upon Christ with divine faith, receiving justification. God may use hardship to cause a Christian to draw near to Him and pursue holiness (Heb 12:1-11). God even uses death to usher us into His glorious kingdom.
Whatever changes or difficulties we experience, we can know that these are not random or chaotic events, but rather what God is using for our salvation and santification. This is truly good. Don’t let “good” mean ease or comfort. Instead, endure suffering or turmoil or difficulty or weakness or fighting sin knowing that God works all things together for our good: for our calling, for our justification, for our conformation to His Son, and ultimately for our glorification with Him.