There are some verses that I find easy to believe while others are particularly hard. Thus, I have to remind myself of the following two truths often:
1) God does not lie.
“God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should repent. Has he said, and will he not do? Or has he spoken, and will he not make it good?” (Numbers 23:19)
2) God’s Word is His words.
“All Scripture is breathed out by God, and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.” (2 Timothy 3:16)
The hardest verse for me to believe is a common one:
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to his purpose.” (Rom. 8:28)
This is a verse that is very comforting to believers and often mentioned during times of grief or hardship. For me, it often does not comfort me in difficult times because I sadly have trouble believing it.
Here are some possible reasons why I struggle to believe Rom. 8:28:
1) I do not see any good.
“This circumstance is so bad that there cannot possibly be any good to ever come from it.”
2) I question God.
“Why did God allow this to happen to me—someone who loves him and wants to please him? This cannot possibly be his purpose for me.”
3) I dwell on regret.
“If only I had done this instead, maybe everything would be different and better.”
4) I have guilt.
“His purpose for me must be to deal with this horrible circumstance in order to punish me for a certain sin.”
How should this verse comfort me and all believers?:
• “to those who love God, to those who are the called”:
The Greek word for ‘called’ is klētos. This word means to be invited by God in the proclamation of the gospel to obtain eternal salvation in the kingdom through Christ. Whoa! I know that God invited me into his kingdom because he gave me the opportunity to hear the gospel and respond in faith in Jesus Christ who died and took the punishment for my sins on the cross (Rom. 5:8, John 5:24). In response to this, I love God. Therefore, I am one of the called, and this gives hope.
• “according to his purpose”:
God created me for his glory (Is. 43:7). His purpose to save me was for his glory (Matt. 5:16). My life is now his (John 12:25, Luke 9:23), and for that reason he promises the following:
• “all things work together for good”
The Greek word for ‘all’ is pas. It means each, every, any, all, the whole, everyone, all things, and everything. There is no exception—not even the worst circumstance. Moreover, there will be many “things” over the course of my life that will work together FOR GOOD.
Lastly, I know that I cannot muster up enough faith to believe in this verse, but God gives grace if I come to him in my time of need (Heb. 4:16). There will be good that comes from this. God did purpose this, and I trust and love him. He led me to where I am now, and there is no condemnation as I am in Christ Jesus (Rom. 8:1). May God pull me out of the pit of unbelief in my circumstance to hope in his all-sovereign plan and his utter goodness.