A Verse for Any Trial
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. –Romans 8:26-28
Anybody who has been through a deep valley and rested on the promises of God has likely found and embraced Romans 8:28: “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, forthose who are called according to his purpose.” Many point to these words as the anchor that held them to God during a time when every other security failed.
Why is this passage so comforting? It begins with the words, “And we know.” We don’t merely think; we don’t merely wonder; we know. The context tells us the “Spirit helps us in our weaknesses.” He helps us to know! We don’t “know what to pray for as we ought” but “the Spirit intercedes.” And the more the Spirit intercedes, the more we are aware of the “will of God” and that we are “called according to his purpose.” We may not know how but we know that! God probably won’t tell us how and when He will work things together for God, but the promise we have is that He will.
The word know communicates experiential knowledge—the kind that comes from life. You didn’t go to church, college, or Google to get this kind of knowing. You know because you’ve been through it, and God’s Spirit has confirmed it. This knowing isn’t something you feel. Things don’t always feel in the moment like they could work together for good, but time will prove God’s character. He works things out for good. This is one of those tried and definitely true pictures in God’s Word about how God works!
Only God’s children—those who have turned from their sin and embraced Christ by faith; those who are increasingly learning how to love God more and more—understand the great promise of this verse. Only those who have tested the promises of God and proven once again His faithful love really know.
Have life’s difficulties caught you off guard? Do you wonder if God is good? Are you puzzled over how a frustrating, hurtful, or shocking development could possibly contribute to anything good? Stop looking at the circumstance and get back to looking at God. If He wasn’t going to use that circumstance for your good, it wouldn’t have happened. He has to sign-off on every single thing that touches your life. That’s not to say He wanted it, He is not the cause of evil, but He is the solution. He’s the master chess player who takes every move we make or someone else makes and strategizes the next move to ensure His purposes are accomplished.
The ultimate good of Romans 8:28 is not “your little blueprint for your life.” The ultimate good is God’s blueprint for the universe and your place in it. Being on board with God’s objectives means understanding this is not about you. It’s about His glory, and what happens to you isn’t all that crucial in the big scheme of things.
God is working all things together for the good of those who love Him; for the good of those who are the called according to His purpose. Believe it.
What are some past circumstances in your life that may have been hard, but God really worked for good?
In what situations are you waiting to see how He works right now?
Lord, I realize as the apostle Paul did, that I do not know what to pray for as I ought—which means I don’t know how to pray or what to pray for! Thank you for Your Spirit’s constant intercession on my behalf, bringing up to You my groans, confusion, willfulness, and repentance. I believe and yet I need Your continuous help with my unbelief. Thank You for insisting that I pray, even when I’m overwhelmed with my failures. Thank You for encouraging me as I come empty, and You fill me with Your love. In Jesus’ name, amen.