I recently heard this quote, and maybe you’re familiar with it:
“Everything will be all right in the end. And if it is not all right, that is because it is not yet the end.”
I like that. It’s comforting … kind of. But I think it’s incomplete.
Take a minute to go back and read the previous verses; Paul has just been writing about enduring suffering and seeking strength from God as we persevere. So when he writes “all things” work together for good, he’s not saying “everything’s fine – you won’t have trouble paying bills, your kids won’t ever make poor choices, and you won’t ever get sick.” Remember, he’s writing to a church that’s facing real persecution. So when he says “all things work together for good,” what can he possibly mean?
The answer lies a little later in the chapter:
Romans 8:31-39: “If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else?
Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one – for God himself has given us right standing with himself. Who then will condemn us? No one – for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.
Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”) [There’s a Halmark card slogan for ya…]
No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love.
- Neither death nor life,
- neither angels nor demons,
- neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow,
- not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love!
- No power in the sky above or in the earth below – indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
God makes all things work together for our good. Amen and amen.