Romans 8:28 declares, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (NKJV).
“The Personal Growth Study Bible” by Nelson Publishers provides some interesting and helpful comments on select passages. Concerning Romans 8:28 the commentator says: “We want only good for our children, but God still permits bad things to happen to His children. How can Paul suggest that everything that happens to us is good?
First, Paul doesn’t suggest that everything which happens to us is good. Sometime terrible things happen to Christians. What Paul is affirming in this passage is that things work together for good for those who love God. God is able to take the bad things which everyone faces at some time, and He weaves them into the total pattern of our lives so that good results.
Second, Paul wants us to accept God’s definition of good. The good is not necessarily the pleasant or desirable. God’s good is to make us more like Jesus, conforming us to Christ’s image. This is what’s truly good for each believer, and this is the good God promises to produce through everything we experience. So, let’s not be terrified by tragedy or pain when they visit. Let’s remain confident of God’s love, and let Him work His good in our lives.”
Numerous times I have faced situation which I would not have chosen for myself, nor was I particularly glad to go through those experiences. However, looking back I can honestly say that I can see good which came as a result of each of those experiences. Tough experiences result in stronger faith, and an enhanced ability to minister to others who go through similar experiences. This is part of what it means to conform to the image of Christ, and that is good.
Part of our maturing process as a Christian is to develop an attitude of understanding concerning suffering, and to express thanksgiving even for our sufferings. Peter wrote in his first epistle, “Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy” (1 Peter 4:12-13, NKJV).
How we react to the troubles we face can bring glory to the Lord who has suffered greatly for us. And that is good!