Friday, April 01, 2005

Romans 8:28

In an effort to understand the ways of God, one is inevitably forced toward Romans 8:28. I hear this passage quite often being offered as a word of consolation to the those who are in pain, either from the death of a loved one or some physical ailment or sickness.

We need to be careful at how we speak for God in these sensitive times in people's lives. We mean to help when we say, "God will work this for good; just wait and you will see." I wonder what statements like that really mean. Will God really work this out for the good of the one to whom I am speaking? How can I be so sure? When can I finally say, "Okay, now that was good!" and be at peace with it? Did this happen to Job? Was what happened good? Dare I even speak in God's behalf in any situation? I am nervous about doing this.

Consider how the NIV translates this verse: "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." What is the difference between "in all things God works" (NIV) and "all things work together" (KJV)? [By the way, both are legitimate translations because the subject could be the implied 'he' meaning God or 'all things'; likewise, 'all things' could be the subject or the object of the sentence. You have to decide just like the translators of the NIV and KJV did for you.]

If God works "in all things," then it seems to follow that he takes the situations as they come and works good out of them. That necessarily implies that the situation itself is not deemed 'good' or even 'bad'; it is just the situation. If "all things work for good," then it seems to follow that one would have to say everything that happens is necessarily good, something I am not willing to comment upon (especially as if I know what is good from God's perspective). Just some food for thought.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

like tumbler and tipsy days hopefully we will remain in high spirits. well, good day