Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Meditation for the week of August 6, 2006

Romans 8:28 And we know that all things (that is, all these things) work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Does this verse teach that everything that happens in life is designed by God for our good? Many people think that is what this verse means. According to this view, when Eve sinned in the Garden, it was for her good. Since God is sovereign, He actually intended to have Eve sin. So, according to this interpretation, it was good for her to have to leave paradise. It was good for her to have pain in child bearing, and it was good for Adam to become a man of sorrows. It was good for the ground to bring forth thorns and thistles; and it was good that Cain killed Abel. I have a hard time believing that these things were good, or that a good God caused these things to happen even though He allowed them to happen. The sin of David with Bathsheba certainly wasn’t good, particularly for Uriah, Bathsheba’s husband who was ultimately killed by David to cover his sin. Having said that, I know that God ultimately uses bad things to glorify Himself and to accomplish good.

I think this verse is teaching us about the work of the Holy Spirit. And in the context, all the things that the Holy Spirit does, He does for our good. He even allows suffering for our good, but He doesn’t always cause the suffering that He allows. The Spirit assures us that we are children of God and joint-heirs with Christ. Because of the sufferings of this present time, the Spirit reminds us of future glory. So the Spirit comforts and encourages us. The Spirit guides, intercedes and groans with us when we pray. Every one who loves God has been predestined to become like Christ and the Holy Spirit even uses things that are not good to do that. The Spirit reminds us during trials that God is for us and not against us and that nothing can separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Yes, things that the Holy Spirit does all work together for good to them that love God.

When we see a young person who is not saved take his life, or when we see a car accident where a drunk driver kills innocent people while he walks away, this is not the good referred to in this verse.

All things that happen to us are not good or for our good. Satan who often causes these problems, does not intend them to be for our good. Many things that happen to us are just plain bad because we live in a world were sin abounds. But I am thankful that God is good and the work that the Holy Spirit is doing is definitely good. He is so good that He allows us the opportunity to trust His Son for salvation. He is so good that He brings things into our lives to make believers more like Christ. He is so good that nothing can separate us from His love.

Yes, everything that the Holy Spirit does in our lives is good and is for our good. Unfortunately, not everything that happens in this world is caused by the Holy Spirit. I believe that it is possible to interpret this verse in such a way as to charge God with doing bad things. God certainly allows these things, but the verse is not talking about these bad things working together for our good. However, the Lord who can turn water into wine and who can turn sorrow into joy can certainly take these bad things and bring good out of them.

Bruce Collins



Comment by Grant Hagen

August 7, 2006 @ 10:21 am

God allowed sin to take place in order to show mankind more of his atributes. We would not know the depth of his love, his grace, his mercy and much more could be added. We would not know the Lord in an intimate way apart from the experience of sins forgiven.

Grant Hagen


Comment by bruce

August 7, 2006 @ 10:53 am

I agree. Thanks.


Comment by Leonard

August 7, 2006 @ 11:29 am

Right on!!

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>