“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose,” Romans 8:28.
This text reminds me of the saying,
“In trials small and trials great,
remember Romans 8:28.”
The precious promise found in this text and its accompanying context are a great treasure!
First, consider that this verse applies only those “who love God and who are called according to His purpose”. Do God’s promises benefit all or a few chosen ones? Look at the Biblical history of God’s dealings with mankind since Adam’s fall. We know from scripture that righteous Abel’s sacrifice was favored over Cain’s (Genesis 4:4); Noah and his family were the only ones saved from the great flood (Genesis 6:8; 7:1); Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, along with their families, were specially favored of God due to their faith (Genesis 17:7,8; 22:15-18; 26:1-5; 28:10-15). Additionally, God comforts the nation of Israel by saying, “ye only have I known of all the families of the earth,” (Amos 3:2). This promise carried through until Jesus’ death, resurrection, and the opening of the Gospel to the Gentiles, with Cornelius (Acts 10). Since then, God has been dealing with Christians to “call out a people for His name” (Acts 15:14) in preparation for the time soon to come when “all the families of the earth will be blessed.” (Genesis 22:15-18)
Specifically, Romans 8:28 is an “exceeding great and precious promise(s)” (2 Peter 1:4) that has helped so many journey on the “Narrow Way” (Matthew 7:14) with the Lord. What a source of comfort, joy, and peace comes from knowing that each and every experience of true Christians are overruled by God to transform our characters into Christlikeness. When you read the succeeding verses in Romans 8, they indicate that this journey with the Lord will be difficult. Yet, the promise that “if God be for us, who can be against us?” is the ultimate blessing, the source of all joy and peace, even though there will be “…tribulation, distress, persecution,” etc.
Once God’s work is accomplished to gather the Church, the focus will be upon all the rest of the world. In 1 Timothy 2, the Apostle states that “God will have all men to be saved, and come to a knowledge of the truth…Jesus…gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.” When will mankind receive this testimony? Soon! Jeremiah 3:8,9, “I have decided…to pour out my wrath on them (the nations) all my fierce anger. The whole world will be consumed by the fire of my jealous anger. Then will I purify the lips of the peoples, that all of them may call on the name of the LORD and serve him shoulder to shoulder.” Yes, the destruction brought by Armageddon prepares mankind for Christ’s reign. Then, God’s plans for ALL will finally be fulfilled, and all the families of the earth will be blessed!