In America, our news media have way of taking what someone says and paring it down into what’s called “sound bites.” The purpose is quite simple. They want to slant what was said to suit their own biases and purposes. Sadly, the same practice exists among many of us who read the Bible.
Take, for example, Romans 8:28. “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose.”
How often, when someone is experiencing difficulties and trials, does someone else casually spout off, “Cheer up. All things work together for good?”
There is no guarantee that anything will work for my good unless: 1) I love the Lord, and 2) what I am involved in is according to His calling and purpose in my life.
But it goes beyond that. There is the matter how that verse fits in context with the rest of the passage. Verse 27, for example, says, “And He that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because He maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” And that is also why we know that God will make all things turn out well–the Holy Spirit interceded. Not because you and I are such sweethearts that God is obligated to give us happy endings.
Now lets go to verses 29 and 30: For whom He did foreknow, He did also predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He (Jesus) might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover, whom He did predestinate, them He also called: and whom He called, He also justified; and whom He justified, them He also glorified.”
So how do I know that this trial I am facing will turn out alright? Do I truly love the Lord? Am I walking in His calling and purpose? If the answers to those two questions are “Yes,” then I have it on God’s authority that the Holy Spirit is interceding to make things become right. And whatever Jesus or the Holy Spirit asks of the Father will be granted.
Why would He do that? Because He predestined me to be conformed to Jesus’ image. To get that done, He called me to Himself, He justified me in spite of my sins, and He shares His glory with me. And it all gets done with no help from me or my self-defined righteousness. Isn’t that awesome?