“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” - Romans 8:28
What does the above passage mean? Does it mean that we are to thank God for everything that happens to us?
A man parks his car under the coconut tree. A coconut falls from the tree right onto the windshield and breaks the glass. The man comes up and says “Thank you Lord for breaking my windshield.”
Now surely we are not supposed to react like that!
Wait a minute and look closely. The saying “All things work together for good to them that love God.” All things work together for the children of God. For those who have been baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. For those who have risen in the name of our Lord. Let me give you a vivid example of what really makes Romans 8:28 one of the most impressive and truest verses in the Bible. It is the true story of a missionary who injures his leg badly in an accident. That missionary is rushed to the hospital immediately after the accident. He was in great pain and his condition was severe. The doctors examined him and saw how severe his injury was. Nevertheless that missionary came out through all that anguish and years later he was on a ship sailing towards China. A great storm came across and no sooner they were stuck on an island inhabited by cannibalistic people. The entire crews of the ship, including the missionary, were surrounded by hordes of cannibals. The leader of the cannibals came forward and said to the missionary, “I want all of you to know that you will be killed and eaten.”
The missionary said, “If that is the case then I’ll gladly give you a sample of how we taste.” He cut off a piece of his right leg and give it to the chief. The chief tasted the piece and no sooner spat it out. “You’re free to go”, he said and left them alone.
The crew repaired the ship and set sail. As they were sailing the puzzled captain came to the missionary. “Pardon me preacher but I still don’t get it! How are we still alive?” The missionary told him about the accident that he suffered a few years back.
The doctors told him that his right leg had to be amputated. At that time the missionary fell in grief. “What could you possibly gain from all of this?” the missionary cried to God for an answer. They cut off his leg and replaced it with a cork leg. He gave that cannibal a bit of cork!
“All things work towards good to those that love Good.” Read about Joseph and see Romans 8:28 in full blaze. He was beaten and sold off as a slave. In Egypt he rose from being a slave to a noble and royal man. Because of him the Hebrews found refuge in Egypt from a famine. Read about the apostle Paul. He was beaten, stoned, whipped, and shipwrecked. Yet because of his unwavering will the Gospel spread throughout the Mediterranean region and made thousands of disciples.
The most vivid example is none other than that of the crucifixion of Jesus. Even his disciples didn’t know what He would gain from the brutal death of crucifixion. Yet He was resurrected and His death made way for the salvation of many. By His blood we are cleansed from our sins. We gain salvation by His blood. Christ showed that His love for us knew no boundaries…not even death.