And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. – Romans 8:28 ESV
Know what’s missing? “Our.” It is not in this passage. Not in the KJV, the ASV, and not even in the AMP. I believe the omission is intentional, for God promises to work all things for good, but he doesn’t promise to work all things for ” our” good.
Why? Because earthly good is relative. Good to my children is not necessarily good. They’d prefer no bath, no vegetables, and no bedtime. Nevertheless, to neglect baths, vegetables, and bedtime would be ultimately detrimental to them. Good to me is not always good. I’d prefer no cooking, no cleaning, and no laundry (oh, the joy of no laundry!). Nevertheless, to do none of those would result in a nasty living situation. As I work on the yearbook with students, I’ve seen a “good” page to one student appear “not good” to another.
We must remember earthly good is a matter of preference. It can change with our attitude at any given moment. Good to man is as fickle as man himself.
God’s good, on the other hand, is constant. Because He is constant. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. God’s good is always good. Always. Furthermore, God’s good is beyond our human understanding. God sees the big picture. He sees and intimately knows every heart of every person. He knows what is good for each of us and all of us at the same time.
When God promises to work all things for good, we can know it will be good. Yet we must also understand not everything we experience will feel good, look good, or seem good in the moment. Discipline doesn’t feel good. Death and sickness don’t feel good. Losses and broken relationships don’t feel good. And they may not be good in and of themselves. Yet our joy, peace, and hope can remain through it all if we remember God works through it all–if we remember God will always work things for good. Not “our” good. Good. Just good.
Thus I encourage you today to ask God for the wisdom to trust in His goodness. Are you sick? Ask Him to heal you, but yet remain joyful, confident, and at peace knowing He is working within the sickness. Are you mourning a loved one? Mourn with hope. No, you don’t need to celebrate death, but you can hope for the future. You can know God is good even in the pit of despair. Are you struggling financially, emotionally, socially? Continue to seek Him first in it all. Know He is good regardless of what circumstances you may find yourself in today. People, places, and possessions don’t make God good. God is good because God is God. And that’s it. Our opinions will never and can never change who God is.
As the saying goes, “God is good all the time, and all the time God is good.” So remember this today. Remember that God is always good and God is always working all things for good, even, and I daresay especially, the things that don’t feel like”our” good.