And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28
It’s not ‘all things are good’. Because they aren’t. Some events and circumstances are devastating, crushing, life-altering.
To deny that is disingenuous at best.
At its worst, it destroys our faith and warps our view of God, sometimes even to the point we no longer serve Him.
In Genesis, we read the story of Joseph, a teenager who was guilty of nothing more than being a brat. He was sold into slavery by his own brothers, then falsely accused of sexual assault and imprisoned for thirteen years. Thirteen. Years.
His response echoes the idea behind Romans 8:28. He says, “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.” (Genesis 50:20 NAS)
He doesn’t whitewash his brothers intent or that it was personal, but he says God wove those strands together in a way that redeemed them. Since sin first entered the world, God has chosen to redeem rather than destroy.
Well-meaning folks will use this verse intending to encourage us in difficult times, but instead it becomes a false barometer. If we don’t agree that whatever “it” is is good, our faith, our love for God or even our salvation itself is brought under suspicion.
It doesn’t show a lack of faith if we mourn and grieve when bad things happen. It shows we have a tender heart that longs for the day when all tears are wiped away, but yet is bound to a fallen world. It is a cry for the day when God will avenge all those wrongs, while bound to endure them for now.
I pray for God’s strength and comfort on us all as He weaves.