Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

This is an often quoted verse and favorite for many people. The message is timeless. Within the context of this chapter, it reminds us of God’s providential care for those who “love God” by committing themselves totally to the sovereign Lordship of Jesus Christ. This verse does not say that we will be free from pain and suffering. Rather, we should expect these in our war against the pull of the flesh and the temptations of this fallen world. The verse, though, does say that God will take care of his children while they go through suffering. God will work through the suffering and turn it into something good for us. How does this happen? In many ways, but Romans 5:3-5 gives us a big clue. God works through our suffering to produce a stronger character in us. Our faith and reliance on God grows stronger. We may still go through the suffering but in the end, we come out better. This “end” may not even be in this lifetime. Sometimes what we consider “suffering” is common to all people, such as the loss of a loved one. Even in those situations, God is at work to bring healing and strength. Another key in this verse is to be called according to God’s purpose. This calling is first and foremost the call to be holy. This is a universal call that impacts all other things in our lives.

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