"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."
Romans 8:28 is the great encourager, the feel-good greeting card of scriptures. Taking it by itself (which is a mistake, as we know by now), it seems to guarantee the prosperity of all who love God. We’re starting to see a pattern with these misused verses—they’re focused on us, on our prosperity, on giving us strength, and on our personal good. God loves us all, unconditionally and eternally, and loves to bless us, but He also doesn’t guarantee that our lives will be easy or filled with plenty. This is because we live in a fallen world, and until Jesus returns to redeem creation, bad things happen, even to good people. Even to Godly people. With that in mind, let’s revisit this scripture.
When Paul, in this verse, speaks of “good,” he is talking about conformity to God’s word, rather than about our own personal prosperity and comfort. Remember—God is the definition of good. He is the center. The context of the entire Bible is about Him, about the importance of following His word, of having a good relationship with Him.
We have the tendency to make scripture about us. It’s not—it’s about Him. But that focus leads us to our ultimate good, the ultimate happiness and treasure, which is to be with God forever, restored and made whole. We may—will—experience hardship along the way in our fallen world, but God works to draw us closer to him, and in doing so, gives us the ultimate gift—Himself.