Romans is one of my favorite books of the Bible. It is one of my go-to books when I’m fighting to hold onto hope and choose joy in my life. Romans 8:18-39 remind us that our present suffering is nothing in comparison with the future glory our Heavenly Father has planned for us and that with Him we are more than conquerors.
One of my favorite verses is Romans 8:28…you know the one…
“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. - NKJV
If you’ve read my personal testimony, then you know how much this verse means to me.
It’s not about you or me.
When I first learned this verse, I have to admit, I thought it was about me.
I thought it meant that because I love God, only good things would happen in my life.
I read it completely out of context and from a self-centered perspective until my infertility battle challenged me to grow deeper in my understanding and faith.
The Message translation of the Bible puts it this way…
“That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good. - Romans 8:28 MSG
Here’s the Jamila translation 😉…..
“When you live your life loving God, you know that the good stuff AND the bad stuff that happens is part of God’s ultimate good plan for us all, collectively. It’s not about you, it’s about Him.
Understanding and accepting this truth, has been a huge eye-opener for me. It totally changed my perspective on why bad things happen to good people and why good things happen to bad people.
It’s still hard to accept that sometimes He chooses not to do certain things or allows certain things to happen when He could easily prevent them. But when I start to think it’s not fair or start to get upset at the bad things that He allows, I go back to His Word, and right there in Romans 8:29 it says, “For who He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.”
Now if you’re like me, sometimes I need things broken down simply for me to understand. Here is that same verse from the Message translation. “God knew what He was doing from the very beginning. He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love Him along the same lines as the life of His Son. The Son stands first in the line of humanity He restored.” (Romans 8:29 MSG)
Here’s the Jamila translation again 🙂…
“God has a plan. You are a part of it because you love Him. And loving Him means living a life similar to Christ, who was willing to endure pain, suffering and even death to fulfill the plan of His Father. Christ went through some very ‘bad things’, but God used them for His good. He will allow you to go through some bad things too, but know they are a part of His good purpose.”
Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people?
The answer is simple actually.
Because God is sovereign and it is part of His plan for our lives.
Jesus was a “good person.”
God loves Jesus.
God allowed a horribly bad thing to happen to Jesus. He was beaten and nailed to a cross, crucified.
But He died for a good reason.
To save us from our sins and provide a way for us to have a personal relationship with God the Father.
God allows bad things to happen to good people, even to godly people, in order to fulfill His overall plan for the whole world - not just His plan for your life.
Everything has a purpose, even the bad things, because God works all things together.
You can trust God. I promise.
My hope is that in sharing this with you, you will be encouraged.
When I truly accepted that bad things were going to happen in my life and that it didn’t mean that I had been forsaken; it didn’t mean that all hope was lost; and it didn’t mean that there weren’t good things that would also continue to happen in my future….it was such a relief!
I started to spend less time wallowing and asking “why?” Yes, I still get upset, I still feel moments of discouragement and pain, but because I know He is omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent, I know I can trust Him. Because He allowed His Son, Jesus Christ, to suffer for my good, I am willing to suffer for someone else’s good if that’s what God requires of me.
My testimony is exactly that. My suffering through infertility is a bad thing that He’s still using for other people’s good. My pain in many ways has ended up blessing others.
So I want to encourage you that whatever you are going through right now, whatever tough times you might face in the future, count it all joy! (James 1:2-3) Because God is and will continue to use all things for OUR good.
What is something bad that has happened in your life that God has used for good?
Share in the comments below and encourage others with your testimony!
Jamila is the founder of loved+blessed. On her personal mission to leave a legacy of encouragement, she blogs about her own life lessons with the hope that it will bring joy into others’ lives and help them find the courage to keep walking in faith knowing that all things work together for the good of those who love the Lord. Read her testimony of how God turned her misery into ministry.