Romans 8:28 - Comfort in Tragedy

Romans 8:28 - Comfort in Tragedy

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"

Tags: Romans, work, good, memory verse, bible verse, spiritual quote, bible quote, comfort, tragedy, Loading...

In this life, we will have trouble (John 16:33).

A family suicide...

A cancer diagnosis...

The loss of a child...

The list goes on and on.

These tragedies are not limited to non-believers. And that can be difficult for some Christians to understand.

We go to church on Sundays, we read our Bibles, we pray, and we serve others in His name. We try to live like Christians with the expectation that we will be rewarded by God, consciously or subconsciously.

But the preaching of prosperity as a reward from God (i.e., "the prosperity gospel") is theologically inaccurate. It sets us up for believing we have and we can earn some kind of right-standing with God. The truth is "all are sinners and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23).

On the flip side, we can bring unnecessary suffering into our lives when we don't follow God's ways (Deuteronomy 28:1, Psalm 1:1, Psalm 34:8, Psalm 31:19, Psalm 119:2). But that's not the kind of suffering we are talking about.

So why does uninvited tragedy strike even in the lives of those committed to the Lord?

In short, we live in a broken world. And because it is broken, bad things happen.

What's different for mature Christians is our perspective in the midst of suffering and tragedy.

And that's where this memory verse from the book of Romans comes in. Romans 8:28 is a classic verse for offering comfort in times of tragedy.

In this verse, the apostle Paul highlights that God is at work in ALL things. That means that even in the midst of horrible suffering, God is working to bring about His good plans.

Consider a teenage girl who turns to pathological lying and drug and alcohol abuse. The tragedy is obvious in her own life, but also manifests in the lives of those who are close to her - her family. After 10 years of rebellion, she is exhausted and looks to rebuild her life on Christ. She now has a powerful testimony to share. Also, she can contribute deeply and authentically to youth programs. She can help hundreds of teenagers avoid the destruction of their own lives through her wise counsel... and hundreds of families avoid heartache.

Or what about the 8 year old brother who witnesses his younger sister die after a 3-year battle with cancer. Motivated by his loss, he decides to pursue a career in medicine. After a decade and a half of hard work and training, he is now a pediatric oncologist ministering to hundreds of patients and their families each year. He offers them comfort and hope during times of their own family tragedies.

Now consider these examples highlight only the parts of the story we can see.

God works on an infinitely large scale. He moves hundreds and thousands of pieces to create circumstances that bring about the best possible outcomes for the most possible people. He works so that the maximum number of people choose Jesus as their Savior and are reunited with Him for eternity.

What we witness is only a sliver of His glorious work. God always knows the big picture - both in terms of time and magnitude. He knows the impact a single person will have during and after their lifetime. Paul puts it this way in our memory verse - "...[those] who have been called according to His purpose."

While our limited perspective motivates us to avoid tragedy, God knows it wouldn't always fully accomplish His purpose.

God's purpose for the lives of those who serve Him will be realized. His will be done through, in the midst of, after, and/or in spite of tragedy.

As Christians, we can feel empowered to humbly and faithfully accept tragedy if and when it occurs because 1) we know God is working for maximum good, and 2) we know we will be reunited with Him in paradise for eternity - a place where there is no heartache (Revelation 21:4).

Apply This:

1. Reflect on a tragedy in your life within the past few years; find at least 1 good thing that came out of that tragedy
2. Review Romans 8:28 once each morning and once each evening for the next week or so
3. Praise God for using His power to work for your good everything that happens in your life - even the difficult things
4. Ask God for strength to face any suffering you may face and for faith in His promises during these moments

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