This week I have been reading through Romans 8. This is a very familiar passage of scripture for me, and I would bet, for most of us as well. As I came to verse 28 I was pleasantly surprised. I have read and quoted this verse so many times that it is simply automatic. But, in the latest edition of the New International Version, they have updated it.
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, NIV)
What I appreciate about this reading is that it move the work of God from the cosmic to the personal. Instead of God working “all things together for our good,” it reflects how God works with us in the circumstances for our good.
The reason I appreciate the difference is that so often I look to God for a magical escape from the circumstances I am experiencing. When things get too difficult, inconvenient, or embarrassing, I want God to get me out as quickly as possible. When the reality is that God is more interested in walking us through the circumstances, providing opportunity for learning, growing, endurance, and strength. I believe this is where the good is accomplished. This good then empowers us to not only to reflect the image of Christ (v.29) but also to be Jesus in our world, walking and processing through difficulties with others.
This distinction was helpful for me. I pray that it is for you as well.
Grace and peace,