And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God,
to them who are the called according to his purpose.
In Christian Counselling, people complain to me: “what is Romans 8:28 if things in life keep going wrong? When things we plan for and things we want never go our way?” I will place in this article what I discuss with my clients regarding this query.
The truth found in Romans 8:28 lays as the foundation of counselling therapies. That it is up to us to interpret our situations and act according to these perceptions. When The Lord was set to save Nineveh, it was Jonah who found this idea unfair and therefore distressing. We can see in Jonah 4:1-3 how this affected Jonah that he even asked God to take his life. Had Jonah received a good dose of Christian Counselling then, he would have seen the situation for what it is: that he was about to witness the love and grace of God fall on the people of Nineveh, first hand. This attitude would have changed the book of Jonah completely. The Lord wouldn’t have to send that whale or even kill the innocent gourd.
The key words in Romans 8:28 are the words “work together”. This tells us not to interpret each of our life events individually but rather as a whole. We cannot pull out a single incident and evaluate them individually as good or bad (apart from the entire system of events). As each of these incidents work with one another and these events work together for our good.
2014 was a great year for me. Grace Counselling Centre turned 5 as Rachel and I were enjoying married life alone (no offense, Zoe). I was unhealthily busy teaching psychology here and there in order to raise funds and expand the centre. 2015 came and I lost several teaching gigs which severely affected my income. Now a lot of people including me before would see this as a big lousy set back in my life. It was a time of frustration and anxiety that I could have easily attacked God and Romans 8:28 back then. However, this was only one incident at that point in my life. You want to know how 2015 ended? Let’s put it this way, 2016 was the year I published my first book: “The Bible’s Secrets to Counselling”. I could not have accomplished that if I wasn’t given the time to work on my manuscript because I was too busy with worldly stuff, like teaching, etc.
Now, can I say that losing my job in 2015 was good? Of course, not. Yet, in the background, it did ‘work together’ with my spare time and my motivation to finish up my book. Romans 8:28 never said that bad things and trials will not come. It said that “it will work together for your good”. True enough, things that may have seemed bad in 2015 interacted amongst each other and worked well for me and Grace Counselling Centre. What happened next? My book was published and the year afterwards my daughter was born. You see, the crap which occurred in 2015 had to happen, cause if not, I would never have the time to finish my book and learn to be at peace with The Lord’s pace.
Romans 8:28 becomes a reality once you can align yourself with God’s eyes to see that whatever is occurring to you right now, whether good or bad, is only one area out of all things that are working together as one that will ultimately integrate for your good.
through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.
Guard your heart, see the good in your situation and release yourself from worry. Do not focus on this negative situation alone and do not draw conclusions from this one situation alone as it is working with others culminating to your good. The Lord is a long game chess player, He would sacrifice Himself if it would mean victory over sin and death for everyone who believes. And sacrifice Himself He did. As that incident on its own was terrible but it all worked together, as God intended, for The Salvation of mankind.