It may be possible that you are sick, or troubled, or despairing — or there is something in your life that you wish was made better, made “right,” made more complete — and something inside of you is saying, “God will work it out. He is a good God who is able to work all things for the good.” Well, that is a good thought, and there is nothing wrong with that. It is in accordance with Romans 8:28 which states that, “God causes all things to work together for the good to those that love Him.” I like that verse.
Because of the careful placement of the word “love” in that verse, I like to think of it this way: “God causes all things to work together for the good to those that are continually loving Him.” I say, “continually loving Him,” because love is a moment-by-moment decision. We need to press in to love. So, as we continually love, and exercise that authority and privilege which God has bestowed upon us, then, yes, I see that Romans 8:28 will be a reality in our lives.
“God causes all things to work together for the good to those that are (continually) loving Him.” This is not a mistranslation. Rather, it is designed to help us to get away from the notion that love is merely a feeling. Are we continually loving Him? I hope we are not relying on a “once feeling of love,” or even a “present feeling of love” towards God to make that verse “come true” in our lives. The Bible definition of love is much more than a feeling.
A pastor once said, “Love is like a muscle. You need to exercise it.” That made me think. He was right. Love was not a feeling, really — although it did involve feelings, sometimes. Love was truly an action. Love was something we needed to press in to. We needed to exercise it. How much was I exercising it?
The words of that pastor found their place in my heart. Love indeed was something I needed to put into action. Now when I think of Romans 8:28, I don’t think of a feeling of love that I have towards God that will serve to help God “cause all things to work together for the good.” Rather, I think of the action of love itself. Am I loving God and others in the action sense?
“By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother.” (1 John 3:10)
“We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love abides in death. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer; and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” (1 John 3:14-16)
I don’t want to lay too much of a “heavy” on you by quoting these verses. But I would encourage you to ask God: “Lord, how can I be more loving in my attitude, my words, and my actions?” One little tip that I think will help you is, “How has God gifted me, and blessed me, to be able to love others? How can I serve Him using the talents that He has given to me?” As you put these things into action, it may very well be that Romans 8:28 will “comes alive” in a way that you have never experienced it before.