Ask God to orient or reorient you to Himself. Confess any known sin. Thank Him for His forgiveness. Be still and reflect on Jesus and His sacrifice for you. Ask the Holy Spirit to open your heart and mind to God’s Word. Pray for others in your life that they, too, would know and love God today.
“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And He who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will. 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. For those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30And those He predestined, He also called; those He called, He also justified; those He justified, He also glorified.”
In verse 28-30 Paul wants to encourage his readers by reminding them of what they already know: that they can have assurance as believers that they will one day enter into God’s Glory, that they will find their rest ultimately in Him, and that this is not based on what they have done, but instead on what God has done. God’s purpose governs all; it is only as He plans that everything can work for our good.
There is so much that we can cover in these verses, but I just want to end by looking at verse 28. As I studied the verse, I loved Douglass Moo’s insight. Rather than put it into my own words, I thought it would be best to let you read an excerpt from his commentary. He wrote:
There is great comfort in knowing that All things work toward the good. In fact Christians in every generation have found inestimable comfort in this wonderful promise of Romans 8: 28, and rightly so. This is surely one of the greatest promises of God to His people anywhere in the Bible. But it is also one of the most misunderstood… What He promises us in 8: 28, then, is not that every difficult experience will lead to something good in this life. The “good” God may have in mind may involve the next life entirely. He may take us out of a secure, well-paying job in order to shake us out of a materialistic lifestyle that does not honor biblical priorities, and we may never have as good a job again. He may want to set us free from an engagement to be married because He wants to use us in a ministry that would be difficult or impossible for a married person. Remember that it is by sharing in Christ’s sufferings that we eventually will be able to share in His glory as well (8: 17)… Essentially, it promises that nothing will touch our lives that is not under the control and direction of our loving heavenly Father. Everything we do and say, everything people do to us or say about us, every experience we will ever have— all are sovereignly used by God for our good. We will not always understand how the things we experience work to good, and we certainly will not always enjoy them. But we do know that nothing comes into our lives that God does not allow and use for His own beneficent purposes. Paul’s overarching purpose in Romans 5–8 is to give us assurance for the life to come. But verses like 8: 28 show that he also wants to give us assurance for the present life as well. God has ordained not only the ends but the means.(Moo, Douglas)
Let’s read verse 28 again: “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.”
Now think about your own life—what is the good that God wants to accomplish? How can you see your current situation moving you toward God’s best for you? Now think about things or thought patterns that are contrary to the good. Is there anything you need to change?
*From what you have just read and considered, what is a personal implication/application for your life today?
(Personalize this prayer today; make it specific to the circumstances that face you.)
Ask God to lead you through His Spirit as you go through your day. Ask Him to bring to mind the truth of the Gospel and its implications for what you will encounter today. Tell Him “Yes” to His will and ask Him for His power and protection to live out this “yes.” Ask God to create and reveal opportunities to proclaim the Good News today. KEEP PRAYING THROUGHOUT YOUR DAY.
Inspiration and insight for the devotionals came from the following books: Reading Romans with John Stott; The Message of Romans: God’s Good News for the World (The Bible Speaks Today Series), Stott, John; Romans (The NIV Application Commentary Book 6) Moo, Douglas J.; Encountering the Book of Romans: A Theological Survey (Encountering Biblical Studies) Moo, Douglas J.; Believers Bible Commentary; The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, with the New International Version, Romans through Galatians; NIV Application Study Bible. The Cambridge Bible Commentary, Romans, Best, Ernest.