Romans 8:28

Hello everyone,

Romans 8:28 says “And we know that all things work together for the good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Does this mean the same thing as the saying we so often hear “everything happens for a reason?”

The reason I ask this question, is that I am trying to understand why some things have happened in my life like they have happened–most significantly that my father drowned when I was three, and was replaced by a wicked stepdad. So, I never knew what it was like to have a dad to go to or depend on or feel protected by. I am not whining or bitter, but merely trying to see if I am supposed to look for the good in that situation that just “happened” or did God cause or allow it to happen for a reason.

Thanks for being there,

I don’t view that verse as saying God causes bad things to happen so that good things can result from it. Rather, I read that verse as saying that we live in a fallen world, that bad things happen to good people but God is powerful enough and loves us enough to use the bad to bring about a greater good.

Well, the two sayings are similar in many ways. I have often womndered how someone who is an atheist would deal with disaster or “bad luck” in their lives. How would they be able to deal with a crisis in their lives without the comfort from God?

In the Lord’s prayer we say “And lead us not into temptation”, I remember being asked if I as a Greek speaking Orthodox may be able to add to this by my Ancient Greek (Koine) lecturer.

The Bible actually teaches,

“No one, when tempted, should say, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil and He Himself tempts no one.” (James 1:13).

God dosn’t put obstacles in our way in order to tempt us, God is good. A good God does not cause pain an suffering. We cause suffering and pain and the devil does too. Are we being controlled by God like puppets? Are we part of a plan that He has chosen for us? Are we just playing our part in a play which only God knows the beginning middle and end?

No, God does not control us, no God does not play games with us nor are we to believe in fate and luck. We all have been granted our freedom. God does intervene at times for our own good, but no-body was born to be a traitor, a murderer, a theif, an adulterer. We were all born good in God’s image and likeness, and we later choose either to do good or bad.

But the will of God, God’s plan for us is to save us and to bring all of us under His wing. He does not wish our harm for God**,**

“…desires everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:4).

**and **

**“For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil. Now who will harm you if you are eager to do what is good? But even if you do suffer for doing what is right, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear, and do not be intimidated” (**1 Peter 3:12-14).

So suffering in life for the sake of God is indirectly something which is benefitial to our souls. though not from God our suffering and trials build endurance and when the time of real trials and real tribulations arrive, we will be able to withstand them better. But even if they do not arrive, our spiritual state is strengthened by them. This is a part of our everyday struggle, and “lifting up our own personal cross”.

For an atheist, pain and suffering has no meaning, trials have no purpose. Our ascetic struggles bless us and sanctify us and help prepare us for the day of judgement.

This verse from St. Paul reminds me of what Roy Schoeman, author of Salvation is from the Jews, says about one of the graces he received from God in his conversion story:
While walking on an empty beach, it seemed like I “fell” into Heaven. I directly felt God’s presence and His love. I knew that He existed, that from the first moment of my life He loved me and watched over me, and that everything, every event which happened in my life was exactly the best thing which could possibly happen.

When I read Romans 8:28, I get the feeling that The Lord is training me in preseverance. The past two years I have had to question the priorities that I held. Two years ago my family rallied around me as I was going through chemo, I came very close to death, and was spared. As my family watches me recover over the last few years, we have been hit with tragedy , after tragedy, but I have been strengthened by The Lord more and more, and I have been blessed to bring this testimony into my home and to my relatives. He has truely prepared us for things that where going to happen and I’m glad He used me to break the ice ( metaphoricly). So when I look back at our trials, I know there was no other way. When faced with trials, ask yourself “How may I serve The Lord through this” and DO NOT FEAR. Fear is a temptation. When you look at a persons passing, you have a choice, you can believe they have died, or you can believe in eternal life Through Our Lord Jesus Christ. Choose Life. And remember, you have always had a Father extended his hand and He will comfort you, May God Bless You, Tim

Hi Sherilo, I can relate to you, my father was murdered in 93,

II Peter 1
3His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
5For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. 8For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.
10Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, 11and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

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