Dr. Dan Hayden •
Some things seem so good—like lots of candy. But really, they’re not so good for you at all. It can even hurt you. And we all know that other things don’t seem good at the time, but when you get right down to it, they’re the best thing for you—like eating your vegetables. So, what is good, anyway?
Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”
Now when God says that He causes “all things to work together for good,” we often misunderstand what He means by good. We think of something wonderful or enjoyable—something good according to the desires of our own hearts. But “good’ has a much stronger meaning in this verse than that.
This is not the word for intrinsic goodness (something wonderful). Rather it is the Greek word agathos, which describes that which is good because it is beneficial in its effect or result. Like eating your vegetables. You may not enjoy that, but it sure is beneficial for you. And in that sense, they are good.
You see, when God says that He causes “all things to work together for good,” He’s not saying that all things will look good, smell good, and taste good. He’s saying that He will make sure that whatever happens, it will somehow be beneficial for you. It may not be immediately enjoyable and wonderful. But in the final analysis, He will make sure that you benefit from it.
Actually, the good he is talking about is found in the next verse (Romans 8:29)—it’s the good of making you more like Jesus. So be encouraged! Realize that God knows how to take tough times—even bad times—and work them together for your good.
God is good. He is always good and He will always do good by you.