We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
Romans 8 is one of the profound chapters in the New Testament. It is a chapter that describes the work of the Holy Spirit in the believer’s life. Among the many memorable verses in this chapter is verse 28. Usually one has to look back to see how a particular circumstance works out for good, especially when we are dealing with suffering or unplanned events. The key to this verse is to remember that we must define good according to God’s terms. And our greatest good is to know God, to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever. Douglas Moo notes that the “final good” we are discussing here may include difficulties such as poverty, suffering, and the challenges of illness or poor physical health. I have recently changed employers. I moved from one hospital to another in my calling as a chaplain. I left behind many dear colleagues and now I am meeting new ones. I am experiencing joy and sorrow simultaneously. I miss those with whom I have spent these past months, and in some cases years. I am trusting that God has completed the portion of the good work he has called me to there (see Phil. 1:6) and will continue to work on, in, and through me here. Closing a chapter in our lives and opening a new one is hard. For those I recently left behind to continue to serve God’s kingdom without me and for myself in missing them, I know that God will use our past experiences together and new experiences apart to continue his commitment to each of us “to be conformed to the image of his Son” (Rom 8:29b). God’s call is his appeal to each of us to believe and embrace the gospel and it is an effective summoning to draw us into relationship with him (and one another). And, praise God, nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord (Rom. 8:39). God’s goal for you and for me will prevail.