“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.”
Whoa. What does all that even mean?!
I know God’s Word can be confusing sometimes, especially when it uses words like ‘predestined’ or ‘firstborn among many brothers.’ But take a moment to slowly read the three verses above and let your mind rest on them, process them. Take some deep breaths, and just hang out on these three sentences for awhile.
Write down the things you can easily understand. Write down the things you don’t understand and the questions you have. Look up the words you don’t understand. Now try to rewrite the verse in your own words.
Spend a little time with verses that initially seem overwhelming. That’s what it means to meditate on God’s Word. If you did all the things listed above, I bet you understand Romans 8:28-30 better now than you did the first time you read it. God’s Word is full of life-changing truth, but so often we skim over it so fast that we don’t really understand it. Take time to savor and soak in Scripture. What you gain is worth the time you invest.
Study Bibles can be great helps when you encounter verses that seem weird or hard to understand. For example, the ESV Study Bible gives the following helpful info about Romans 8:28-30:
“God weaves everything together for good for his children. The “good” in this context does not refer to earthly comfort but conformity to Christ (v. 29), closer fellowship with God, bearing good fruit for the kingdom, and final glorification (v. 30).
Verses 29–30 explain why those who believe in Christ can be assured that all things work together for good: God has always been doing good for them, starting before creation (the distant past), continuing in their conversion (the recent past), and then on to the day of Christ’s return (the future).”