Small Words, Big Impact

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. —Romans 8:28

I am often amazed at how a small adjective or conjunction in Scripture can make such a great impact on meaning and how small groups of letters can wield great power. Words often bear great importance, and here in our text, one of the smallest words in the verse carries the most significant meaning. That is the word “all”.

Could you imagine if this verse read, “Some things work together for good,” or “Occasionally things work together for good”? There would not be much assurance in such a statement. But because of the small adjective “all”, we know that God can and will work together for good everything we encounter in life! Years ago I came under nearly unbearable personal attack in the industry in which I was working. Such vicious lies were told about me that I simply could not believe the things that were being said. Though this happened nearly two decades ago, I have yet to understand why it happened and have not seen anything good come from it. But that doesn’t mean it didn’t; it just means I haven’t seen it.

God has said in His Word that all things work together for good to those who love God and are the called according to His purpose. Again two little letters bear great impact on the text. The thought that God works all things together for good to those who love Him means that God will somehow use for good all that we experience.

As Christians, we know that there is a “good” that awaits us that is like no other—heaven. But in this life, it may mean that God sometimes uses our pain for the good of another. It may be intended to teach someone else how knowing God changes the way a person handles adversity. I cannot see one good thing that came out of the personal attack in my life; it hurt then and still does today. But I do believe that good came from it somewhere, because God said He would use it to do just that.

Maybe you have had one of those experiences in your life too. Maybe there’s something you still can’t see any good in, and it still looms in your mind from the distant past. If that is so, remember, sometimes you just have to trust the Word of God when the good remains yet to be seen!

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Barry Stagner