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Romans 8:28 (NKJV)
"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."
Here, I believe, is one of the most misunderstood verses in the Bible. Why? Because of a key phrase, a phrase that is overlooked, and if seen, is misunderstood. The phrase is, "to those who love God".
What do I mean? In this verse, the promise that "all things work together for good" is ONLY to those who "love God". So what is the point? This might sound "negative," but if we do NOT love God, then we are not assured that this promise applies to us. So, how do you know if you love God? Jesus told us clearly.
John 8:42a (NKJV)
"Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me..."
John 14:15 (NKJV)
15 “If you love Me, (Gk verb is in the future tense and can accurately be translated "you will") keep My commandments."
John 14 (NKJV)
"23 Jesus answered and said to him, 'If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. 24 He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me.'"
Sometimes people live under a curse, quoting this verse, deceived into thinking all will be well, when they are not even truly born again, not to mention, they are not governed by God's heart from His Word.
Is this all bad news? No, it is actually encouraging. How? You CAN love God if you don't, starting right now, by asking God to forgive and save you. Secondly, if we love God, we can be assured we will have all things work together for our good...even our failures. Thank God He did not say, "All things work together for good to those who never fail"! Praise Him that He is so patient and merciful...praise Him that He does make every good and every bad thing work together for our good if we simply love Him...the One who is completely lovable.