Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:26–28, esv).
Shadows. Fog. Fear. Confusion. The valleys in life are dark places. And when you’re walking through a deep valley, you need the life-giving promises of God to sustain you—tried and true, beloved promises, such as Romans 8:26–28. Many Christ-followers point to these words as the truths that held them to God during a time when every other security failed. Others have stood down daunting challenges with these promises on their lips.
Why is this passage so comforting? Consider the words, “And we know.” We don’t merely think; we don’t merely wonder. We know. The word know communicates experiential knowledge—the kind that comes from life. You didn’t go to church, college, or Google to find this kind of knowing. You know because you’ve lived through the testing, and God’s Spirit has confirmed what you have learned. This knowing isn’t something you feel. Things don’t always feel in the moment like they could work together for good, but time will prove God’s character. This is one of those tried and true realities in His Word about how He works.
Only God’s children—those who have turned from their sin and embraced Christ by faith—understand the great promise of this passage. Only those who have tested the promises of God and proven once again His faithfulness really know.
And God helps us to know! “The Spirit helps us in our weakness” We may not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit intercedes. And the more He intercedes, the more we become aware of God’s will and that we’re “called according to his purpose.” God probably won’t tell us how and when He will work things together for good, but the promise we have is that He will.
Have life’s difficulties caught you off guard? Do you wonder if God is good? Are you puzzled over how a frustrating, hurtful, or shocking development could possibly contribute to anything good? Though you may not see the good yet (or ever in this life), keep your eyes on God. If He weren’t going to use that situation for your good, it wouldn’t have happened. He has to sign off on every single thing that touches your life. That’s not to say He wanted it—God is not the cause of evil, but He is the solution. He’s the master chess player who knows every move we will make and strategizes to ensure His purposes are accomplished.
The ultimate good of Romans 8:28 is not some little blueprint you had in mind for your life. The ultimate good is God’s blueprint for the universe and your place in it. Being on board with God’s objectives means understanding your life is not about you. It’s about His glory, and at the very same time He works for your good! Awesome.
“We know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Believe it. Expect it. Wait for it. And cling to it for dear life in the dark valleys.
Lord, when I feel overwhelmed by dark, confusing circumstances, I don’t even know what to pray. Thank You, Holy Spirit, for lovingly, powerfully converting my inarticulate groans into deep prayers. Thank You for interceding for me according to God’s will. By faith I believe that You are working behind the scenes for my good and Your glory. God, I do love You and thank You for this awesome truth. Please grow my faith to the point that I never question this life-giving promise. In Jesus’ name, amen.