Almost every Christian has at one time in their life quoted Romans 8:28 to a brother or sister that is experiencing a trial. This is one of those verses we love to say to someone as we try to encourage them to trust God and press on. This is a great verse for that. However, it can be a difficult verse to accept when we are on the receiving side of the conversation.
A couple of weeks ago I took my family out for dinner. On our way out of the restaurant there was one of those gum ball like machines that you put money in, turn a knob and a prize comes out. All of my children took a turn. One got a ring, another a necklace, and one got stickers. Sadly, one of my daughters got a pair of black shoelaces, the kind for men's dress shoes. After looking at them she said "Here daddy, I want you to have them." I thought to myself "Who puts shoe laces in a kid's vending machine and calls it a prize?" I was hurt for her. It didn't seem fair. That "by chance" she got stuck with shoelaces and not a toy.
When we learn to accept those things which look like defeat or failure and to understand that our Heavenly Father is still in control and that He has a plan for everything that happens to us then we can receive it as an opportunity to magnify and honor Him. What joy it brings Him when we fully trust Him in every need.
In the first seven chapters of Romans Paul paints a picture of the hopelessness that man faces in a lost world void of the knowledge and love of God. In chapter 8 Paul transitions to the reality that God has a plan and that He is working all things to our good, even those things that appear to be bad or unfair. Paul concludes this passage with a message of true encouragement. There is nothing that can come between us and the love of God. Nothing!