What a tremendous claim Paul makes in this verse! He does not say, “We know that in some things,” “most things,” or even “joyful things” but “ALL things.” This promise spans from the very smallest detail of life to the most important, and from the most humbling of daily tasks to God’s greatest works of grace performed during a crisis.
Paul states this in the present tense: “God works.” He does not say, “worked” or “will work.” It is a continuing operation.
We also know from Scripture that God’s “justice [is] like the great deep” (Psalm 36:6); at this very moment the angels in heaven, as they watch with folded wings the development of God’s great plan, are undoubtedly proclaiming,
The Lord is righteous in all His ways and loving toward all He has made. — Psalm 145:17
Then when God orchestrates “all things... for the good,” it is a beautiful blending. He requires many different colors, which individually may be quite drab, to weave into the harmonious pattern.
Separate tones, notes, and even discords are required to compose melodious musical anthems; a piece of machinery requires many separate wheels, parts, and connections. One part from a machine may be useless, or one note from an anthem may never be considered beautiful, but taken together, combined, and completed, they lead to perfect balance and harmony.
We can learn a lesson of faith from this:
You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand. — John 13:7
— J. R. Macduff
"In a thousand trials, it is not just five hundred of them that work 'for the good' of the believer, but nine hundred and ninety-nine, plus one." — George Mueller
Excerpted with permission from Streams in the Desert by L.B. Cowman, copyright Zondervan.