“Is Romans 8:28 Still in the Bible?”

Life is not problem-free. As one of my friends says, “You’re either in a crisis, coming out of a crisis, or about to go into a crisis.” The key to maintaining your balance is perspective. Sometimes all it takes is for someone to ask the right question.

A Soacjed Hiker Checking to See If the Rain Has Ended - Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/cjp, Image #11056228

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/cjp

Years ago, I went to Sam Moore’s office for my weekly one-on-one meeting. He was the CEO of Thomas Nelson at the time and my boss. As I entered the executive suite, I felt my stomach tighten. I had bad news to report, and I was concerned how he might react.

As I entered his office, he greeted me in his usual, upbeat manner. “Michael Hyatt, good to see you, my man. Have a seat.” I tried to smile, hoping his mood would rub off on me. It didn’t.

I didn’t beat around the bush. “Sam, I’m afraid I have some bad news to report.” I then reported how my division had missed its budget for the previous month. This had not happened in well over a year. I was disappointed and, frankly, embarrassed.

I was also fearful. I was afraid how he might respond. Though I knew intellectually, I wouldn’t get fired over one bad month, emotionally I felt that I was in danger. (Funny how the brain works this way.)

He listened carefully. He then leaned back in his chair, paused, and asked, “Mike, is Romans 8:28 still in the Bible?”

This is a verse many people know by heart, perhaps second only to John 3:16. It says,

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.”

Puzzled, I replied, “Yes, sir, it is.”

“That’s what I thought,” he chuckled. “Look, Mike. From time to time, bad things are going to happen. That’s just life. You have to maintain your perspective. God is still in charge. It will turn out okay.”

He was right. It took a while longer than I had hoped, but it worked out.

Max Lucado reminds us, “It all works out in the end. If it hasn’t worked out yet, then it’s not the end.”

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  • http://passionsforthesoul.typepad.com/vicki Vicki Small

    I read this post the day you put it up, and the timing couldn’t have been better…unless it had just come out today. Our once wildly-flourishing business continues to teeter on the edge, trying to hang on until the economy stabilizes and we gain some ground. My 93-year-old mom wants more than anything to join her two babies who died in infancy, and her parents and siblings, in heaven; meanwhile, her care is costing us what little money we have invested, including my pittance of an IRA. This post helped, when I read it, and for days afterward, when I started to get down, I asked myself: “Has it all worked out, yet?” and replied, “No? Then it isn’t the end.” I’m going to read it again.

  • Anonymous

    Hi Mr. Hyatt, James Pinnick here from Arizona, upcoming author of a grief memoir book completed recently.

    Love the blog! My wife went to Heaven back on March 30, 2009. Your blog post above really just hit me. It took 3 times to read it actually. Thanks for the prospective as I sit at Paradise Bakery of all places. Its crazy how life right now for you and me, even though age difference and life experiences are different, and on opposite sides of the country…We can still relate it all back to Jesus and his Word. Love it. I started a blog two months ago at jamespinnick.com. I’m hoping I can have as much impact on this world as you and my wife someday.

    Have a great weekend.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thank you, James. I appreciate your kind words. I am also sorry for your loss. It’s nice to know that God has a big reunion planned for His loved ones!

  • http://twitter.com/slumbersixcon Joe Lalonde

    Thanks for the encouragement of this blog! I tend to get nervous around the bosses and those above me. I need to keep in mind that “all things work together for good…” Thanks for giving me that check today!

  • http://www.walkwiththewise.wordpress.com Gail

    Very true. This is why we have to rely on God’s Word so much. Our feelings and thoughts change and can send us drifting off in any which way, but God’s Word stands true.

  • http://twitter.com/antalyaproperty Turkey Villa

    This was interesting to me. Thanks for sharing this wonderful post.

  • http://www.asweabide.com Joani wilson

    I have been holding to this promise as well as many other similar ones. Our 24 year old son recently moved back in with us to get his life back on track. It has been a difficult battle. He is facing some things in his life that are making our lives stressed. I keep before me that God is in control and all of this has a mighty purpose that we cannot yet see.
    I am new to your site and I enjoyed it. Thank you.

  • http://twitter.com/dbonleadership Dan

    I really enjoy the first quote. It is so true. Everything works out even when it does not seem that way.

  • http://allanwhite.net/ allanwhite

    There is a wonderful leadership lesson here: grace inspires loyalty.

    Of course, some may take advantage of that. Others may not reward grace with loyalty.

    The times it’s been shown to me by my managers or clients, when I least deserved it, are stamped in my memory. They remind me that that person deserves some respect and loyalty.

  • Pjwilliams49

    I need perspective right now on my life and being fired from my job. I made a mistake in judgement and that caused me to be fired. I know tht God is in control of all things. However there is a certain amount of discomfort while i contine to walk. Give me perspective Father.

  • Edward

    I felt affirmed by your post and, in turn, wish to share my own devotional for the same passage (perhaps too long for this forum):

    Motoring along a straightaway and suddenly the steering shudders and the car shimmies. Slowing to a stop, eyes sweep side-to-side and skyward, searching for a reason. The road is clear. The sky is clear. Walking the perimeter, I find chewed remains… ah, a blow-out. Unrecognizable now — how was that shred of rubber ever a tire?

    Question ferments into doubt. The other tires look okay. Are they?

    Loosening lug nuts, hoisting the spare to the ground, and fixing the jack in its niche push doubt aside until…. Until I am in shirt tails, sweat-soaked with thick smudged blackness. Why aren’t tires concrete and roads made of rubber?

    With the spare securely bolted, focus returns to break this road-side camp. Tossing the iron and jack and the old lump of tire in the back, I carefully wipe the grease from my hands. Patting empty pockets, I turn to sifting through a mess of tools. No keys. I search the ground and, again, walk the perimeter. Nothing. I look under the car and on top. More laps around the car and I find the keys, of course, in the ignition.

    I sink into the driver’s seat and turn the ignition. Nothing. I am all coolness now. I try again.
    Hours later, the mechanic tallies the bill and I assess the damage. I have a new tire, a new battery, and no good explanation. The battery? “Just it’s time to go.” And “oh,” the mechanic says, “the other three tires are good.”

    I doubt that.

    Catastrophes, small and large, will do that — undermine your trust in the way you’ve always done things, in the way the world turns, in other people, in yourself…, or in God.

    Suffer a betrayal or other wrenching loss, and it’s hard not to see the world or yourself differently.

    Helen is surely an angel. I met her while in the depths of heavy grief; she listened and was a friend. That’s it; she offered no elaborate explanations or advice or counsel. Nothing fancy — she was a friend. Not a fixer, not parental — just a friend. She did not try to make everything “make sense.” I cannot recall most of our words to one another. I just remember, gratefully, her presence.

    Helen ministers to others by attending their grief, but really, in the end, she’s nurturing a new beginning. She may have a knack or a special talent but really it’s her faith. She lives this gospel everyday: in helping others, listen — but then make way for the Holy Spirit.
    Often the grief-stricken are seen as pitiable or downright incapable; that is to say, the mess in their lives is somehow confused with their competence, ability, or integrity. But my friend sees clearly: care-givers do not heal; they witness healing, first-hand. She trusts the wounded more than they trust themselves. In the swirl of hurt and chaos, she spies the light in sufferers and watches it grow.

    Apostle Paul reassures us that when calamity strikes, we are not being punished. Our relationship with God is continuous and secure. Because of Christ, we do not fall in and out of grace.

    But, really — what about when the wheels come off? What’s changed when relationships end abruptly, health dissolves, or finances crumble? Plenty. And nothing. Problems, challenges, pain, and loss are not mile markers on the road to perdition; we travel the road to holiness and purity. Hard to believe? Not for Paul. We have the indwelling Holy Spirit. And Paul should know: struck down on the road, he built the Church.

    God never promises a problem-free life. He doesn’t prevent struggles; he works with them. In all things, God works for good. At the intersection of evil and holy, God reigns

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for sharing that Edward. I hope you have posted this on your own blog!

  • http://www.paulbevans.com Paul B Evans

    Cookie dough. That’s the secret to Romans 8:28. I bring people on stage at events to taste ingredients. Some get to taste the sugar and chocolate chips. Others get to taste the flour and eggs. Some of the ingredients are great. Others can make you sick. But when combined. WOW!

    Without the eggs and flour the cookie doesn’t exist. Without pain and pleasure, real life doesn’t exist.

    Ask anyone. They’ll say they learned more about living from the struggles, than from the successes.

    All things work TOGETHER for good.

  • Jviola79

    Thank you for sharing Max Lucado’s quote. Loved it! And I needed to read that just now. I needed to be reminded that the end has yet to come. 
    Blessings to you!

  • Jviola79

    How amazing is our God!! I read your post above, responded to it, & then opened my devotional. The verse you ask? Habakkuk 3:17-19 – “Though the fig tree does not bud & there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails & the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen & no cattle in the stalls, YET I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.”
    Thank you for being faithful to share!

  • Richard Graham

    Amen, Amen & Amen! What a great and encouraging post; Thank you Michael

  • http://www.susiefinkbeiner.wordpress.com Susie Finkbeiner

    I hate confrontation. Especially when I’ve been wrong. Romans 8:28 should be tattooed on my eyelids. I need to be reminded of it constantly!

  • http://twitter.com/sway234 Anita McHenry

    I had this kind of day!  Thanks for the reminder and the post on the “ten words”, used them today as well.  I guess if you’re gonna have bad things happen, they might as well all be in one day.  Also really appreciate the Max Lucado quote….gives hope!  Perspective is so important.  Everything happens to bring us closer to God and to help us grow and become our best person.

  • Vdfp4wife

    Thank you for this just when I needed it the most.

  • Anonymous

    Bummed I missed this when it was originally published. I needed this desperately. Keep catching myself not letting go and letting God.
    Thank you for this reminder.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      God’s timing is perfect—for you. Maybe this is when you would be the most receptive.

  • Deb

    I feel like I missed God’s leading for an incredible opportunity for my children and am so disappointed and having a hard time letting it go. I don’t know why God wouldn’t have wanted them there and if I didn’t hear Him clearly or what. It was a great place for their spiritual growth and now it feels so wrong they aren’t there. What do you do when you feel responsible for making a mistake that robs your children of God’s best. I am trying to believe Romans 8:28 (and that for some reason He didnt want them there) in this situation but its difficult when my mom’s heart hurts so deeply. I desperately want whats the absolute best for my children.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      The beauty of God’s sovereignty is that he uses even our mistakes for His glory. I think you confess it and move on. You can’t change the past. But you can rob your children of their future by staying stuck in the past.

      • Deb

        Thank you. God is working on me and this was also confirmed to me in church yesterday. Appreciate your reply.

    • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

      I believe you already have something to offer your children that ranks up there as God’s best. If you are a follower of Jesus Christ, then you give your children a great example of a deep faith and a clear direction. I don’t know what opportunity you and the children have missed out on but I do know a parent who loves the Lord is a gift God gives to children. I also know that God knows you and your children. If that’s true, and I believe it is, then He knows how to get your attention at the right time and in the right way. You won’t miss what He has planned for you or for your family. Blessings–Tom

      • Deb

        Thank you so much! Wow, what a great perspective I needed to be reminded of.

        • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

          Thank you, Deb. Your responses to Michael and to me bless and encourage me personally. I’m glad you had a good Sunday and felt confirmed/affirmed within the community of the faithful. God bless–Tom

  • Michael W. Gephart

    In the very last chapter of a book I published, (“A Sum of Reflections”),  I mentioned how
    giving thanks to God seems to release a power that cannot be released any other way.
    I also mentioned that, throughout most of my life, I thanked Him for the “good” things, but
    cursed Him for the “bad”.  But now in my old age, I have learned to thank Him for everything
    (good or bad).  I quoted some song lyrics by Andrea Crouch…..”I thank Him for the mountains,
    and I thank Him for the valleys, and I thank Him for the storms he brought me through; for if
    I never had a problem,  I wouldn’t know how He can solve them; I’d never know what faith in God can do”.

  • Sharon6229

    In the waiting; It’s so easy to sing the gospel songs like” I don’t mine waiting on the Lord; but when your in the process of waiting it can seem like forever; but I’m reminded that God’s timing is not our timing but while you wait give Him praise whether it comes to pass or not because it is working for our good. I.m glad God does’nt give us everything we ask for and certainly not what we deserve. God Bless

  • Jimmythurmer3

    I try and give of late my problems to God to sort out and arrange like your 8-28 Romans post, and God does seem to be handling some really heavy things for me, but the time in which they get resolved is exhausting.

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      I hear you, Jimmy. The waiting can be so difficult, even when we know God has us covered.

  • Robynmuncie

    Thank you for oppertunity to leave comment, its been a rough year. My husband has a liver deasease., he took treaments not sure if they hurt or helped, he worked the whole time sometimes doubles.
    My brother just passed away on oct 10 from a liver deasease, I work also. I thank God we have a roof over our head and cars to drive to work, a good church. Right now now im scared but God has helped me to get to work and do my job, I know I have got to trust God right now.

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      Robyn, I’m sorry for all your heartache. I’m sure you’re exhausted! I admire your commitment to trust God even though you’re afraid. He will not fail you.

  • Verner Drost

    As a pastor, I really needed to read this this evening. thanks

  • Karen

    Thank you for this reminder.  We have been struggling with my husband’s health problems and several big business/ financial situations and have had a series of discouraging, frustrating things happen over the past 6 months and it has been hard to hold onto hope.  Even though I know the Word and God’s character, the long battle has us weary and hanging by a thread. So very encouragement and reminder of His Truth helps.

  • Waseem Anjum Bhatti

    I am blessed, God Bless you too

  • MJ Nagel

    Why are all the interviews with leadership experts only men? Are there no women who can offer perspective in an interview? Certainly on leadership I might be able to find a few.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I’m sorry, but I am not following you. What does that have to do with this particular post? Thanks.

  • http://twitter.com/YvonneEele Yvonne Eele

    This is a great reminder of who is in charge and what our perspective should be

  • Glia

    Wow I needed to hear this from someone tonight. Wish it would come from family or friends, certainly wish it came from my church community but they are rarely Sunday PM to Sunday AM supporters. Such a powerful reminder to stay true to my faith, trusting in the Lord to do HIs will to my benefit. Looking forward to getting through this dark night and into the light of another day to see the Lords rainbows in my life. The darkest of night is yet to come but the brightest of day will take over thereafter! God bless us all, everyone!

  • robertrizzo

    This is a timeless post. Looks like you wrote it a couple of years ago but this is one of those posts that just keeps on giving. Thanks for the reminder.