Life’s Deepest Pains for Your Greatest Pleasure

Life’s Deepest Pains for Your Greatest Pleasure

This is your verse. If you believe in the God of the Bible, and you love him, all the bounty of one of his greatest promises is yours.

God’s staggering pledge of Romans 8:28 is that “all things” — not just the good, but even and especially the bad — work for your good. Life’s worst pains are for your eternal joy.

All things is a massive phrase. It’s universal, all-inclusive, with no exceptions.

It doesn’t take much to believe that life’s best things work for our good. But what makes Romans 8:28 such a life-transforming promise is that this “all things” includes all of life’s worst things. Every single one. Every stab of pain, every barb, every lingering scar.

And if we want that with specificity, it’s here in this very context. Romans 8:35–36 lists life’s greatest pains — none of which can separate us from Jesus’s love: tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, danger, sword, and even death ( “regarded as sheep to be slaughtered”). No, in all these things, God is working for our good, not just giving us victory over these pains, but making us “more than conquerors” by having life’s greatest pains serve our everlasting joy.

This is why Romans 8:28, and the Himalayan peaks of biblical promises in Romans 8:28–39, makes for one of the most marked texts in the Scriptures.

In this three-minute video, John Piper continues his series, in partnership with YouVersion, through the Bible’s ten most-highlighted passages.


More from John Piper on the Bible’s most marked verses:

David Mathis (@davidcmathis) is executive editor at desiringGod.org and an elder at Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis. He has edited several books, including Thinking. Loving. Doing., Finish the Mission, and Acting the Miracle, and is co-author of How to Stay Christian in Seminary.