The Bible's Everest

The last 12 verses of Romans 8 (verses 28–39) are the biblical Himalayas, and Romans 8:32 is Mount Everest.

[God] did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?

Stand in awe at this summit. First step back and view the whole range, and then focus your gaze on the highest peak. And then reorient your thinking about life’s hardest times and deepest pains and God’s unflinching commitment to work for the good of those who love him.

The reason Romans 8:32 is so breathtakingly stunning is that it combines God’s most massive promises for his people with the (seemingly) simple reality of the gospel. In Romans 8:32, the apostle Paul takes God’s most far-reaching, hope-giving, life-changing pledges and supports them with the central Christian message with far too often take for granted.

At the center of God’s magnificent Himalayan promises is his pledge to work all things—especially life’s most difficult things—for the good of his people (verses 28–30; 35–39). These promises are so huge that they are hard to believe.

Is God really working all my worst circumstances for my good? Yes, that’s what Romans 8:32 is saying. And it’s doing so by reasoning from the gospel to God’s goodness in all things.

Here’s how it works. First, Paul recounts the gospel: “[God] did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all...” God gave his Son for us rebels. That’s the good news—the central truth of Christianity. This is what we hear and believe to be saved, and this is what we keep believing to stay saved.

Then Paul reasons from this gospel to God’s goodness toward us in all our deepest pain: “...how will he not, also with him, graciously give us all things?”

It’s a rhetorical question—what Paul means is that God will most certainly give us all things for our good. Not only will he supply all our ultimate needs, but he will bring into our lives only the things that are for our deepest and most durable good.

Do we believe that God gave his Son? Do we believe the gospel? Then we are free to believe—really believe—that God will work all things for our good.

That’s the logic of Romans 8:32. That’s Mount Everest. Giving his Son was the hardest thing; making every painful trial in our lives work for our good is easy. May God give us the grace to trust him in our trials.

(Read John Piper’s sermon on Romans 8:31–32.)

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.