There are a few remaining points to consider pertaining to Romans 8:28.
Some theologians choose to emphasize the word “together” in Romans 8:28, saying that God may not bring good in every situation. Instead, they claim, “God mixes together the circumstances of life in such a way as ultimately to bring good to us” (Moo 277). However, Moo argues that this is an improper application. The word translated “work together” (synereo) is used three other times in the New Testament. In contrast to those three uses, the Romans eight usage does not include the preposition “with.” Therefore, it is unknown if “all things” are working with each other, with the Spirit, or some other entity to become good (Moo 277).
The fifth word of verse twenty-eight has no qualifications, however. Every aspect of Christian life, whether happy, sad, devastating, or miraculous, changes the Christian to look and act more like Jesus. Not only do trials sanctify the Christian, but Paul goes on to say that, despite “tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword,” Christians are “more than conquerors through [God]” (Rom. 8:35,37). Rather than driving the Christian away from God as Satan proposed in Job 1:, trials bring God’s people closer to Him. No tribulation can separate the Christian from God’s love.
God’s primary goal for His followers is not worldly pleasure. Scripture expresses that tribulation abounds in the world. In fact, it must be remembered that even God has experienced suffering. Jesus, God in the flesh, suffered more on the cross than any other human could ever suffer. Second Corinthians 1:5 says, “For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.” He proved His care for sinners when He agonized in their place as the Paschal Lamb (Hubbard 137). Yet, even this excruciating hardship worked together for good. Were it not for Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection, no soul could be foreknown, predestined, or conformed to the image of Christ.