As a writer, speaker, and E-Mail counselor for "Christian Women Today" online, I often use  Romans 8:28 to comfort, encourage, and reassure readers, hearers, or counselees. It's a terrific Scripture! Think about this great promise for a minute:

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him" (NIV).

If Christians really accept and believe this, it can set their minds at ease concerning their present problems and their uncertain futures.

Recently I was given a Scripture passage for a Bible study guide. As I worked on my assignment, the passage made several tough points (Colossians 3:22-25).

  • Slaves are to obey their earthly masters.
  • They are to do their work with all their heart, as to the Lord.
  • God would reward them for their labor.

Tough words, but then I reminded the readers of Joseph (from the Old Testament) as an example of these very principles. Of course  Romans 8:28 was the special verse to add hope to the message.

When I received the edited proofs on these devotionals, I did a double take on the verse. It read, "And we know that in all things God works for the goad of those who love him." GOAD? Yes — that too!

I reminded the readers of Joseph as an example of these very principles.
A goad is a pointed rod used to urge on a beast. So the word means something that acts as a spur. And let's face it — hasn't much of our greatest growth in faith and dependency on our Lord and His Word occurred when our trials and tribulations goaded us to look more to the Lord? So here is another way we can look at  Romans 8:28 when we're going through the valleys of life: the trials are for our good, goading us to a closer walk with Christ — and making us more like Jesus.

The Lord understands us — His frail children! The Holy Spirit reminds us that God sometimes disciplines us for our good (Hebrews 12:10-11). And though it's not pleasant, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Thus this error missed by "spellcheck" can help us perceive a new facet of the jewel called  Romans 8:28.

Rose Terry Cooke wrote in her poem "Beyond":

Take courage, soul!
Hold not thy strength in vain!
With faith o'ercome the steeps
Thy God hath set for thee.
Beyond the Alpine summits of great pain
lieth thine Italy!