If you are like me, you have probably heard/read Romans 8:28 about a gazillion times. The above scripture image shows this verse in the NIV translation. The NIV has been my go-to Bible for the past several years. I have other translations, but I am comfortable with the NIV.
Sometimes I look in the other translations I own or search various translations online if I come across a verse or passage that I really want to sink my teeth into. I decided to do this with Romans 8:28 to see if I could find it translated in a way that would shed some new light on it.
If someone is wanting to really explore the meaning of a verse or passage of scripture, the AMP is the translation that people often take in hand. Some people refer to the MSG if they are wanting a translation written in "today's language." Others may prefer the GNT or TLB translations for their simplicity.
Well, here I was, researching translations of Romans 8:28, & I came across the VOICE translation.
"We are confident that God is able to orchestrate everything to work toward something good and beautiful when we love Him and accept His invitation to live according to His plan."
I had never before seen nor heard of the VOICE translation, so naturally I had to put Romans 8:28 aside for a moment while I did a bit of research on the VOICE. I found that the majority of people who purchased this version were extremely pleased with it. Naturally you can find naysayers if you look for them. They're out there. I don't think there's one Bible translation that escapes being criticized by one person or group or other. If you are looking for a word-for-word translation of biblical text, you won't like the VOICE. I could try to explain to you what I've read about this translation, but it's probably best to say that if you are interested in learning more about it, just click here ... & you can read a series of reviews by "prominent people" by clicking here.
I'm sorry to have segued into what could be interpreted as a VOICE commercial, but I'm really excited about discovering this translation. I have ordered one & an looking forward to receiving it : )
I will now return to my subject, Romans 8:28.
I am talking about Romans 8:28 today because it was referenced in one of my daily devotional readings this week. I am going to copy the reading here in part as the writer, Joyce Meyer, states her thoughts much better than I could convey them to you. The title of this particular reading is "Don't Waste Your Pain." Emphasis is mine.
"Life is full of unjust situations that can create a great deal of pain for you, especially [when dealing with] other people. You will experience some hurt & pain, but you don't have to allow these experiences to destroy your happiness. You can't always choose what happens to you, but you can choose how to respond to it.
If you've been hurt [cheated, lied to, swindled, abused, laughed at, misunderstood, etc], God can take your bad experiences & make them work for your good.
Choose to learn from hurtful experiences instead of wasting your pain by allowing them to make you bitter."
What a marvelous insight into Romans 8:28! I have certainly been hurt, cheated, lied to, swindled, abused, laughed at, misunderstood, etc a time or two in my life. Okay, more than just a time or two. I'm sure all of us have experienced times like these. I'm embarrassed to say that most often during these times I have not conducted myself in a Christlike manner. I allowed my happiness to be destroyed & sadly destroyed the happiness of everyone around me. I remember one particular period of time when I lost a good job & quite a few friends due to the bad attitude & self pity I adopted as a response to bad things happening around me. Then came a time several years later when situations occurring in my life caused me to be deeply depressed & bitter for two years. Obviously I hadn't learned my lesson the previous time.
As Joyce says, we can't always choose what happens to us, but we can choose our response. It took me many, many, many years to learn this truth. It can be a struggle sometimes, but God is always with me ... always ready to help me when I call on Him. If you are His child, He is always with you & always ready to help you as well.
What a blessing it is to know that no matter what bad experiences we may encounter in life, God can take them & make something good come out of them! If this doesn't make you smile on this beautiful Sunday morning, nothing will : )