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28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.


work [present tense] together

The word “work” is in the present tense—God is continually at work in our lives. The present tense indicates that God is intimately involved in every act and decision we make. God causes all things to work together for good. He “cooperates with” our decisions to fulfill His plan or purpose for creation. The “good” is God’s purpose.

The Greek word for “work” is the term from which we get the English word “synergism.” Synergism is the working together of varying features to produce an effect greater than the individual part. This is what we call the doctrine of concurrence—God sovereignly concurring with what happens to us. The sum is greater than the part. God is making the sum greater than the part (the affliction).


God makes the sum of what He is doing greater than our particular suffering.


The “things” that happen to us might not be good in themselves, but God’s harmonizing the total perspective of our lives is good. The “things” in themselves do not produce “good.” It is the working “together” of the events of our lives that makes it ultimately “good.” All hardships, misfortunes and setbacks contribute for the good. It is God’s providential working (and concursus) that works the good from the various elements.

Ps 25:10, All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth, To such as keep His covenant and His testimonies.

The individual ingredients of a cake are not good to the taste, but all of the ingredients combined are good after they are baked together.