A very popular verse for many Christians is “We know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28, ESV). The word in there that I really noticed is ‘together’ because if we think that all things in our lives will work out for our own good, we’re going to get discouraged and disappointed.

However, the verse says, “All things works together…” That word ‘together’ is powerful because troubling events happen, and things don’t look good, but those trials come together with what God’s doing. He’s covering our situation, redeeming and transforming it. When you look at the big picture and take in everything in our lives and other people’s lives, God always makes suffering work out for good.

Listen to this story from a young pastor. He wrote, “The past 12 years have been an extended season of trials and sorrow for me and my family. I never imagined that my college years would include caring for my ailing mother and sitting at her bedside as God took her home. I never imagined my wife and I would celebrate our first anniversary in the hospital at the bedside of our son who was born prematurely with Down Syndrome and a complex heart disease.

“I never imagined caring for a son who would go through over 20 surgeries, including five open-heart procedures. I never imagined I could feel so much sorrow and pain as a father watching my precious son struggle to be around people, struggle to communicate, eat, play, sleep, process the world around him. I never imagined that life as a husband and father would so constantly bring me to the end of my strength. I never imagined that the Lord would bring so many tears into my life.”

Then he went on to say, “Yet I also never imagined that life could be this beautiful, full of joy, blessed and grace-lavished. My refuge and salvation are sure (see Psalms 18:2). For mine is the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort (see 2 Corinthians 1:3). God is truly faithful.”

I want to encourage you to have more of a hunger for the Word of God in the midst of your suffering. Know that God’s plans are all working for his glory and our good, even if we can’t see him moving right now.