A little more from Romans 8:28…
The words work together mean to “work together, help in work, be partner in labour. To put forth power together with and thereby to assist.”
Some other instances of this Greek word in the NT:
Mark 16:20 – they went forth preaching everywhere as the Lord was working with them.
1Cor.16:16 – Submit yourselves and to everyone that helps with us.
2Cor.6:1 – we are workers together with Christ.
James 2:22 – faith works with works and works makes faith perfect.
The root of this Greek word is transliterated into English as synergy, meaning “a companion in work, a fellow worker.” The definition of synergy is “the interaction or cooperation of two or more organizations, substances, or other agents to produce a combined effect greater than the sum of their separate effects.”
Therefore we could read this verse, “All things synergize for good.” Everything works together in cooperation with God’s wondrous plan in order to produce a combined effect greater than their separate effects. He is able to bring all of these separate circumstances, events, people, life changes, etc. together to work something far greater than any one of the things alone could work. Only God can do that.
I don’t always see the “synergy” of God’s hand at work in my life right at this moment. I feel the effects of the current goings-on and get discouraged. But God knows how that is going to work with the past and with what is right around the corner. He brings it all into cooperation as only He can, and just as in creation, the outcome is “good.” In Genesis 1 God saw all that He had made and it was very good. In the same way He is creating circumstances and things in my life to bring about the same wondrous result – good – in my life.
The author of the Bible Study I am working through is Pam Forster. She summed up the “synergy” of God’s plan in these words:
We may not be able to see good in a particular trial. By itself, there may not be anything we would call good in it, and if it continued indefinitely, with no other demonstrations of God’s grace to temper it, it might be our ruin. But, mixed with all that we experience, all that God allows into our lives, all the different trials and blessings and people — all of these work together to “have a greater total effect than the sum of their individual effects”.
Often times we can look back and with 20/20 hindsight see how God put everything together to produce that total effect of good.