God is good…or is He? Is it safe to even ask such a question? Many of us who have grown up in the church pretty much have been taught our whole lives on the goodness of God. For those of us who go way back, we can probably even sing songs about how good God is from our summers spent at Vacation Bible School- with hand gestures included, of course. I’m not trying to sound shallow, but I never really gave the thought of God’s goodness a millisecond of my time. I just accepted it. Going on with my sweet little life day after day until my faith was tested. I’m not talking like the kind of test that singes the hem of our pants. Nope. I mean the kind of faith testing that cuts the marrow and splits in two. For me, it was a divorce. For others, it could be a death, illness or abuse. Trials can make us ask a million questions; many that don’t necessarily have an answer. However, one question that has a very clear answer that I had to cling to during some of the most painful experiences of my life was: Is God Good? And the answer is: Yes.
This was not an immediate discovery, but a journey that led me to this absolute truth. As in most things in life, it’s the bits and pieces we pick up along the way that impact us. Here is just a glimpse of how God reveled His goodness to me along the way:
- Acknowledging Where Goodness Comes From: Sometimes in life our pain is so great that we forget God’s goodness. But, He is still good in the midst of our struggles. In Mark 10, Jesus was walking along and a man falls to his knees referring to him as “Good Teacher.” Doesn’t seem too crazy. Sounds like something we all would say in describing Jesus. But instead of Jesus continuing the conversation with the man, He immediately corrects him and says, “Why do you call me good?” No one is good except God alone.”(18) Take that in for just a second. God’s own son who has an intimate connection to the Father gives God the full credit of goodness. Now, hold on to your seat. Goodness wouldn’t even exist without God. He is goodness. Goodness is Him. It’s in the very thread and fabric of His DNA.
- Grateful for the Gift of Salvation: If you are feeling distant from God, or can’t see His loving hand in your life circumstances, remember the greatest gift that has ever been given in the history of the world was given to you through the goodness of our God. His son Jesus. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8. I mean, just wow. We are so underserving, so wayward, so lost and God in His awesome love saw us worth saving. Not just waving His fully capable hand and making us all perfect, but allowing Jesus to die. Not a peaceful death, but a brutal death of torture and humiliation. All for you and me. God in His goodness saw us worth it. Us: a bunch of sinners. Honestly, after the gift of eternal salvation, everything else is in the life is just icing on the cake…the good and the bad. Every time I think of the magnitude of that sacrifice my heart literally flutters, and I am so humbled.
- We Walk In Forgiveness: Not only did God give us the gift of eternal life and relationship with Him, but He also allows us to walk in full forgiveness. We will never be perfect enough earn His grace, but we are free through the precious blood of Christ (for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. Romans 3:23-25). We never have to hit the repeat button on our mistakes. We don’t have to add our imperfectness to the links in our sin chain. We can fully grasp the freedom that is given to us by our good God who knew in His perfect wisdom that we need grace and mercy surrounded by truth. “Therefore, my friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. Through him everyone who believes is set free from every sin, a justification you were not able to obtain under the Law of Moses.” Acts 13:38-39
- God’s Word is Good: Many times, we can become full of anxiety because we lose sight of the goodness in God’s character. But, thankfully, we have God’s Word to keep our eyes focused on Him instead of what’s happening all around us. His word is good: All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17. And, His word is powerful: For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Hebrews 4:12. No matter what you are going through God’s living word will guide you through valley and celebrate every victory.
Here’s the thing, something happens to us when we forget God’s goodness in the midst of our struggles or even in the everyday life. When I lost sight of the goodness of God, that was when the anxiety started to creep in. That’s when the sleep would start to go away, and then the stress eating would begin….oh, the stress eating.
My drift would happen so easily. A memory would come to mind that caused me pain, or a looming conversation with my ex-husband would be about to take place and I would begin to focus on my hurt and insecurities instead of God’s loving hand navigating me through. All the questions would start to take over:
- Does God Love Me?
- How Can I Trust God When I Don’t Trust His Ways?
- Am I Alone?
- How Can I Do This?
I learned that this just made things so much worse. Questioning God’s goodness doesn’t change God at all; it changes me. So it was time to get on my big girl pants, stop whining about what was going on with my life, and start combating lies with truth. You may be where I was many years ago. You may be wondering what in the world God is doing, or where the heck did He go? You may be asking yourself those same questions I did. If so, I want you to hit the print button because you’re fixin’ to get your socks blown off with this truth bomb, and you are going to want to keep these verses someplace where you can see them.
- God Loves Me: For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39
- I Can Trust Him: Sovereign LORD, you are God! Your covenant is trustworthy and you have promised these good things to your servant. 2 Samuel 7:28
- I Am Not Alone: Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6
- I Can Do This: I can do all this through Him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13
Yes, my friend, our God is so good. His promises are true, and He loves you. Cling to that with all your might during your storm and you will see (100% guaranteed) that He is who He says He is. And, after your storm has settled (and before another one comes…because they always come) you will see the blessings and benefits that come from navigating with God. Now, many years after my divorce, I say with a full heart how grateful I am for my trial. Just like it says in 1 Peter 1:6-7, “ In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffering grief in all kinds of trials. They have come so that the proven genuineness of you faith-of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire-may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” Christ is reveled in our suffering and God, the true Good Father, rejoices in the authenticity of our faith. Can I get an Amen?!