This is a question I have asked myself 1,000 times, I’m pretty sure I am not on my own on that one either. At some stage or another; whether in trials or storms, in the season of a lost job, sickness, divorce or financial distress, we have all asked this question.
We are not really asking is God Good though are we, the question runs so much deeper than that level, really what we are asking is God worth our trust? Will he be faithful? Is he still faithful even in this moment?
I have questioned this aspect of God for a long time, and to be really honest with you I am a person who believed for a while that God was only good if or God was only good when. This is not something I would have admitted but to be fair, when things didn’t go my way and my faith or confidence in Him shook it was proved by my response.
I have a friend, Nichola is her name. She is a fantastic person who is generous to a fault, loving and kind. We’ve known each other about a decade. When I first met her I just jelled with her, I loved her happy nature, and her love for others, but her belief in the goodness of God just rubbed me the wrong way. I just couldn’t grasp her mentality. She frustrated me, and I often came away thinking “you have no clue, if only you knew my trials”. About 3 years ago we went for coffee together and as we chatted she revealed her heart to me, we chatted about our circumstances and laid bare our lives to each other casually over coffee, do you know what I found? A girl who knew my trials, not only did she know them, in some ways she lived them and yet she stood on this promise of Gods goodness. I left her that day and I said to my husband “She is normal… Praise The Lord!!”
You see the bible talks of Gods goodness readily. Psalm 100:5 says:
“For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.”
But notice what it says here; the Lord IS good. It doesn’t say His character is good, or he can be good, or his personality on some days is good, it reads the Lord IS Good. This is just like 1 John 4:8, where John tells us “God IS Love.” The writer is not telling us God is Good to us, he is saying that Gods being is God, that His heart is good, that He cannot be anything but good because goodness and love are to God what humanity is to us, it’s just who He is.
In Job 2:10 we read these words:
“Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?”
Allow me to recap, Job was a man who was blameless and upright (chapter 1:1) but there comes a day when Satan enters Gods presence and claims Job only loves God because his life is good, so God allows Satan to give him trials. The full book of Job, all 42 chapters are based on the story of how this man loses his home, his family all bar his wife, his friends, his livelihood, and his sanity at times listening to these so called wise friends. He loses everything and yet he will not curse God stating this sentence above. ‘Can we only accept good from God.’ Is that your mentality? Do you trust in God, do you trust in His goodness no matter what?
God’s goodness has been being challenged for a very long time, even the whole way back in Genesis Satan used Gods goodness as a way to win over the argument with Eve, (Genesis 3). We challenge why God would allow evil into the world, we challenge why God would allow bad things to happen, more so to good people. The argument sadly is that either He isn’t good, or He isn’t sovereign, but these could never be further from the truth, for God is both.
As a parent I understand this more now than ever. I understand that Gods goal for me is to be like His Son, and while God is not the author of sin (James 1:3) He did make us with the choice within to do good or do evil. Why I shall never understand but I don’t have to because Isaiah makes it clear in chapter 55 that Gods way are not our ways, they are higher than we could think or imagine. We are created beings and could never fathom nor understand what God really thinks, or feels.
I know that for my own children in our limited ways I have to take things away, and for my girls this hurts, or I have to insist on things that make them annoyed, or sad, or angry, but the truth is it isn’t an optional subject. Sometimes we as parents have to be the bad guys in order that our children learn valuable lessons, and that is as true with God as our creator and father as it is with us His creation and children.
You see what I have come to learn over time is God is sovereign, God is Love, God is good, God is all knowing and all seeing, but there comes times in our lives when God doesn’t seem good, and for some of us it isn’t God that is at fault, it is us.
Sometimes we need a perspective change, you see God is good, but that does not mean that everything that happens to us will be good. Circumstances can come our way and they can hurt, and they can sting and they can feel mean, and that’s ok. Sometimes those things just hurt and it is in those moments that we should run to God, and ask Him for a peace, a teaching lesson, an embrace with Him. We should not be Christians who blame God but instead be Barnabas people who see God at work in our lives and know that Romans 8:28 will be true of us, for God works all things together for those who love God and are called according to His purpose.
But then there are those times where God hasn’t brought a situation our way, and it is not a spring board or teaching lesson, it is simply a hurt brought on by another’s choice to do evil. In those days, we cannot cry out much except for the words of Joseph in Genesis 50, “you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good”. This could be a heart cry, it could be a faith declaration, and it could be you using your imagination to believe for God to move in the problem when you don’t see a way through, but today can I encourage your heart no matter which side of the divide you stand on, God is good, and God is Love. He is a Good Father, a Good King, a Good Lord and His will is that you will love him in return.
So find yourself wherever you are, at the feet of Jesus and no matter how broken your world is, no matter if the bottom has fallen out of your day, remember that He is a high priest who is interceding for you right now in the heavenly realms (Hebrews 4:14-16) and he will not let you go or let you down (Hebrews 13:5). As Housefires has put it recently in a song,
Faithful, you are
Faithful, forever, you will be
Faithful, you are
All your promises are Yes and Amen
All your promises are yes and Amen…..
I will rest in your promises my confidence is your faithfulness
Rest today in the goodness of God and build up your confidence in Him watching as He moves through your life with His redemptive love. Then you will Know in your heart the goodness of the father