Have you ever doubted God’s goodness?
I know the church answer, and I’ll bet that you do, too. You may have even joined in with other people in responding to “God is good” with an “All the time!”
We say it, but do we believe it?
My recent experience of loss in my own life and in the close lives of those around me has forced me to ask myself the question for real. Is God really good when what I’m facing is just so bad?
We say it after we hear good news. We say it after something happens that we wanted to happen. The sun is out today, praise the Lord. Things went my way this time. So God must be good.
But what about when our world crashes? I mean, like, knock you over, world upside down kind of crash. Divorce. Depression. Miscarriage. Cancer. Loss.
There are times it may take this kind of crash – the rock bottom, deep dark low, to know if we can answer this question. Our faith is established here.
Because life is often not good to us. I have walked through grief this past year, and it’s been painful. But the goodness of God doesn’t change based on the goodness of our circumstance.
“God is good” is not a phrase. It’s not a catchy few words that people have created an automated response to. It’s simply what is true. It’s not a question of whether or not He will be good to you. It’s a fact that He is goodness Himself. And because He is good, then all of His intentions for us are good.
His goodness is following you. Psalm 23 says His goodness and mercy follows us every day of our life. When I think of someone following me, I think of a dog or a kid or somebody behind me, in my space. But the intention for the word “follow” in Greek means to pursue or to chase. His goodness is literally pursuing you, chasing you down when you run or when you doubt.
When your dreams are slashed, and it feels like God has forgotten you – He is good.
When the one you love continues to suffer and it feels like He couldn’t possibly still care – He is good.
When they hurt you in ways no human should ever be hurt, He is good.
When your pit is so freaking dark and the walls feel so high; He is near, and He is good.
We are driven to find out the truth of this for ourselves in the darkness. The God you felt on that great day at church? Those “God moments” when you knew He was just so real? If they are true in the light, they are true in the dark.
Our view of God’s goodness determines everything. If we can’t trust that He pursues us and that He’s for us, then we are missing pieces of His character. If God isn’t good, then He can’t be faithful, or merciful, or just. He is either who He says He is 100% of the time, or He isn’t.
But the balance is that what we go through is so heavy. What you may be going through right now could possibly be the biggest trial of your life. I’m challenging you to ask yourself today: “Do I trust that God is still for me?” God’s goodness never changes. Whether or not we choose to lean on Him isn’t dependent on Him, it’s dependent on us. He will continue to be everything that He is. He offers us love and peace and guidance and absolutely everything that we need when we hurt. It is our choice to grab hold of Him.
God’s goodness may not change what we are going through,
but it changes how we go through it.
If we lose sight of Him, there is no hope, and there’s no purpose. When we shift our eyes to Him, we see things differently. It doesn’t take away from your challenge, but we find glimmers of hope and we are able to see His hand, still steady in the chaos.
You’re still going to have to go through whatever it is you’re going through. And if you’re reading this, and your heart has been broken, I am so sorry. Your pain is real, and it’s difficult. But our pain can have hope and purpose when we latch on to the truth that our God is for us, and He is always good. And He is good to us.
Let’s say it on our worst day. Let’s remind ourselves, and the world around us, that no matter how crushing our situation feels, He will never stop being good.
“The Lord is good to everyone. He showers compassion on all His creation.” Psalm 145:9
“For the Lord is good. His unfailing love continues forever.” Psalm 100:5
“How great is the goodness you have stored up for those who fear you. You lavish it on those who come to you for protection, blessing them before the watching world.” Psalm 31:19