Do you see the goodness of God?

God is good.

Sometimes I struggle to really believe that God is good. Oh, I confess it with my mouth and consent to it in my mind but when it comes down to it I find on the heart level  a suspicion that God is not as good as I would like Him to be, a doubt that He will indeed work out all things for good in my life. It is easy to rest in God’s goodness when things are going well but when hard times are prolonged,  our faith in His unchanging goodness can be sorely tested. “Is God really good?” comes the not-so-subtle whisper when life is hard. Even though we confess it with our lips, do we not all struggle with the thought at times that God is only mostly good, that there are times when He simply isn’t good, at least not towards us?

Though on a doctrinal level I might be the first to defend both God’s goodness and His sovereignty , I find there are days when I am responding to life more on the basis of the suspicion that He is not truly good than on the basis of the faith I profess.  But has this not always been the case with man? Was not the very first temptation a temptation to doubt God’s complete goodness, a temptation to believe that He was holding something back from us, that He was indeed unreasonably withholding something genuinely good?  I find that Satan’s tactics have not really changed all that much since that day when he first tried to cast doubt on the character of God with his clever and devastating questions. One of his most effective weapons against us is to make us doubt God’s goodness.  Isn’t a heart which rests in the knowledge that God is good all the time a powerful force against evil? When I call to mind and give thanks for God’s goodness, I am arming myself against Satan’s attacks. Calling to mind examples of God’s goodness in my own life or in the lives of others and bringing Him a heart of praise and thankfulness becomes my strong defense against Satan’s subtle insinuations that God will not come through for me in this present trial. The truth is that when I allow negativity and suspicion to take root in my heart, I am simply playing into Satan’s hands.

So then, to say that God is good is not to just glibly spout platitudes. It is the realization that this is the foundation upon which I must build my life. Understanding and believing in God’s goodness changes how I look at everything. While God is good, there is no situation which is hopeless – unless of course I choose to exclude God from it. God’s goodness teaches me to look at all aspects of my life with hope. And hope in turn releases me from the fear which paints everything in the colours of doom. (How many days have we lived in shades of grey simply because we lost our hope in God, however briefly?)  Hope changes the words in my mind and the words on my lips. It is such a fundamental piece of theology that it is no wonder that it has been under attack since the beginning of time. And the truth of God’s constant and complete goodness  will continue to be called into question till the end of time.

Why is it so important?

Because the net result of distrusting God is evil. Evil results when I don’t believe in God’s goodness, when I harbour suspicions that He is not who He says He is. It is at this point that I stop trusting in Him and start trusting in my own resourcefulness, my own solutions, and my own wisdom and I necessarily go wrong. I go astray. After all, is this not the definition of sin – missing the mark, going astray like a lost sheep, lost because I no longer trust the Shepherd and listen to His voice?  At the end of the day my distrust of God dishonours Him and yet there is nothing more pleasing to God than a heart which trusts Him implicitly even in the hardest of circumstances.

So when my vision is clouded and my  suspicious heart is beginning to grow cold towards God,  how do I renew my childlike trust in Him?  By remembering! When I am sinking under the waves of circumstances I must call to mind the One who has always kept me from drowning in the past. I must remember a lifetime of His faithfulnesses towards me and I must stand on His promises which are all mine in Christ Jesus.

What I realize is this: if I truly believe in God’s goodness, the goodness of His plans, and His intentions towards me as His beloved child, it will change  not only the way I think and act but, perhaps more importantly, the way I pray. I will pray with faith and confidence rather than from a place of fear and panic. I will pray as a child who is confident in her parent’s love and utter capability to meet her needs. I will feel secure even in hard circumstances, knowing that no circumstance past, present, or future  will be able to separate me from God’s love or indeed God’s goodness. Truly believing in God’s goodness is life-transforming. In some part it restores a little of what Adam and Eve had in the garden, though, for a time, we may  be walking out in the wilderness. There is an intimacy with God which can be experienced only when we have settled the question of His goodness towards us. When will we realize that though we fall, we fall into the hands of a God who is both mighty and gentle, holy and gracious, that He holds my life both firmly and tenderly, that He is in fact everything that I need?

“O taste and see that the Lord is good: how blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!” Psalm 34:8

How have you experienced God’s goodness? Is there a situation in your life where you need to be reminded of God’s goodness? I’d love to hear your stories.

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4 Comments Add yours

  1. timkablog says:

    Thank you for this post.
    It is true that God is good. And I have been blessed by the fact that I never doubted that since I believed – out loud nor in my diary. But you are right, I have done that in my actions, which clearly reflect where my heart is truly grounded. It is visible, when acts and words come out of a heart fully grounded in God and the truth about Him, and it is also visible when I act out of fear or doubt that something somewhere may go wrong (silly thing is I do not even know what “wrong” means, because it isn´t me who defines it, it´s God!). And then I get further and further from Him and it is reflected in my prayers.
    It is happening to me right now and I am trying to find a way back.
    It is good to be reminded that God is good.
    He already figured out a way back.
    Thank you again.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Wow, thanks for your comments and your honesty. May God give you a special and tangible confirmation of His goodness towards you in the days ahead. God bless!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. smudge says:

    Where to begin?? This blog post is one on the most beautiful things I’ve read in a while! Thank you for having the faith, love, and courage to share this with the world! I agree with all that you’ve laid out in this post! Belief and acceptance in God’s unfailing character is the foundation on which everything else stands, and if there is instability in that foundation, it is easy for those cracks to spread, compromising anything we’ve build upon that foundation. My struggle comes in the ‘great distance’ between “head knowledge” and “heart knowledge” – I know in my head His sovereign goodness and don’t dispute that! It’s my heart that doubts… My heart doesn’t necessarily doubt His goodness, but it doubts His ability to love someone as undeserving, as unlovable as me. I understand this goes against doctrine, as the Lord came to seek and save the lost, and His body was beaten and broken for ALL; however, this head/heart discrepancy comes from years of emotional abuse, and is difficult to reconcile, even in light of KNOWING the truth! Years and years (and years!) of consistently being exposed to the abuses of man makes one reluctant to openly trust in any given situation. When you;’re being asked to believe that you’ll be loved no matter what, but every physical evidence has been to the contrary, despite prayers, it is hard to grasp the concept of vast, unsurpassing goodness without failure. Again, I KNOW in my head that He is good; this I do not doubt. I just struggle from time to time with the heart part… But I know that my God is good, and patient, and that He is waiting for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Smudge and thanks for sharing so honestly too. Let’s keep on fighting the good fight of faith despite what our feelings try and tell us. God bless you.

      Liked by 1 person

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