For some time I have been pondering along the line of God still being good, even when bad things come our way. Hardships come in many different forms. Some are very difficult such as a wayward loved one or the death of someone close. And on a less severe level, things such as sick children, pinching my finger while I’m doing a good deed, biting my lip when I’m chewing food etc. What do we do when it feels like everything is going wrong all day and we don’t feel God’s goodness? What are we feeling now with the current coronavirus? Are we panicking as the world is? Or are we able to fully trust in God no matter what lies ahead? We must remember that His goodness hasn’t changed. NOTHING changes God’s love for us and goodness to us!
I was wanting to write on this subject two weeks ago, but felt like I didn’t have the time just then to write on this deeper subject, so I wrote up something else and pushed this off till I could give it the attention it deserved. And I’m pretty sure God had something to do with it, because in the meantime, our Deacon preached a message entitled, Why Bad Things Happen To Good People. I so needed that message in my own life, besides it giving me lots of notes I could use to blog!
Quite awhile back in my devotional book, Prayers For A Simpler Life, the following sentence made a real impression on me. God’s goodness is not measured by the good things that come into my life. Why does it feel like it does have something to do with it? You know what I’m talking about don’t you? When my health is great, there’s money to pay the bills, the children pleasantly cooperate, and we find out our taxes aren’t nearly as high as we expected, it’s easy to say “God is so good!” Yes He is, but does this then insinuate when adverse things happen that God isn’t good? No! We absolutely cannot start thinking like this. But it’s something I greatly struggle with. Many times in the midst of severe struggles, I would pray “God, show me Your love!” “Show me You care!” But I’ve started praying “God help me trust Your love. Help me believe You’re still good.” I know, I know, there’s so many verses in the Bible that speak of God’s love and goodness, but in my darkest times, especially when I’m struggling with depression again, my mind finds it hard to comprehend that!
Job was an upright man, yet was severely tested. In the first chapter of Job, we read how Satan had to first get permission from God for the adversities he wanted to bring into Job’s life. That’s something we need to remember too. Any suffering we as God’s children face, must first pass God’s inspection, so to speak. And sometimes we think things are really bad and then it only gets worse! How can we keep our focus and remember it doesn’t mean God has forsaken us? Job 10:15 and 16 talk about how Job’s affliction just increased. That reminds me of a quote- Faith is not easy. It means not only believing God in times of trouble, but giving Him the freedom to increase that trouble. Not only trusting Him when our plans are disrupted, but trusting Him when our plans are crushed out of existence. Faith is believing that whatever comes into our lives is never beyond the sovereign control of the Almighty and that in His hands it can be turned into our eternal benefit and blessing.
Some key points to remember are:
1. All suffering has its roots from sin back in the Garden of Eden
2. All suffering that Satan wishes to bring upon God’s children must first have the approval of God.
3. We have a desire to know why bad things happen. It’s ok to wonder why, but to demand an answer from God is wrong. Satan can use that as bait for us and we can become bitter when there’s no answer. Some ways are only for God to know. Isaiah 55: 8 says, For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.
4. No matter how great trouble we’re in, God’s grace is always greater! But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Ephesians 4:7
Now why do bad things happen to God’s children?
1. Some things are simply a reaping for sin
2. Some trouble is because we live in a fallen world. Romans 8:22 says For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.
3. Some trouble is because we are capable of exercising our free will. We can choose to go outside of God’s plan.
4. Some suffering happens because of the laws of nature.
God also allows trouble so the unbeliever focuses on Him. What causes people to cry out to the Lord quicker than suffering and trouble? And for the Christian, God wants hardships and suffering to teach us humility and obedience, as well as to help us focus on the important things in life. God does not want us to rely on our earthly things. Maybe he sends a tornado or allows a house fire. How attached am I to ‘my’ things? Also, God wants us to learn to bless others through our own suffering. Most of all, God wants us to be refined. To still trust Him. To love and worship Him even when the dearest people or things are taken away from us. To glory in our tribulations.
Romans 5: 1-5 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope: and hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
It stands out to me when I see someone in severe affliction, someone who would have ‘reason’ to feel like God has forgotten him, to hear him say, that God is still good. Amid their adversity, they still find God being good and kind to them. Then is when someone saying, “God is good” is really attractive to me! Jerald’s uncle passed away a few years ago from pancreatic cancer. He was an excellent example of still voicing the goodness and blessings of God despite his own suffering. That can only be done when there’s a strong faith in God!
Lamentations 3:21-23 This I recall to mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.
Sometimes we must make a deliberate choice to trust in God no matter what! In the midst of all that’s heartbreaking or disappointing in our lives, we must choose to purposefully praise God for who He is. He is always good. He is loving and merciful, and we can always trust Him!
- The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble and he knoweth them that trust in him. Nahum 1:7
- There are those who would love to have your bad days.
- If we want an increase of faith we must consent to its testings.
- The deepest level of worship is praising God in spite of pain, thanking God during a trial, trusting Him when tempted, surrendering while suffering, and loving Him when He seems distant. -Rick Warren
- All that God works in my life is good, even when it might seem as evil to me. -Faith Sommers
So is God still good no matter what He allows in our life? Yes He is!
God is good all the time! All the time God is good!