Welcome! In this post we’ll talk about trusting God’s goodness.
I don’t know about you, but I find myself cringing when people post on Facebook about their new house or car or health recovery with the joyous declaration, “God is GOOD!” This bothers me, I think, because I rarely see these same people joyfully declare God’s goodness when life dumps crud on them. Like, is God good only in the good times?
As Christ-followers, God asks us to trust Him. All the time. It’s there we find consistent joy, despite what’s happening in life.
Is God Good?
Deep down, don’t most of us wonder if God really is good, all the time, as His Word teaches us? To our logic-seeking human brains, a loving and good creator — our “Heavenly Father” — wouldn’t allow the misery we see in the world.
Is God playing favorites, or sometimes asleep at the wheel?
Writer Jennifer E. Jones asks, “If one person is hearing wedding bells and another is served with divorce papers, has God’s goodness changed somehow?” Here’s the truth: Our self-absorbed perspective is puny. And if we’re continually judging God for how He shows up in the world, we’ll find it impossible to fully trust Him.
God’s Word includes pain-filled stories about Adam and Eve… the flood… Jonah… JOB!!!!… which cause us to doubt that God always has our back. Especially when our personal prayers go unanswered. But the Bible cautions us not to trust in our own wisdom; to recognize that God alone can see the complete, big picture, and that He is working for our good.
Pastor Jason Helveston suggests that we continually question God’s loving and faithful nature because we are hardwired to crave explanation for the crud. “We cannot help,” he writes, “but search for meaning in the face of tragedy and pain. When we can’t find answers we often come up with our own. And, if you’re like me, your answer is often not a good one.”
Affirm God’s Goodness!
The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in His name. Nahum 1:7
The Bible tells us of the constant peace we can have if we’ll simply believe that God is working for our good. Some of us have an easier time in believing this. Others get there only after experiencing a lot of personal crud. Take Job, for example. The poor guy was golden — until God allowed Satan to strip Job of his health, mega wealth, and huge stable of children. Yet Job, even in his anguish and the wracking pain in his body, didn’t disavow God’s goodness!
I’ll admit that even when just my toes are dipped in crap I can question God’s love for me. But I want to get so cemented in my trust that I am able to immediately push those false thoughts aside. What’s a first step I can take to build that habit of trust?
In her article “So is God really good?” Jennifer writes, “Well, let’s rethink the question. First and foremost, let’s take it out of the context of getting our wishes granted. It is always wonderful when our prayers are answered; however, His goodness doesn’t start and end there.”
Trust God’s Goodness!
It’s not hard to see God as good when life feels good. But what if God wants to know if we, like Job, will trust Him through mind-blowing suffering? I continually pray for ease and health and blessings on myself and others. Because pain hurts and, frankly, I’d rather avoid it. But as I overheard someone say, “You never find out what you’re made of until you find yourself in boiling water.”
And we don’t really know that we trust God until we commit to doing it. Trust is an action word. It requires an active step. So sometimes God hands us hard moments to build our trust and reliance on Him.
You and I must make the daily choice to trust that God sees us, hears us, and cares for us more than we can ever fathom. Perhaps Charles Sturgeon, the famous Victorian pastor, had this in mind when he wrote these amazing words more than a century ago:
“The worldling blesses God while He gives him plenty, but the Christian blesses Him when He smites him: he believes Him to be too wise to err and too good to be unkind; he trusts Him where he cannot trace Him, looks up to Him in the darkest hour, and believes that all is well.”
Let’s place our trust in the only source that doesn’t change: God. Especially during the cruddy moments. It is only when we choose to believe that God is working for our good, as He promises us in His Word, that we can clearly see Him show up. God is after our trust. Sometimes it takes the cruddy moments for us to decide to lean in and give it to Him.
In our next blog post, let’s look further at why we need to trust God’s love for us.
Catch up: The introductory post to this series.