Read His Words Before Ours!
God is good. He fills our lives with good things.
The sound of a child’s laugh.
The warmth of sunshine on our faces.
The feel of a cool sea breeze in our hair.
The strength of a loved one’s embrace.
The list is endless. We know God is good because we see the evidence of His goodness all around us. James reminds us every good thing we enjoy is a gift from God above. (James 1:17)
It’s easy to recognize God’s goodness when life is going well, but what about when tragedy strikes? When our children’s laughter is absent, our marriage falls apart, or our health deteriorates, it seems false to talk of the goodness of God.
Where is God when we don’t see goodness around us?
A few years ago, four families in our church tragically lost children, aged between 5 hours and 30 years. These four families walked the unimaginable journey of grief that only known by parents who’ve buried a child. I’ve attended many funerals as part of my job in pastoral care in our church, but I will never forget those four. I was astounded, not by the grief and pain—I expected that—but that each and every family stood up in their child’s funeral service and testified to the goodness of God.
How is this possible? I would have expected these parents to question God. Surely they would be doubting God’s goodness and struggling to find His comfort during their darkest time.
No. This was not their testimony. In their darkest days, God proved His goodness.
This is my testimony as well. I have never known the same grief as these families, but during the most difficult times of my life, I can honestly say only God’s presence gave me the strength to carry on.
Through the power of the Holy Spirit, God’s goodness shines brightest during the darkness of pain.
Joseph has always been one of my Bible favorites. He led a long and interesting life. Born with ten older brothers, he was the favorite of his father, Jacob. Sold into slavery as an arrogant youth by his jealous older brothers, Joseph eventually found himself imprisoned in Egypt after being falsely accused of rape. Then, through a miraculous chain of events, Joseph was appointed the Prime Minister of Egypt, second in power to Pharaoh, during a time of famine throughout Egypt and the surrounding countries. Talk about a turn-around!
After many years of hardship and injustice, Joseph saved the lives of his brothers and their families. Joseph stood before the very men who sold him into slavery years before and declared the goodness of God.
Joseph said, “You planned evil against me; God planned it for good to bring about the present result—the survival of many people.” (Genesis 50:20) Joseph recognized God at work during the difficult times of his life to orchestrate immense good in the end.
Like Joseph, God is at work in our lives to orchestrate something good. Many of us will never be sold into slavery or unjustly sent to prison, but each of us have our own story of struggle. God is at work in each of our stories; He is doing something good!
We are surrounded by hurt and pain in our world.
Many are lost and without hope, struggling to find purpose and meaning in their suffering. Like hollow words of comfort to a grieving parent, there is nothing we can do or say in our own strength to alleviate their suffering.
But God is good.
We may not be able to ease the pain of our suffering world, but God can.
And He has enlisted us to help.
God has created us to do good works that He has prepared in advance for us. (Ephesians 2:10) God works through us when we are filled with the Holy Spirit and share His goodness with others.
Is your life full of good things?
Recognize all good things are a gift from God and give Him the thanks He deserves.
Are you struggling in this season?
Seek after God’s goodness. Like the Psalmist, cry out to God with honesty, pour out your broken heart to Him, and welcome the healing and comfort He provides.
What are the good things God has prepared for you to do?
Who is He calling you to serve?
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!