Sunday, July 22, 2012

"God is Good" and Other Annoying Platitudes

Have you ever noticed that when people say, “God is good!” it’s often in the context of God doing something good for them?

I got the job! God is good!

They accepted our offer! Isn’t God good?

No more chemo! God is so good!

We won a trip to Disney World! God is good to us!

God does delight in giving us good things (James 1:17), and we are right to give Him glory when good things happen. But I have a confession to make: On bad days, when I hear the proclamation, I'm sometimes tempted to think, Of course He’s good. You just got a blessing.

Because the truth is, right now there are certain things I think would be very good of God to do for me. If I were Him, I would snap my fingers and perform an instant miracle. The things I need are noble, worthy and right things. Things that would help me advance His Kingdom, you know (not that He could possibly provide a way regardless!). 

I reason with God this way, but He isn’t buying. Not today, anyway.

And the thing is…

…the thing is…

God is still good.

I believe that. I stake my whole existence on it. He’s not good just because of what He does (and He has done amazing things for me) and what I know He’s going to do…

…God is good, period. His very nature—his heart and character are only good. Because of that, He has my very best eternal interest at heart. For that reason, it just doesn’t matter what He’s doing or not doing for me today.

What matters—all that has ever mattered, is that God is good. His goodness is independent of circumstances, sustains me through suffering, and even causes me to thrive in the midst of it.

That’s because the Good God loves me.

Good God.

Loves me.

Knowing this, I don’t reserve the declaration of God’s goodness only for sunny days. Often I’m forcing the words, one by one, through trembling lips as I peel my spirit off the ground in the darkness.

God. Is. Good.

And if He is good, it stands to reason that He is also just. And the evil one, for all the mess he has made of this world, has his day coming.

(See Revelation 20-21)

"I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living."  Psalm 27:13


Joe said...

I think the real test of faith is to continue to trust Him, when you do not see an answer, to continue to proclaim His faithfulness when you do not see it seemingly shown in your need, to continue to declare His goodness, when it is a statement of faith, and not a reply to an obvious answer to a real need. He is good even when I do not have 'obvious' proof.

Faith Bogdan said...

Amen, Joe! Thanks for the comment.