A friend posted this photo on Facebook this morning. It’s a slogan I’ve heard many times. I’m sure you have as well. We all “know” it’s true, but if we are honest we would admit that sometimes it doesn’t feel like this is true for us. If we were honest we might rewrite it, “God is good all the time…but sometimes it doesn’t feel like it.”
How do you answer the question, is God good…all the time…really?
Truth and reality are often in conflict in a fallen world. What we know and what we experience are often in conflict as well. If we were able to be really honest, we…like Job…would say, “I know God is good, but….”
So what is the good we are talking about? What does it mean that God is good?
Does it mean that things always go my way, work out for me and that I am always healthy, always happy, always have all I need? Are my circumstances the good we are to focus on?
I have watched some who would have called themselves Christians teeter on the brink of belief when faced with the question, is God really good? I listened to a man I have prayed with many times tell me that I could go ahead and pray for his loved one if I wanted to but that he didn’t see that all that prayer was really doing any good. I saw that whatever measure of faith he had to that point was broken. As far as I know, he is still reeling.
I wonder what this man and many others like him expect from God.
Much like this man, I know that when I was young my idea and expectation from God was much different from what it is today. When I was young I expected God to make everything I touched be a success. I prayed to win the game, I prayed that “She would like me”. I prayed for God to keep me from getting caught when I had done something wrong… God was like my “get out of jail free card”. Because God was good… He HAD to bless me and take care of me.
It started when I was real young…
God is great, God is good, Let us thank Him
For our food. Aaaa-men.
That was what my sister and I prayed as a blessing over the food when we were kids.
We were ingrained with the idea that God was innately good. Abundantly good. A quick look around our childhood proved this idea correct. We had abundant food and though we may not have been setting the fashion trends in our school, we had plenty of clothes and a roof over our head. My sister and I never doubted that God was good.
Why would I have even questioned if God was good?
In addition, that was what I learned in my church. For many years, I have heard it repeated over and over again.
In various ways, God’s goodness comes up in plenty of “Christian” conversations:
• “Got the test results back. No cancer. God is good!”
• “I’m so glad I waited. He’s such a good husband and daddy to our kids. God is good!”
• “They offered me the job! God is good!”
• “Loving the view from our balcony of the sun coming up over the ocean! God is good!”
• “Tithes and offerings and attendance are up. God is good!”
Not to play devil’s advocate here, but would God cease to be good if your tests revealed cancer? What if you were the lady who waited on a Godly man but remained single? What if you didn’t get the job? Is God still good if your family seemed to be the only one not spending a week at the beach this summer? If your church was on the edge of irrelevancy, would you still say that God is good…all the time?
Or maybe–if you have identified your current situation in the above scenarios–I should ask, is God any less good? What happens when bad things happen to good people and good things happen to those who are bad?
Is your faith journey a “what have you done for me lately” faith?
Is God more of a genie in a bottle, ready to bless you if you can just figure out the right formula to control Him? How little difficulty does it take to derail your faith?
We need to answer these questions so we can honestly answer the all important question of whether God is really good all the time or not.
Do you want me to wrap it up, give you a nice, neat answer? One that can give you the secret to turning on the uninterrupted faucet of God’s goodness in your life?
I’m not that guy. You see…
- I’ve prayed fervently with a clean heart for friends with cancer. Some have survived that evil monster; others have succumbed to it.
- I have witnessed men of God, preachers, that have prayed fervently to remove the burden of depression in their life, only to have the prayer seemingly go unanswered.
- I know of Godly, faithful men and women who have lost a child at birth.
- I have sat in the living room of the parents that have to deal with the loss of a daughter… taken way too soon from this earth.
- I have personal friends that are widowed way too soon in this life.
- I have witnessed some really bad things happen to people who were faithful to God.
So…is God really good?
I say yes. Not in a childhood yes kind of way or a Christian cliché kind of yes, but yes, nonetheless.
What we really need to understand and accept is the fact that life is hard. God never promises that we will not endure the pain that this life can give. As a matter of fact, God tells us that we should expect it.
If we don’t accept that simple idea we will find ourselves disappointed, bitter or worse….we will give up on this faith walk with God. The truth is that “God is good” is not at all about my circumstances, but is all about His nature and His character. Because He is good even my difficult days are a blessing because a good God is in charge of my life. Because He is good I can endure financial troubles. Because He is good, cancer can be part of His kind work in my life.
When I make His goodness about my circumstances I will quickly become disillusioned….but when I make His goodness about His nature and how He deals with me then even bad day, difficult problems and health issues change because a good God rules my life.
Is God good all the time? YES! And even when life isn’t so good, wonderful, sweet, loving and good God is working through it all for my good and His glory.
So… is God Good All the Time?
God Is Good… All the Time… …and All the Time… …God is Good!