“God is good; all the time God is good.” My body braced each time the congregation erupted with this exhortation. Yet, I would robotically join in, even though I didn’t fully believe what I was saying. The worst part, I was a pastor’s wife! The Sunday comments by a group of deacons concerning the church down the road growing and wondering why ours wasn’t, or, as I entered the lady’s restroom and the ladies would abruptly end their conversation, these and more played in my mind. I had allowed the criticism of others to cloud my view of Scripture and to harden my heart toward the Lord. But it had started long before becoming a pastor’s wife. I just didn’t know it.
No one could have been more shocked than I was when the realization of what was wrong in my heart finally made it to my head! How can you believe that God has saved you from your sins and NOT believe in the goodness of God? Sadly, God’s goodness had been negated through years of disappointments, struggles, and depression. Instead of allowing the truth of Scripture to uphold my belief system, I had allowed the events of life to change what I had previously learned about God. Were all those verses of Scripture that talked about His goodness and righteousness just fluff? Were they only in the Bible to make God look “good”? Or, were they the foundation that I was to build my security and peace on? Was I neglecting what would actually provide the best prescription medicine needed to a healthier and happier me? Once again, the Holy Spirit spoke truth into my heart and reminded me that the Creator of me and Sustainer of me, knows what’s best for me. He delights in those who take Him at His Word. His Word is all the proof we need; His Word is more sufficient and reliable than any confirmation of our feelings.
He Indeed is good (2 Chronicles 5:13); Truly He is good (2 Chronicles 7:3); He is good (Psalm 106:1); He is good (Psalm 136:1); Your wonderful goodness (Psalm 145:7); The Lord is good to everyone (Psalm 145:9). These and other passages direct and counsel our hearts to believe the Scripture and remember God’s character and nature. Daily reminding ourselves of these truths generates a wealth of peace and security.
Recognize there are seasons where we just don’t FEEL the goodness of God. But, as His children we can have the reassuring peace the Bible offers that while all things might not be good, He will work ALL things for GOOD (Romans 8:28) because HE IS GOOD. Follow through on what Scripture says, and I promise you, it won’t be long before those feelings change. Our focus and meditations* of our hearts will reset our feelings. It may take a while but don’t give up! He can be trusted. God knows the struggle and He promises when we draw close to Him, He will draw close to us (James 4:8). When we call upon Him, He responds.** He’s not heartless; He’s a God of Heart, and His character is good, righteous and true! Check it out; the Bible repeatedly points to these unchanging, never-ending qualities of our Heavenly Father.
As 2018 took off, God highlighted a beautiful Psalm for me, A Psalm known for the goodness of God:
Psalm 145 [New Living Translation]
A psalm of praise of David.
1 I will exalt you, my God and King,
and praise your name forever and ever.
2 I will praise you every day;
yes, I will praise you forever.
3 Great is the Lord! He is most worthy of praise!
No one can measure his greatness.
4 Let each generation tell its children of your mighty acts;
let them proclaim your power.
5 I will meditate on your majestic, glorious splendor
and your wonderful miracles.*
6 Your awe-inspiring deeds will be on every tongue;
I will proclaim your greatness.
7 Everyone will share the story of your wonderful goodness;
they will sing with joy about your righteousness.
8 The Lord is merciful and compassionate,
slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.
9 The Lord is good to everyone.
He showers compassion on all his creation.
10 All of your works will thank you, Lord,
and your faithful followers will praise you.
11 They will speak of the glory of your kingdom;
they will give examples of your power.
12 They will tell about your mighty deeds
and about the majesty and glory of your reign.
13 For your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom.
You rule throughout all generations.
The Lord always keeps his promises;
He is gracious in all he does.
14 The Lord helps the fallen
and lifts those bent beneath their loads.
15 The eyes of all look to you in hope;
you give them their food as they need it.
16 When you open your hand,
you satisfy the hunger and thirst of every living thing.
17 The Lord is righteous in everything he does;
he is filled with kindness.
18 The Lord is close to all who call on him,
yes, to all who call on him in truth.**
19 He grants the desires of those who fear him;
he hears their cries for help and rescues them.
20 The Lord protects all those who love him,
but he destroys the wicked.
21 I will praise the Lord,
and may everyone on earth bless his holy name
forever and ever.
What’s keeping you from believing in God’s goodness right now?