How do we know that God is good when our lives feel bad?
We’ve been conditioned to think of God as a doting parent whose function is to shield us from unpleasant circumstances. We have learned to equate the goodness of God with the rightness of our circumstances.
We are like the little girl who, when she got what she wanted, exclaimed, “God must really like me!” Or conversely, when things were not going her way, she pouted, “Why is God punishing me like this?”
King David did not make this mistake. He knew that God’s goodness is based on His character traits of mercy and love which never change. David knew about adversities. Maligned by friends and family, hunted by King Saul, hiding in caves and fearing for his life, David poured out his anguish to God. Then he made an astonishing declaration: “Remember, O LORD, your great mercy and love, for they are from of old…according to your love remember me, for you are good, O LORD. Good and upright is the LORD” (Psalm 25:6-8).
Our circumstances are not an accurate reflection of God’s goodness. Whether life is good or bad, God’s goodness, rooted in his character, is always the same. Knowing this, David could sing of the goodness of God, whether he was peacefully tending his sheep or fearfully running from his enemies. “All the ways of the LORD are loving and faithful,” he writes (Psalm 25:10). “Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him” (Psalm 34:8).
God’s goodness is the same on bad days as it is on good days.
People who attest to God’s goodness in their lives do not experience an absence of trouble but rather have a keen awareness of God’s presence in every situation.
Father, I thank you that You are always good and what You do is good also.
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