"God is good."
It's one of the earliest Bible truths we learn as toddlers. Southern Baptist preschool curriculum used to call them "Bible thoughts."
"Be kind." "Jesus loves you." "Love one another." "God is love." "Help one another." "God created the world."
"God is good."
Basic, foundational truth.
As we get older, we learn the songs:
God is so good.We learn the verses:
God is so good.
God is so good.
He's so good to me.
Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!
~ 1 Chronicles 16:34
For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.~Psalm 100:5
Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!~Psalm 34:8
We learn it. We talk about it. We believe it.
Until the day comes when God's goodness is challenged, when we find ourselves questioning what we've always been taught and believed.
Cancer. Death of a loved one. Loss of a child. Sexual assault. Financial catastrophe. Betrayal by a spouse or loved one.
Life is not always rosy. It doesn't always go according to plan. Tragedy and loss happen.
It's in that place that the questions begin.
"Is God really good?" "If God is truly good, why did He let this happen?"
At this point, one of two things happens. We succumb to Satan's lies, lies as old as the Garden, or we wrestle through with God.
Satan's original deceit in the Garden was to cause Eve to question what she knew about God. "Did God really say...?" He told her that she wouldn't surely die, that God forbade them to eat of the tree because He knew it would make them like Him.
He told them God didn't really want what was best for them. He told them God was trying to keep good things from them.
God really isn't good.
Succumbing to those lies led to grave consequences for Eve, for Adam, and for the rest of the human race. It leads to grave consequences for us as well.
The wrestling, though, the wrestling can lead to blessing.
I have wrestled. I have wrestled with all I was taught as a child about God's goodness. I remember vividly where I was sitting and the thoughts that went through my mind at the time.
"If God is sovereign (which I've always been taught that He is) and if God is good (which I've always been taught that He is), then how on earth could He sit and watch this happen?
"This" being the violent crime perpetrated against a child. My child.
I wrestled. I cried. I prayed. I couldn't pray. I searched Scripture...on the days I could even manage to crack open my Bible. Others prayed for, cried with, and gave Scripture to me.
And God in His great mercy brought blessing through the wrestling.
The wrestling can lead to the blessing of knowing that we know that we know.
The wrestling can lead to the blessing of that childhood faith growing up, moving closer to maturity and completeness.
The wrestling can cause us to know that God is good, "a whole lot more, for sure." (Steven Curtis Chapman)
Are you wrestling with God's goodness today? I'd love to pray for you. Message me via the contact box in the sidebar.
How has God shown you His goodness? I'd love to hear in the comments section!
For more on the truth of God's goodness, check out these links:
Stories of God's Faithfulness in My Wrestling:
"I Know a Whole Lot More For Sure"
Thankful Thursday - God's Goodness (Life Isn't Always Good)
"It's All Good" (Is it really? Yes, it really, really is.)
On the Subject of Suffering...
Believing God is Good in the Face of Severe Pain and Coming Death:
Remembering Mr. Bill-Foy Shared by one of my dad's closest friends at Daddy's funeral. About a week before this, I sat on the foot of my dad's bed, seeing the intense pain that had been his constant companion clouding his eyes, as he said to me with tears in his eyes, "God has been so good to me." A testimony to God's goodness that God used a couple of years later in my own time of wrestling.
If God is so Powerful and So Good, Why Do Bad Things Happen? Voddie Baucham on the subject of God's goodness in the face of bad stuff. Another thing God used in a major way in my life as I wrestled.
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