Think about the best things that have happened to you lately. If you’re a Christian who has received a promotion, a raise, a new car, a bigger home, a newer home, a good report from the doctor, a healthy baby delivered, or that job you’ve always wanted…you’ve probably said these words:
“God is so good!” And you’re absolutely right…He is.
But could there be more to His goodness than just the bright side of your story? It seems like our first response when things are going right is to declare His goodness, but the Bible paints a picture of God’s character of goodness even in the darker times. Was God still good when He allowed Satan to afflict Job with suffering? Was God still good when He didn’t answer Paul’s prayer to remove the torment of Satan via the thorn in the flesh? Now personalize it. Is God still good if you lose your job, lose your home, can’t have a child, or doctor says you have 6 months to live?
It’s a sobering thought that will test the core foundation of how we view God.
God’s goodness is based on His character. Which means that your career advancement and good health are unrelated to whether or not He is good. He is good and He is good all the time – no matter what our circumstances might be.
Consider the following biblical examples of how God’s goodness means more than just good times:
|The Example||The Extent||The Edification|
|Job (Job 1-3, Job 38-42)||Job loses his kids, his health, his wealth and friends; His wife says, “Curse God!”||Job experiences a deeper relationship with God, is blessed by God, restored.|
|Paul (2 Corinthians 12:7-10)||A messenger of Satan that torments Paul like a thorn in the flesh. God won’t alleviate his torment.||Paul experiences the extravagance of God’s grace and learns that God’s power is perfected in weak people.|
|The Church in Smyrna (Revelation 2:8-11)||They suffer. The devil is allowed to cast them into prison, yet they must be faithful unto death.||They received the crown of life and enter into the eternal glory of God as honored martyrs.|
|Peter (Luke 22:31-34)||Satan asks permission to sift Peter like wheat – is allowed. Denies Jesus and fails Him.||Peter is restored, becomes a pillar of strength in the early church. Suffers faithfully; never to deny His Lord again.|
These examples are just the tip of the iceberg. When we search through the pages of Scripture we quickly find that God is good no matter what we’re going through, and that His purposes and methods are beyond what we can comprehend. That doesn’t change the reality of our pain at certain times, but as real as the suffering is, the rewards and blessings for those who remain faithful are monumentally greater – and priceless.
Though God may allow Satan to roam the earth on His leash for a time, there is coming a day when Satan will be bound and cast into the lake of fire for eternity (Rev. 20:1-15). In the grand scheme of things, he is simply a pawn on God’s chess board as He works all things together for His good (Rom. 8:28).
Always remember, God’s allowance of your trials is rooted in love. He loves you so much that He will grow you and sanctify you until eternity, then reward you for being faithful – how good is that?
Enjoy the daily battle in the faith as it is used to test you, shape you, and grow you for the glory of God (Phil. 1:6).
God is good…. all the time.