03 Nov, 2023 Is God REALLY good ALL the time?
By Summer Lane
Is God really good ALL the time? This is a question that dogs many people – Christians and non-believers alike. When horrible things happen to us throughout our lives, it can be hard to believe that God is good And yet, the Bible reminds us frequently that our God is good. “The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth,” Exodus 34:6 tells us.
I find that God’s goodness is most obvious in my life when I look at things in retrospect. In the heat of the moment, in the depths of the worst kinds of pain, I am often so blinded by my broken-heartedness and disappointment that if you were to ask me if God was good, I would probably say, “Ask me later.”
Theologically and logically, I know that God is good. But it doesn’t always feel like it, does it? I write this because I think that as Christians, we delude ourselves when we try and act like we’re always understanding and trusting of God’s will. Many of us struggle with it. Some more than others. It’s part of living in this broken, miserable, sin-riddled world. Our existence is mired in pain, suffering, and setbacks. If it’s not emotional trauma that eats away at our day-to-day lives, it’s physical pain, disease, and our looming mortality. When you start to think about how much life sucks, it’s easy to question the goodness of God.
Granted, there are some people whose lives don’t suck that much – and hey, maybe they never have or never will. Good for them. But for most of us out here in “realsville,” we know that life is unpredictable and full of hurt.
I’m the type of person who wrestles daily – sometimes hourly – with deep feelings of discontent and fear of the future. I am never content with where I’m at. I always want more, because I can always envision the next step. Once I achieve something, I look to the next finish line in the distance. That becomes my point of focus. My entire existence becomes consumed with reaching this singular goal. Some of you might identify with this!
I have to constantly remind myself of this verse: “Every good gift and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change” (James 1:17).
It’s very hard to be still and sit in gratitude when we feel crushed by the weight of life’s horrific burdens. And yet, we must. There’s no other way to survive them than to cling to God’s promise of love and hope.
I think that I’ve spent a lot of time in life grasping for explanations. “Why me?” is probably my favorite question to ask. I look around at the seemingly perfect, poised, and cheery pictures of Christians around me who are reasonably stressed about life but who seem to enjoy their existence, nevertheless. It’s hard not to compare, right?
Questions of doubt arise in my head in those moments and I wonder: how can I get through this? I think about what happened to Job in the Bible and I wonder what we’re supposed to learn from that. That suffering is inevitable? That God can let Satan have free access to us at any time? Not exactly comforting! And yet, these questions don’t frighten me. They encourage me to dig deeper into Scripture to find the answers, because even in my weakest and darkest moment, I take solace knowing that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God, so I know that it will never lie to me.
These are logical questions, and we shouldn’t be afraid to talk about them. In fact, these types of questions, when they remain unanswered, are what tend to drive people away from church. The tough ones. The painful ones. The ones that nobody wants to discuss because the answers aren’t taken from a chapter of “Chicken Soup for the Soul.”
The truth is, life is painful. It’s more painful for some than others. This is a fact. There’s nothing we can do about it. It comes down to this: we live in a fallen, sinful world. Until we die, we will not be relieved of this pain. That does not mean that God is not a good God.
Psalm 33:5 says, “He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.”
We have to choose to believe this, even if we don’t feel joyful in our souls. I can look at my life and see His fingerprints on it, but in the present, and certainly in looking ahead to the future, there is a lot of anxiety. The future is unknown, scary, and probably will be filled with more letdowns and disappointments.
But, despite this, we have to look to the Lord. “Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting,” Psalm 11:4-5 reminds us.
I often tell younger friends of mine that when it comes to marriage, love is not always a feeling. It’s a choice! Infatuation is not the same thing as love, and it never could be. In the same way, Christians have to leave the infatuation stage of their faith behind and choose to love Christ. This means that we have to choose to be faithful and trusting even when we DON’T feel like it. Our feelings can be so deceptive, that’s why we can’t completely lean on them when it comes to our relationship with the Lord (Jeremiah 17:9). I believe it was Amy Davison who said, “Feelings are a great check engine light but a terrible GPS.” How true!
Some theologians will counter that love is not just a choice, and I agree. It’s not “just” a choice. It’s a starting point, after which should follow actionable behavior.
This is, perhaps, the hardest and most difficult truth of Christianity for me, personally. Jesus tells us in Matthew 22:37, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.”
I encourage you to do that as you head into this weekend. Trust God despite the hurricane of life that you may find yourself in. It’s easier said than done, I know. But in the Lord you’ll at least find a solid, steady rock of support. You won’t find that in anyone else, and we can be grateful for that.
The opinions in this article are specific to its author, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the entire Counter Culture Mom team. This specific article was written by Summer Lane, and may not be reproduced, except to quote for reviews or interviews, without the express permission of the author.
Summer Lane is the #1 bestselling author of 30 books, including the hit Collapse Series and Resurrection Series. She is an experienced journalist and columnist who reports on news within the U.S. and abroad. She is the Associate Editor for Right Side Broadcasting Network. Additionally, she analyzes politics and policies on The Write Revolution.
Summer is also a mom and wife who enjoys rural country living, herding cats, and gardening. She is passionate about writing about women’s issues, parenting, and politics from a theologically-grounded perspective that points readers to the good news of the gospel.
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