Recently I checked out the Wednesday poetry prompt on the Writer’s Digest site. There the poet in charge of the site instructed we poets to write a poem with this prompt: good ______.
I started my poem, but as I wrote down all that came to mind concerning the word “good,” God’s goodness preoccupied my thoughts.
Later I looked up verses that contained the Word “good” in connection with God.
As I studied these verses, I observed in each one a phrase which contained an action.
If I believe God is good, I will act upon it, I concluded.
I confess I’ve waged battles in my mind (I see now the enemy planted thoughts there) in regard to God’s goodness. I believe I serve a good God, but when tragedy strikes, I wonder about His goodness toward me. One lie I believe: I’m not good enough to experience His goodness.
Years ago a young woman I know well struggled to believe in an all-good God after she experienced a date rape which left her in despair. Why did a good God allow that? her mind asked again and again.
Then one day she announced, “God is good because He says so. I don’t get to decide based on what happens to me.”
Her declaration helped me during those days. I began to learn to separate what happens to me from God’s goodness. I saw the good He brought from every trial and tragedy and how if I turned to Him, He comforted, sustained, and loved me beyond measure.
I meet people on a regular basis who turned from God because they concluded (although they may not say these exact words) God is not good. How often I hear these words, “How can a good God allow such suffering in this world?”
As I read verses on the goodness of God, I realized if these people and myself would again and again take the action connected with the “God is good” statement in these verses, they would help us convince our souls of the fact.
Here are the verses:
God and upright is the LORD; therefore He instructs sinners in the way.” Psalm 25:8 NASB
If I allow God to instruct me, I discover His goodness.
“O taste and see that the LORD is good. How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him.” Psalm 34:8
If I take refuge in God, I discover and bask in His goodness.
For Thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive, And abundant in lovingkindness to all who call upon Thee.” Psalm 86:5
The question came as I read that verse, “Can I know His goodness if I refuse to call upon Him—especially in hard times?” So many people refuse to call upon God but instead call upon the supposed wise people of this world. How often I fall into that trap.
“Praise the LORD, for the LORD is good; Sing praise to His name, for it is lovely.” Psalm 135:3
As I sing praise to God and worship His name, I feel certain of His goodness.
If we do these four actions on a regular basis, our souls grow stronger and move closer to the belief in a God who is good, all-good, and good all of the time:
-Receive His instructions.
-Take refuge in Him.
-Call upon Him.
-Sing praises to His name.
Each of these requires we draw close to the Lord. My greatest battles in regard to God’s goodness happen when I back off from God.
In the midst of my study of these “good” verses, another verse came to mind: “Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character.’” 1 Corinthians 15:33 NIV
My problem at times centers on my tendency to seek bad company when life falls apart. I listen to those with weak faith or no faith at all. If the above verse is true, then this statement also proves true: “Good company builds good character.”
When I first typed the above sentence, I typed “God company…” That also holds true since God is all-good. “God (or good) company builds good character.”
To spend time with God means His goodness rubs off on me as I seek truth, celebrate His goodness, and determine to walk in His ways. In the days ahead, I want to spend even more time with God–in His Word, in prayer, and in times of worship.
As I spent time with God two days ago, He gave me these truths about how to end my struggle with doubting His goodness. I pray today and in the future I will daily receive His instructions, take refuge in Him, call upon Him, and sing praises to His name.
A song echoes in my mind, “God is so good. God is so good. God is so good. He’s so good to me.”
Yes He is.
I look forward to my continued celebration of His goodness.