Does God’s Goodness Always Feel Good?

I want the goodness of God to always feel good, but is this realistic?

I want the goodness of God to always feel good, but is this realistic?

When loss is the uninvited guest of our home, we feel something about it. The loss seems to invite feelings of grief, mourning, aching that crush the core of the one living in the loss. It seems to be in these times we ache for answers to help us understand the purpose of the pain. “How can God be good when this is so painful?”, we say aloud or keep it tucked away in the secret parts of our heart so no one knows you are questioning the goodness of God.

God created us to have feelings and it doesn’t make us weak to express them. We hurt so we cry. We are excited so we laugh. We are happy so we smile. We are tired so we sleep (or are grumpy all day… if you’re anything like me). We are stressed so we drink wine. We lose a loved one so we grieve.

Yet when feelings become the dictator of our life, we can quickly lose heart. How do you respond when met with all of these feelings? Do you cast your cares on the Lord (Psalm 55:22 NIV)? Do you trust the Lord with all your heart (Proverbs 3:5 NIV)? Do you let God’s love drive out your fear (1 John 4:18)? How you respond in the face of your feelings can be the regluing or undoing of you.

God’s goodness does not always feel good. The book of Job clearly exposes this reality. I wonder how many people walk around feeling wounded by God because they have allowed their feelings to be the dictator of their life.

Ten years ago, I would have confidently exclaimed God’s goodness and it would have felt good to say. I would even provide you with evidence of his goodness in my life, but the reality is this evidence was based on circumstances that felt good. My feelings dictated my belief about God’s goodness.

On June 24, 2011, my feelings became the most unreliable source of truth for me. I was met with the devastation that would forever change how I did
life with the Lord. What appeared to be evidence of God’s abandonment was just the beginning of the stripping of a belief system that was faulty. He was soon going to cloth me with one that was true from the source of truth, my Jesus.

God’s goodness has not always felt good but, I can firmly say, He has always worked the pain for my good. It has been the saving of my soul that has been worth it all. With an aching in my gut and a tears welling in my eyes, I can testify that He has been worth it. It’s been through the tragedies- that resulted from June 24- I have been gifted with some of the most intimate times with God, in turn deepening my faith.

Romans 8:28 tells us, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (NIV) This Scripture does not say, “And we know that all things are good for us.” We can trust that He is going to work all things for our good even when it is not good for us.

Death is not good for us! Dear one, if death was good for us there would be no need for Jesus to come and die and be resurrected to save us from death. He died on that cross because death is not good for us. Death is terrible and excruciatingly painful and not what God intended when he created this world (Genesis 1-3 NIV). If you are walking the road of losing a loved one, lean into Jesus. He knows this is not what is good for you but he will work it for your good. Abide in Him and you will produce lasting fruit and much of it, even though you feel as if you might die from grief (John 15).

If you are walking alongside someone who is grieving, will you share this truth with them? This may be the breath of fresh air they are longing for. This may be their break from the idealism of the well meaning that is suffocating them. They just may need someone to come and sit with them and say, “this is terrible”. Your friend can be in excruciating pain and still trust God is going to work this out for her good. I’m so grateful for the testimony of Katherine and Jay Wolf in their book Hope Heals,

No amount of catharsis or perspective finding will change the fact that our situation is terribly sad and deeply broken. I can give God the glory, and it can still hurt. I used to cry myself to sleep every night. But I have learned, above all other lessons, that healing for each person is spiritual.
We will be fully restored in heaven, but we are actually healed on earth right now. My experience has caused me to redefine healing and to discover a hope that heals the most broken places: our souls (page 18).

Are you struggling because you desperately want God’s goodness to always feel good?

I did too.

It feels like a crushing blow when this truth is met with your inescapable reality that life- no matter how many years pass, new life that grows, exciting experiences that arise- is now filtered through the lens of loss. But this is where hope comes in, dear one. We can look forward with the hope that someday God’s goodness will always feel good because all will be made right (Revelation 21 NIV). As you wait expectantly for that day, you can experience healing of the most broken place right now: your soul.

Maria Bowersock

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The Goodness of the Lord

Not every circumstance will be resolved the way you want, or how you plan it. But if you are obedient and make God your first priority, and if you wait upon the Lord, you will see His goodness in your daily life. (See Psalm 27:13-14.)

I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD; be strong and let your heart take courage; yes, wait for the LORD.” (Psalm 27:13-14 NAS)

 

God is in Control

Last month, I posted a blog called When It’s Not About You. In it, I mentioned a situation that was frustrating my husband Robby and me. A large pine tree had fallen from the property behind us, across the corner of our yard, coming to rest in the tree limbs above the house of our next-door neighbor, Lynn. At first, we were upset about being in the middle of a contentious situation, but then God shifted our concern to Lynn, a senior citizen.

God showed us that His thoughts are higher than our thoughts. (See Isaiah 55:9.) He wasn’t worried about our sense of right and wrong, or even about our finances—not because He’s distant and callous but because He’s in control of those things. His concern in this situation was for Lynn’s welfare, and He was giving us the opportunity to help her, to be useful for the Kingdom.

Robby and I were so convicted! We immediately set a date to have the tree removed. Unfortunately, the earliest date available was still weeks away. We had just stepped out in obedience and faith, and now we were playing the waiting game! Every morning, we opened the blinds and saw that awful dead tree, spread across Lynn’s roof, and we prayed that it wouldn’t fall before it could be removed safely.

 

God is Still Good

Then, something amazing happened. When I was off from work one afternoon, I heard a knock at the door. It was a man from a different tree company asking if they could access our property. It turned out that the owner of the tree finally decided to have it removed—at his expense! I sat outside and watched as they cut the tree down and gently lowered it to the ground. It was so brittle that some of the limbs cracked and fell, but there was no damage to Lynn’s house!

I called our family to tell them the good news. Not only was the situation resolved, and Lynn was safe, but we didn’t have to pay the $1500 to remove the tree ourselves! Everyone was as amazed as we were. What if I hadn’t been home that day…what if the tree company we had hired had come out earlier…how had the tree withstood the recent hurricane…why did the owner finally agree to pay for the tree’s removal….? This was definitely a “God situation.”

Robby and I were obedient to the Lord when we made the appointment to have the tree removed. We had agreed to trust in God and do the right thing, no matter the cost. Now, I see that God was setting us up—not as a test but as a reminder of His goodness and provision. What a reminder that God really does loves us, and He is willing and able to take care of our needs! (See Luke 12:28-31.)

 

 Trust in the Lord

Whatever your situation is today, I encourage you to trust in the Lord. (See Proverbs 3:5.) His Word can still calm the storm; He is still our shield and protector; and He is a saving defense to His people. (See Matthew 8:27 and Psalm 27:7-8.)

Not every circumstance will be resolved the way you want, or how you plan it. But if you are obedient and make God your first priority, and if you wait upon the Lord, you will see His goodness in your daily life. (See Psalm 27:13-14.)

Ashley L. Jones of BigSisterKnows.com

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