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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Is Jesus Enough…for me?

Is God Enough?

My parents died in a plane crash 5 years ago. Every year, on the anniversary of their death, it’s hard, really hard. I always take time out of my day to stop, reflect and remember. I want to remember. I want to remember the good but I also want to remember the pain of that phone call, the nightmare of their death and the days and months following. Why? Because it’s the depth of my pain [over their loss] that reminds me just how crazy over them, how deep my love for them truly was. I want to remember. I want to feel pain.

Jesus. Jesus died on the cross for my sins. Jesus rose from the dead. Jesus saved me from hell. I can be with Jesus in eternity forever and ever because of today. Jesus.

As a Christian, I ramble these truths off like I’m reading a magazine article with the latest celebrity gossip and it wasn’t until this year that I was really broken over this reality. It wasn’t until this year I realized something is not right here.

My parents die and my grief naturally draws and takes me to a place of wanting to miss them, even wanting to feel the pain of their absence. Jesus dies to save my life, is the reason I have the ability to extend any love and, instead of grief, I feel…well, not much. His death has always made me want to remember and reflect but in a distant, trivial kind of way. His death has never, until this year, made me want to grieve [my sin and his death] to the core. It’s not right. It just can’t be right because if it is, I’ve made idols out of my parents. I have to love him more. I have to…

Heavenly Father,

Help us learn to love you more. Help us learn what it means to even love you. We know you are good. We know you love us. Your word is so clear about who you are, but life can get so messy and trip us up and confuse us. You are not a God of confusion and so we move in accordance to your word. 

1 Corinthians 14:33 (ESV) “For God is not a God of confusion but of peace”

Luke 10:27 (ESV) “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”

Exodus 20:3 (ESV) “You shall have no other gods before me.”

2 Corinthians 12:9 (ESV) “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

Maria Bowersock

Read more from Maria @www.awomannamedfree.com

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