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The Lord is Good No Matter Your Circumstances

The Lord is Good No Matter Your Circumstances

[Editor’s Note: This article was adapted The Body Tithe Devotional by Matthew Pryor with permission from Sophros, LLC (publisher), 2015.]

“Good” is such a generic term. “This chicken tastes good.” “That was a good movie.” “How are you doing, good?” What a boring adjective that more often than not, does a poor job of actually describing the subject you’re discussing. The chicken might be good, but good compared to what? Tuna? Did you mean it was flavorful and juicy? Was it good in the sense that it’s better than nothing… it’s fine… it will do?

What then do we make of this popular verse in Psalm 106:1,1 Chronicles 16:34, Ezra 3:11, Psalms 117, 118, and 136?

“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.” - Psalms 106:1 (NIV)

Yes, He is good, but good compared to what? Other gods? Well, yes, of course.

He’s good in that He is full of life and hope? Yep.

He’s good compared to the absence of a god? Well, that too, but so much more.

The Bible actually tell us just how good He is. You see, nearly every time it refers to the Lord as “good,” it follows with “his love endures forever.” So, the Lord is faithful, persistent, sustaining, everlasting, and perfect. Do you know of anyone else whose love is this way?

A few years back when our youngest was born, I emailed the new to the men in my Bible study group.

“Silas William Pryor was born at 6:20 p.m. weighing 9 pounds 1 ounce, 22 inches long. Mommy is doing great. Thanks for the prayers.”

The responses were all congratulatory and happy for the safe delivery. “Congrats!” “Way to go, Mom!” “Happy for you brother, God is good.” However, for the first time, the common response of “God is good” struck me differently.

Yes, yes, God is good. A healthy baby is what we prayed for and He graciously gave a perfectly healthy son.

Yet even if Silas had been born blind, deaf, or crippled, it wouldn't diminish God's goodness. In fact, His goodness can't be diminished... only magnified. Why? Because His love endures forever. His goodness, his enduring love would have sustained us throughout Silas’ life.

This is true whether Silas were born healthy or born with a crippling deformity or genetic disease. Through the tears of heartbreak, God’s love would endure. Through the silence of unanswered questions, His love would endure. Through limited mobility at the park when the other children were running freely, His love would endure. Through the special education or physical therapy he would require, God’s love would endure. There’s no end to something that endures forever!

Then, as we became more like Jesus during the very trying times, His goodness would be all the more magnified.

It’s hard not to be comforted by this. His love is so good that it will sustain us with our fitness, finances, relationships, work, and in all areas of our lives. As His love propels us, we will be able to recognize Him as the source of our strength. We will, as the verse declares, “Give thanks to the Lord,” and watch as His goodness is magnified!

While we’re on the subject of giving thanks, notice that the verse isn’t really presenting love and thankfulness as an “if-then” statement. The verse is not saying, “If his love endures, give thanks.”

The verse is not saying that thankfulness is an option either. It doesn’t say, “because of his love, if you’d like to, you can give thanks.”

In fact, the “give thanks” comes first. We give thanks ahead of time. This is an important distinction. Otherwise, we’re tempted to proclaim God’s goodness only in the times of blessing, as when Silas was born healthy. What then will we do during times of trial, such as when we later learned Silas had a life-threatening food allergy?

So in all areas of your life, be it fitness, family, finances, you name it, give thanks. Give thanks whether things are amazing or abysmal, for God is good. And from His goodness, He can sustain your continued efforts to honor Him while He brings glory to Himself.

You see, things are much different when you understand that the end of the story has already been determined. It’s much easier to rest, rejoice, and give thanks knowing His love prevails regardless of how hard the situation might be. His love is from everlasting to everlasting.

If the measure of “good” is a love that endures forever, then that description is good enough for me.

Matthew Pryor is the author of ”The Body Tithe Devotional: Spiritual Encouragement for Your Fitness Journey." He is also a personal trainer and the founder of the Christian fitness site Body Tithe University (BTU). BTU specializes in helping Christians get fit with one objective in mind: live more so you can give more.

Publication date: July 14, 2016