In some churches, you’ll here the pastor or leader say “God is good,” to which the congregation replies, “all the time.” And “all the time,” he’ll ask? “God is good,” the congregation will confirm.
What a beautiful refrain that is; that all of the time, in all circumstances, God is good. He is loving. He is compassionate. He is faithful. He is patient. He is good to us, and gives us more than we could ever hope to earn.
I recently had a door open in my life that required a lot of trust in God. A friend contacted me a few months ago to say that she’d be moving out of her house, and her room would be open to rent, if I was interested. It’s in the neighborhood I wanted, I knew the two ladies who would also be living in this house, and it would be a huge cut in my rent. All good things!
But it also meant I would have to break my current lease and downsize quite a bit (going from living alone for several years to suddenly sharing a house with two others takes a lot of work!) But every step of the way I felt like this was the right choice. God opened every door and just about ushered me through.
And all along the way I could hear Him saying “trust me. I’ll work this all out. This is a good thing.” So with every step I took, I prayed “ok God, I trust you. I trust you’re going to work this out.” As I turned in paperwork to break my lease, I trusted God. As I scrambled to pack up, donate or throw away things, I trusted God. As I searched for a new tenant to take over my lease, I trusted God (a lot!)
I’m now moved into the new space, loving my new roommates and neighborhood, and recently found out my old apartment has re-rented, so I’m off the hook financially for the rest of that lease. God is so good! In this situation, it’s so easy for me to see the ways that God moved and made things happen. It was one of those times where everything just lined up perfectly.
But there are also times in our lives when the opposite seems to be true; if something is going to go wrong, it will. Maybe you took a leap of faith recently, and it didn’t go so well. Maybe you’ve been praying about something, but it feels like no one is listening. There are certainly other aspects of my life where I’ve prayed for God to take action or bring about a change, and He has not.
But God is still so good.
As believers, we are empowered to say this not because we are naïve or pushovers; we are not just rolling over and saying “ok God I guess you are still good even though my life kind of stinks right now.” God’s goodness is not dependent on us or our circumstances. He does not display His goodness and might by making our lives flawless. If we step away from ourselves, we see signs of His majesty and care everywhere.
Birds and animals finding plenty of food to eat in nature.
Your heart beating and your lungs working without you even thinking about it.
The sun rising across the earth, giving light and heat to the believer and unbeliever alike (Matthew 5:45).
We can even see His goodness in the way that He cares for us through the difficult times.
But the ultimate sign of His goodness, His love and compassion for all of humanity, is in the Gospel. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16, KJV).
God is so good. No matter how our lives are currently going, whether everything is falling perfectly into place or falling apart, God is still good. He cares so deeply for your that He sent His Son to earth, to live a perfect life that we could not, and to die a sacrificial death in our place. Because of His great love for us, we can have eternal life in Christ. There is nothing better than that!
But He is not apathetic toward us. Jesus lived a human life; He knows the trials and pain that we face. And He empathizes with us.
“The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him” (Nahum 1:7).
Because God is good, He is a refuge for the believer in times of trouble. He cares about you and is a comfort to us when we need it.
It’s easy to say “God is good” when the sun is shining, but we must be steadfast and cling to Him even when the storms come. The great author JRR Tolkien wrote “faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens.” Scripture does not promise us an easy walk through this life, especially if we choose to follow Jesus. But when difficulties arise, are you ready to stick with Him?
God’s goodness is not limited, and He is ready and willing to grant us good, pleasant things in this life. Just take a look at Scripture:
Old Testament goodness
“For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly” (Psalm 84:11).
“And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good” (Genesis 1:31).
New Testament goodness
“Every good gift and every 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).
“Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!” (1 Chronicles 16:34).
As believers, we are called to be like Christ, and that includes being good. We often hear this phrase associated with children or animals; I tell my dog to “be good” when I leave the house. But goodness in the Christian life is so much more than just not being bad. Goodness is even listed among the Fruit of the Spirit in Galatians:
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”
What would it look like for you to “be good” today? Maybe this looks like refocusing your mind, and intentionally spending time thinking on the good things God has placed in your life. Maybe it means you can think of some random acts of kindness to do for a stranger, whether that’s paying for another customer’s order, or giving a genuine compliment to your cashier or office cleaning lady.
Maybe (especially if it’s been a hard or frustrating season), it just means choosing to be positive that day, instead of grumpy or anxious. Pray about these things, and see where God leads you as you work to grow in goodness.
Let us never forget that God is good, all the time. And all the time? God is good. He sees you and cares for you, just as He sees and cares for all of creation. You are that important to Him.
Photo credit: Unsplash/Nghia-Le
Bethany Pyle is the editor for Bible Study Tools.com and the design editor for Crosscards.com. She has a background in journalism and a degree in English from Christopher Newport University. When not editing for Salem, she enjoys good fiction and better coffee.