God is good even when life is not

This Thanksgiving, as part of our prayers, my family will say, “O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good.”

At one church we attended, every worship service began with:

Pastor: God is good.
Worshipers: All the time.
Pastor: All the time.
Worshipers: God is good.

When people I love talk about healing, recovery, restored relationships, and seeing God say yes to their prayers, they say, “God is good.” 

As we are all encouraged to list the things we are thankful for this Thanksgiving, the tangible ways we see God’s goodness in our lives fill my heart.

I love these reminders! It’s awesome to hear and see God getting the glory for the way he is working on this earth. Still . . . a nagging voice makes me wonder if we really believe that he is good all the time. And I mean All. The. Time. 

Maybe it’s because I don’t hear us remind each other of this truth when life is hard. Two years ago, when our house sale got delayed four times, I knew God was faithful, but I never said, “God is good.” At Thanksgiving, I’ve never heard, “This year was rough. Praise the Lord; he is good.” At every natural disaster, we hear hurting hearts question, “If God is good, why did he let this happen?”

What is the struggle in your life, the one where you need to be reminded that even when the situation is not good, God still is?

Watching a grandpa face ALS: God is good.

Struggling with desperate loneliness: God is good.

Being tempted by pornography and just barely winning the battle: God is good.

Burying a child: God is good.

When work just really, really stinks: God is good.

Helping teens navigate high school temptations, relationships, and pressures: God is good.

I’m not asking you to wear rose-colored glasses. Death is not good. Neither is temptation. Illness is not. Troubles with work are part of sin’s curse. Overdoses = bad. Loneliness is painful. But God is good. 

This year, we might be gathering around a table with breaking, grieving hearts. Still, we rely on the people our good God has given us to comfort us. Sometimes we proclaim “God is good!” with confidence, believing he will work good from this. Sometimes our voices shake, because we know he is good but we are struggling to see how. Sometimes we need others to not say it but to live it out for us in our darkest moments. Faith trusts that God will work all these hard, horrible things for the good of those who love him. 

For your good. 

Because he is good, and his mercy endures forever.

O give thanks to the Lord!

Linda Buxa is a writer, Bible study leader, and retreat speaker. She believes that God is good. She asks God to help her with her unbelief.

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