I doubt God’s goodness more often than I want to admit.
I believe that God is good but I live expecting the worst. Recently there have been circumstances God has surprised me by them not working out the way I thought. They were better. And given God’s nature to be good, steadfast, faithful and all together perfect, I should expect Him to have more positive and life-giving outcomes of things He is involved in, including the things in my life.
Then why, given what I know that about God, why do I expect so little? Why is it more comfortable to not expect much?
I think because I also know depravity of man. I have felt it’s sting, been under it’s wrath. I let the pain of suffering weight in too heavily into the argument. Let’s be honest, sometimes it’s all I hear. But when I allow the reality of evil in the world to be bigger than the steadfast, righteous and good God I worship, the King over the world, I am degrading His glory. I am stripping him of what he deserves: All my faith, all my worship and all my trust. Cause God wins. At times it might not feel it, at times I feel stuck in the mud or endlessly wandering the desert valley, but in the end He wins. And he already won and I am supposed to live in the knowledge of that. I think this is why God says:
“But let him who boasts, boast in this – that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight” (Jeremiah 9:23-24)
So I want to repent of this preparation. The readying myself for situations in preparation for the worst. I trust too heavily in my instinct and ability to read people and to protect myself from harm. But God, even the pain and the discipline you bring me under when I enter your presence, I see the end. I see you as good, and therefore the pain as good to me. I cannot believe you, without experiencing your goodness. Help me not run from your discipline, or hide from your reprove, for to me I would rather stay under the Hand of God than to run into the unknown where God is not.
But sometimes, you don’t choose suffering to grow me. Sometimes you choose joy! I will rejoice in that! You are so much better than I give you credit for. You are incredible. No situation or struggle you bring me through is thoughtless or without purpose. But you also choose to bless, grow, breathe life into dead bodies, break bonds and set captives free. You care about my good and the good of your children. I don’t need to prepare. I don’t need to self protect. I need to lean. Lean into the Spirit…. Lean into You. You knew that blessing would remind me that I can trust you. You can handle this – You have got this perfectly figured out. You do not need my help. You want my heart and soul.
So I am just freaking thankful. Thankful that God loves me enough to remind me of his goodness. That although his plans include suffering, his goodness and power is ever present and I can continually trust.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6
“And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you.” Psalm 9:10
“All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep his covenant and his testimonies.” Psalm 25:10
“How precious is your steadfast love, O God! The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings.” Psalm 36:7
“No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.” Psalm 84:11