I love the joke my husband told recently about the two little boys who were misbehaving and had their mother totally frustrated on how to handle them. One day she was sharing this frustration with her neighbor. Oddly enough, the neighbor had the same problem once with her boys. So she offered some advice: “I took my boys to the pastor for some counseling, and it really helped.”
The other mom decided she would take the advice and do the same. So she made an appointment to take her boys. When they arrived at the pastor’s office, he took each one in separately. He sat the first one across from him at a table. The pastor and the young boy sat in silence for a few moments, when abruptly the pastor asked, “Where is God?” The little boy was not sure what to say. Some time passed. Then the pastor asked again, only a little louder, “Where is God?”
The little boy got up, ran out of the room, grabbed his brother, and said, “We’ve got to get out of here.” When his brother asked why, he replied, “They have lost God and are trying to pin it on us!”
There are times in all of our lives when we wonder where God is and what He is doing. Struggles, trials, illness, pandemics, financial problems, work issues, relational issues, and even death, can cause us to question God’s goodness to us.
Why is this? Could it be we are trying to find God in the wrong places or for the wrong reasons? Making the statement, “God is good; God is good all the time,” can become a cliché or a predictable statement in our speech. But do we really believe it?
Everything God does for us, He does for our good. He gives us a heart to love Him, a will to obey Him, and a spirit to fear Him, for our good and the good of our children. (Dr. Stanley)
Life lessons on God’s goodness are found all through His Word. One of these lessons is in the life story of Abraham. God placed His goodness right in front of Abraham and Sarah, but did they see it?
Genesis 17:1 tells us that when Abram was 99 years old, the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am God Almighty. Walk before me, and be blameless, that I may make my covenant between me and you, and I will multiply you greatly.”
In this chapter, God makes some incredible promises to Abram. He changes his name. Abram becomes the founder and father of the Jewish nation. He gives him a son at the age of 99. God walks and talks with him personally, and through his obedience, a Savior would bring redemption to the world. God’s goodness was written all over Abraham’s life!
Did Abraham always see or act upon the goodness of God given to him? No. In fact, when both he and Sarah were told they were going to have a son, they laughed at what God said and even questioned God. (Gen. 17:17 and 18:12)
Understanding God’s goodness to us involves obedience. It is about understanding that God – El Shaddai is God All-Powerful and God the All-Sufficient One.
God never changes. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. His goodness will never change because it is who He is. Recognizing and acknowledging God’s goodness is the key. That key can open our hearts to the very essence of who God is: goodness, mercy, grace, forgiveness and love.
“Teach me good judgement and knowledge, for I believe in your commandments. You are good and do good; teach me your statues.” (Psalm 119:66 and 68)
“I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear Me forever, for the good of them and their children after them.” (Jeremiah 32:29)
“Good and upright is the Lord; therefore, He instructs sinners in His ways. He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them His way.” (Psalm 25:8, 9)
“Show me Your ways, O Lord; teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are God of my salvation; on You I wait all the day. Remember, O Lord, Your tender mercies and Your lovingkindnesses, for they are from old. Do not remember the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions; according to Your mercy remember me, for Your goodness’ sake, O Lord. Good and upright is the Lord.” (Psalm 25:4-7)
God’s goodness abounds all around us.
“Father God, give us eyes to see Your goodness and hearts to receive it. Then we can say with David, ‘Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.’” Amen!
Nothing flourishes like goodness does.
Every good heart soars like an eagle in the sky.
Shine the light, let God’s glory glow.
Sow good seeds and goodness will grow.
(Excerpts from a poem by Beryl Stroud Edmonds)