I need to share this message with you without being critical, accusatory, or dismissive. I’ve wrestled with it myself for some time now, and I pray it’s marinated enough in my soul to move into yours with grace.
We — the ones who follow Jesus and declare to the world we are His children — we must stop saying God is good only when good happens in our lives. When we declare His goodness and proclaim it only in times of personal blessing, we give the world half the story, and we build them up to believe a lie that could ultimately bring them devastation.
You see, they are asking, “Is God good?”, and they are silently wondering, “Could He be good to me?” Our own responses impact their understanding.
God is always good, not only when we see it.
God is always good, not only when we feel it.
God is always good, not only when we are blessed.
Jesus Himself declared, “In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). An undeniable part of following Christ is being troubled in this life. We will be – are guaranteed to be – misunderstood, rejected, abused, and outcast. Yet in those very times, God is still good. His power, might, love, and authority are not diminished because of our hardships. His goodness does not ebb and flow.
God is just as good on your very worst day as He is when your bank account is overflowing.
He’s just as good in your cancer diagnosis as He is in your health.
He’s just as good in the bad as He is in the good.
We have to stop equating His goodness with our moments of ease, financial security, and preferred circumstances. His goodness does not change, and when we only proclaim “God is so good” when we feel good, we proclaim to the world that we have a fickle god. We suggest, like Job’s friends did, that His provision and blessing are in some way related to our own worthiness and behavior.
Here’s what I know from my own long days in the valley of the shadow: God is present in our tragedy, and His presence is the balm to our wounds. God is sweet to us in our suffering, and His nearness is more tangible then. God speaks through our tears, and we hear Him differently than when we are dancing in our joy.
Yes, He is good. Even in what seems bad.
Consider these words from Job himself, a man who experienced more bad than most of us ever will: “The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21).
The implication for us? We are to bless His name no matter what. We are to proclaim His goodness even when we don’t feel it. We are to exalt His name even as we weep.
Job again declares, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him” (Job 13:15).
The world is watching. And when they see us declaring God’s favor in the bounty but remaining silent in the drought, they believe good times demonstrate His goodness and bad times find Him faulty or distant.
This article originally appeared at JennieGScott.com.