I want to ask you a question, and I want you to be honest with yourself. When do you find yourself reflecting on the goodness of God? In what circumstances do you find yourself caught up in the goodness of God?
The obvious church answer is “always.” Maybe you’ve sat in church and heard a preacher use these responsive words, “God is good (preacher speaking) … All the time (congregation responds) … All the time (preacher speaking) … God is good (congregation responds.”
I certainly believe that God is always good. However, I also know that in certain situations I’m prone to reflect on the goodness of God, while in other situations I’m prone to reflect on myself. Here’s what I mean:
- I’m prone to think about the goodness of God when I enjoy sweet moments with my family.
- I’m prone to think about the goodness of God when I experience the presence of God in worship.
- I’m prone to think about the goodness of God when I receive an unexpected blessing.
- I’m prone to think about the goodness of God when I take in the beauty of God’s creation.
Those situations are all good times to reflect on the goodness of God. There’s just one problem … Most of my life doesn’t fall into those pleasant categories. In fact, much of my life involves circumstances and situations that could be described as mundane, frustrating, painful, discouraging, stressful, and disappointing. What about these moments? I do believe God is always good, so why don’t I find myself naturally reflecting on the goodness of God when life isn’t what I want it to be?
The problem is me … And the problem is you, if you find yourself struggling with the same theological amnesia in life’s worse moments. The Bible says sin is a reality in our lives, and sin has a way of shrinking life down to the size of your life. Sin causes us all to turn inward in moments of frustration and pain and stress. Sin leads us to focus on ourselves and our circumstances instead of God who never changes.
These moments, the ones when you don’t naturally reflect on the goodness of God, are the moments you desperately need to remember that God is good. If your heart doesn’t naturally turn to the goodness of God, you must develop the habit of preaching to yourself in moments of crisis.
The prophet Jeremiah did this. He preached to himself. Go back and read Lamentations. Consider the horrendous circumstances of Jerusalem under siege, and hear Jeremiah preach these words to himself, “The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness … The LORD is good to those who wait for him.” (Lamentations 3:22-25)
When life takes you by surprise in a good way, you’ll naturally find yourself rejoicing in the goodness of God. That’s a great thing! Talk about the goodness of God with your family! Post about the goodness of God on social media! God certainly is good in the best moments of life! Just remember, when life takes a turn for the worse, God is still good. His love never ceases. His mercies never end. He is faithful. He is good. These are the truths you need to walk through the dark moments of life. So when they don’t naturally come rushing into your mind, preach these truths to yourself. Remind yourself that God is always good.
Originally published November 17, 2015 on landoncoleman.com.