Excellent or Praiseworthy is posted on Monday and Thursday nights.
“Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; His love endures forever. Let the redeemed of the LORD say this—those He redeemed from the hand of the foe, those He gathered from the lands, from east and west, from north and south.” Psalm 107:1-3
“It’s all good.”
If I had a dollar for each time I heard my friend Bobbi say those 3 words, I would have enough money to do some significant shopping. Bobbi is a remarkable, faithful woman and a dear friend who has gone through 6 years of what most of us would call “hell.” I guess it’s because I’ve been so close to her since things went crazy in her life that I have picked up on saying “it’s all good” in response to troubling situations. I didn’t realize I was saying it so routinely until another young friend of mine started saying it—and credited it to me! That’s when I thought I’d better examine this phenomenon a bit.
As I explained to my young friend, “It’s all good, because it’s all God. Bobbi has taught me that.” Through all of the trials that I have seen her face, she would respond with that same, “Linda, it’s okay. It’s all good. I can see God in this.” So many times I would want to ask how she could possibly see God in the twists and turns of life that had devastated her family. But as the years went by and I would see the faithfulness of God demonstrated time and time again—usually in ways we could never have imagined—I could just smile and agree.
Bobbi lives her life in anticipation of what creative thing God will do to deliver her through (not from) whatever new challenge might come her way. And she is forever praising God for the gift of supportive friends and a loving family. She considers herself a most fortunate, blessed woman, in spite of it all. Don’t get me wrong—this is no “Pollyanna” kind of faith—this is the real deal.
I am stretched when I study Scripture to examine the goodness of God. Entwined with His other attributes, I just don’t want to miss this. I don’t want to miss what He might want me to see as good, that I might be tempted to say is definitely “not good.” I don’t want to miss what suffering might just be a gift designed specifically for me, for my good. I don’t want to miss anything, or take anything for granted, that is God demonstrating His love for me in my life—even if it’s not obvious. His promises of this are numerous:
“He is good; His love endures forever.” —2 Chronicles 7:3b
“I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.”
“How great is Your goodness, which You have stored up for those who fear You, which You bestow in the sight of men on those who take refuge in You.” —Psalm 31:19
“For the LORD is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations.” —Psalm 100:5
“No one is good—except God alone.” —Mark 10:18b
One of my favorite stories is of George Mueller, who used a verse about God’s goodness at the funeral of his dear wife who co-labored with him in their ministry to orphans. He gave the sermon that day, February 11, 1870, from Psalm 119:68, “You are good, and do good.” That might seem to be a strange verse to use for a eulogy, but Mr. Mueller had 3 points: “(1) The Lord was good, and did good, in giving her to me. (2) The Lord was good, and did good, in so long leaving her to me. (3) the Lord was good, and did good, in taking her from me.’ In discussing his third point he told how he had prayed for her during her illness: ‘Yes, my Father, the times of my darling wife are in Thy hands. Thou wilt do the very best thing for her and for me, whether life or death. If it may be, raise up yet again my precious wife—-Thou art able to do it, though she is so ill; but howsoever Thou dealest with me, only help me to continue to be perfectly satisfied with Thy holy will.’” One Year Book of Christian History, p. 74
Our pastor taught us recently that when confronted with the goodness of God, we should respond in three ways: “(1) Repent of our unbelief and ingratitude (Romans 2:4); (2) rest in His goodness (Psalm 31:19); and (3) risk stepping out in faith like never before.” Pastor John Pouchot, June 24, 2007
Joseph is able to say in Genesis 50:12, “What you meant for evil, God meant for good.” In the New Testament, we see Romans 8:28 saying something similar, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” I plan on continuing to examine my life to see God’s goodness at work, even when my flesh would not have a hint of it. He alone knows what I need, and what is good for me. I don’t want to miss it, because if it’s from God, then it is all good.
Questions to share:
- What are you struggling with in this deployment?
- Can you see God at work in your life, even through what is considered not good?
- Do you have a friend who demonstrates faith during tough times?