God’s sense of humor makes me smile, especially when the joke’s on me. I wrote the Bible study Forever Changed exactly a year ago, and now the weekly online Bible study group of which I’m a member has chosen to use it. So, here I am, a student of my own study—learning from the things I wrote last year at this time. Today’s lesson speaks of God’s goodness.
Have you ever heard someone say, “God is good,” after something favorable happens? For instance, an item for which we’re paying turns out to be thirty percent off the last marked price. “God is good.”
A medical treatment or surgery achieves the desired outcome: “God is good.”
The weather’s ideal for a family picnic: “God is good.”
Yes, blessings such as these are evidences of God’s goodness in our lives. But what about those things that are blessings in disguise? You know, the circumstances that, humanly speaking, aren’t those we’d choose? I can recall a few….
- When my husband contracted a blood infection as a result of having a biopsy.
- When my new grandson spent a week in the NICU after his birth in December.
- When our boat furnace quit working and the recommended repair guy broke his promises to come and fix it every day for nearly two weeks (the saga continues—“God is good”).
It’s not our natural tendency to declare “God is good” when we get stuck in traffic or our internet connection feels sluggish or an unexpected phone call interrupts our plans. How much less is it our tendency when the big stuff happens.
Those unexpected and often unwelcome blessings in disguise come along, and we lose perspective. We focus on our circumstances and lose sight of the good God who orchestrates them for reasons beyond our understanding.
Would you agree with me that our understanding of God’s character might be flawed? I suspect that, if we truly understood who He is, we would more readily declare “God is good” even in the midst of tough stuff. You see, our circumstances don’t determine whether or not He’s good. He IS good because that’s His nature not because we perceive Him to be so.
If we truly understood God’s goodness, then we’d recognize it in the very fact that we woke up this morning. That we had food in the fridge and in our cupboards. That clean water poured from the tap the moment we turned it on. That, even if woke up to circumstances difficult and beyond our control, we still have a wise and loving God who’s sovereign over them and who promises to turn ashes to beauty and who offers to carry our concerns if only we’ll let Him do so.
God is good not only when life is good. He’s good all the time. Even when life stinks. Even when the furnace dies in winter.
Gotta love it when He reminds me of the truth using something He directed me to write a year ago.
Read Exodus 33:19 and Exodus 34:5-7. What do you discover about God’s character in these verses?
In Exodus 33 Moses had seen God’s astounding acts during the Exodus, but now he sees God’s goodness passing before him and God proclaiming His own Name…which is an expression of His character. He is gracious and compassionate…that is Who He is. In Exodus 34 Yahweh says, “This is who I Am”…merciful, gracious, longsuffering, abounding in goodness and truth. Yes, God is good all the time…without fail!
Thanks for this, Patricia. These verses describe an amazing encounter between Moses and God. The Lord revealed Himself to Moses in such a personal way. To think He wants us to know Him as intimately today!