So, I’ve been thinking a lot about trusting God lately. (Or, maybe more like how I don’t always.) Thinking about believing Him and His promises even when my story doesn’t seem to be heading in the direction I’d prefer it head in. About believing He is good when my story doesn’t look all that good to me at the moment… or, feel anywhere near good… or, maybe just downright bad for far too many pages.
Like when all I really want is to feel some peace and joy, but can only seem to find fear and sadness.
Like when I look around and can only seem to see the tearing down, when I know He is in the business of building up and remaking.
Like when the long prayed about situation goes bad
… or, the job goes bad
… or, the marriage goes bad
… or, the kid goes bad
… or, the health goes bad
… or, the news is bad
… or, it’s real bad and it all just seems so bad, I feel it just may bust me apart at the seams.
Because… honestly, the bad can seem to totally outweigh all the good all too often. It can suffocate and overwhelm. It can make me all kinds of tired and just want to curl up or give up. Then… with all that counting up of all that is bad, I can simply become too blind to see any of the good and begin to doubt Him and His Goodness.
When it all seems to be breaking bad, is He still working it all out for my good? And, what if He chooses to take all I find good and leave me sitting in a story of my worst nightmares? Is He still good – or, good enough, then? Would I truly trust Him then?
See, I really hope it’s just me, but these are the places I struggle when my story seems to be stuck in the Bad-lands and I think I may have landed in the Gonna-Be-Like-This-Forever-land. I can even sometimes wonder if it’s going to get worse. Like, am I gonna wake up one day to find my story looking more like the pages of Job’s story. Because, really… I’m nothing like Job. My faith WILL fail and I fear I would want to curse God and die, like Job’s wife suggests. And, I’m so afraid this will be my downfall. Where I’m finally found out to be the faithless fraud I fear myself to be. (Note: Though it is truth that His Grace is always sufficient and would find me even in that place, I still battle to believe and remain convinced of it, so maybe that’s just another post for another day…)
So… would I still believe God is good if I, like Job, had all I loved stripped from me? Would He – alone – be good enough for me then? Or, would He only be good if He restored it all back to me? Is He only good when my life is mostly good and only filled with minimal bad? Because, truthfully, I’m bound to get bound up by all the bad unless He comes through with all kinds of good…
Good like the promises that He will never leave nor forsake me (Deuteronomy 31:8). Good like promises of life in abundance (John 10:10) and joy inexpressible (1 Peter 1:8). Good like promises of rest and burdens lifted (Matthew 11:30, Isaiah 10:27). Good like the promised indwelling of the Holy Spirit and all the knowledge, wisdom, and good gifts that come from Him (1 Corinthians 3:16, Galatians 5:22-23). Good like having the same power that raised Jesus Christ from the dead (Ephesians 1:19-20). Good like the preparations that are taking place in Heaven for those that belong to Him (John 14:3, 1 Corinthians 2:9). Good like every good and perfect gift that is from Him (James 1:17). Good like being adopted as His children and being co-heirs with Christ Jesus (Romans 8:15-17, Ephesians 1:5). Good like the promise that Jesus sits at the Father’s right hand and lives to make intercession when the Accuser lives to point the finger (Romans 8:34). Good like promises for hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11) and that ALL things WILL work out for good according to His Good purpose (Romans 8:28).
And, just beyond all that good, hangs the greatest good by far. Because, on The Cross, Christ hung up for good and it was finished and final and by His wounds, we are healed… by His chains, ours are broken… by His bearing all our sin, we are free from wearing any of our sin… and by His death, we now live in and with Him forever!
See, while I am busy asking Him for what I think is all for my own good in my own story, I have been brought into His Good and Greater Story and He is remaking me through every page… both the good and bad ones – and, yes, possibly even the stuff of my worst nightmares.
Yet, still I ask… is that good? Is God still good even when my story goes terribly bad? If He allows my story to be penned with some of those worst pages will I still be able to find His Great Goodness?
I pray I will. Because, I know He will.
Because, it is actually His Story that tells us that the worst day in all of creation became the best day for all of His Creation. That His Goodness shown brightest – even in those darkest hours – when Jesus willingly bore all of our bad, completely and totally for our all of our good. When He, who knew no sin, became sin for us so that we could become the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21).
So, while I may sometimes choose to look at the bad and then question His Good, I need only look back to the worst pages of His Story, believing it was truly for the best of all of our stories, to receive the only good thing that I truly need.
The best day of all. End of Story.