I have noticed a pattern, and it is not a good one. This pattern is personal and it may even be “just me.” As I write this blog today, I notice that what I have written for the last few years in my blog is to address problems. I recognize that we all have them in one form or another. It is part of living in a broken world with broken people. We identify quickly when someone expresses their pain because we have all been there.
However, in the midst of our brokenness it is good for us to recognize that God is good. If not for His unwavering faithfulness to us, where would we be? Please understand that I am not diminishing your situation today, whatever that may be. Some of my friends are going through some very deep pain today and I pray that soon they will see the goodness of God in the land of the living.
Psalm 136:1 testifies, “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good” (italics mine). The rest of this Psalm reminded the Old Testament believer of God’s faithfulness to His people. We have the privilege of reading the text and reminding ourselves of how God has been faithful to us in our particular situations. Let me rehearse a few of the demonstrations of God’s goodness that each of us have in common if Jesus is our Lord and Saviour:
1. God is good because He saved me from sin’s penalty, power, and one day from its presence. I could never have done that on my own! Only He could and did!
2. God is good because we have His written Word. We are not left guessing about what we sought to be doing! It is my prayer that each day you take the time to refresh your heart with the timeless truths we read in it.
3. God is good because His presence before us and with us. One of the first verses that I memorized when I became a Christian was Hebrews 13:5, “Keep your life free from the love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said,”I will never leave you nor forsake you.” In every situation of life, God is right there! I never have to endure them on my own! He is so good in the midst of our temptations and trials because He is there with us!
4. God is good because of His patience. You and I like to hold grudges, yes we do! I’ve seen it in the people I have pastored, and, regrettably, I have seen it in me. God would have every right to write me off as an impossible case, I’m guessing you could say the same thing. Proverbs 18:24 says, “there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother.” When everyone else walks out of our life, God is still with you. He is so patient with us in our sinful patterns of thinking, thankfully, He is transforming us to be more and more like His Son, Jesus Christ.
5. God is good because of other people. Now, I know we have those in our life who drive us crazy, those who especially need our prayers! But we have others who bring us joy, make us laugh and who we throughly enjoy being with. They are God’s gifts us. God wants us to enjoy His goodness in life and we do that best when we find those people who make us smile! I thank God for those people who God has placed in my life who know how to laugh at themselves. They are so pleasant to be with.
I could mention many other things but you get my point. God is so good. I will end where we began this blog post in Psalm 136. There is a phrase that is repeated in every verse of the Psalm to help the reader to never forget, never forget what? “For his steadfast love endures forever.” What could be better than that! Whatever you are going through today, read and refresh your heart with that eternal, life altering, impactful truth!
Pastor Bill Finch