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Some of my stories are published in:
A Cup of Comfort Devotional for Mothers and Daughters (Adams Media, 2009)
Chicken Soup: What I Learned from the Dog (2009)
Love is a Flame (Bethany House, 2010)
Extraordinary answers to Prayer (Guideposts, 2010)
Love is a Verb (Bethany House, 2011)
Big Dreams from Small Spaces (Group Publishing, 2012)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Is God Good?

Saturday I watched the Olympic trials for track and field. Several of the women who'd won their track competitions said when interviewed afterward, "God is good."
On the surface it sounds nice. "God is good."
These young women appeared to be giving glory to God for their victories.

But what if they hadn't won?
Would God still be good?
And what about all those talented women athletes who didn't win?
Is God good for them?

Are the winners saying God is good simply because they won?
That's kind of a self-centered statement, don't you think?

I've heard this kind of statement many times in athletic competitions.

I find myself reacting in similar ways when things go my way.
It's kind of automatic.
God is good when things happen the way I want them to happen.

But God is not good --or He doesn't care --or He doesn't exist -- or He is weaker than the forces that conspired to make things not go my way.
It's not that I consciously think these thoughts. But this negative attitude shows up in my prayer life for a while after a big disappointment.
My faith is shaken for an hour, a day, even for a week.

My mind says "God is good."
He loves me; He is in control of my life; He works all things for my good.


I struggle for a time.
Because my mind is situated inside of this body, in time and space, limited by the laws of physics.
The struggle for a Christian is always a struggle between what we perceive with our senses and our limited minds, and what God says is true.
Who will I believe?
Before I placed my trust in Christ, I was all I knew.
But afterward, I began to know another Person.
I worship Him when I choose to trust Him and obey what He says rather than going my independent way.
Can I praise Him even in times of suffering and tragedy and disappointment?
Is God still good?
Because if God is only good when things are going my way, then I am not worshiping God. I am worshiping an idol, something I've created for my own pleasure and my convenience.
Will my faith be forever wavering according to how my wants are met?
Or will I choose to stay grounded in the truth of God's goodness expressed in this verse from Ephesians (Chapter 2, verses 6 and 7)?

"And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages He might show the incomparable riches of His grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus."

So even if I do not win my track and field heat,
even if my car breaks down and I do not have the money to fix it,
even if the wrong presidential candidate wins in November,
even if I don't get that book contract. . .

God is good!

(Friends, how do you know that God is good?)


  1. Oh thank you Dena! I am taking comfort in the very fact today! Josh may be angry. Josh may be moving out because I am the source of his problems. I know truth! I know that God has said - let him go and let me! God IS good, because HE is GOD!

  2. So true, yet so hard to do, to let go. I'm praying for you! Josh, too.

  3. Hi Dena,

    Ah, that saying isn't complete. We say, "God is good all the time."

    Susan :)

  4. Yep, Susan. I wish they'd interview the ones who didn't place. I'd like to hear one of those athletes say, "God is good all the time." Even when we don't "win."