I texted a friend yesterday with the words, “God is good” (to which they replied, “All the time”, and we did the little back and forth thing…). Which, when going through a hard time, are not easy words to write. It stuck in my head for the rest of the night, and when searching for hope, I remembered those three words. God. Is. Good.
It may have turned into a meaningless cliché to some, but I’ve been thinking about this a good bit. This past year has been the worst year of my life, full of darkness, pain, tears, loneliness, and a lot of other things I would never wish anyone to struggle with. During that time, I’ve had to face the doubts, the questions, the silence from God, the confusion and chaos, and my faith is being violently tested. I’d like to think that I’ve been strong; I pray that I will be faithful until the end of this trial. But throughout all of this pain and darkness, I’ve spent several occasions in tears, wondering, “Is God good?”
I think it’s fair to say that anyone going through a trial will wonder if God is good. If we receive bad things in life, wouldn’t we ask if our God is good? The theological, good little side of us says “of course! I know that God is good.” But the deepest part of us, the part of our heart we don’t really want to admit is there, quietly wonders if a God who can allow darkness is actually a good God. Sometimes it doesn’t make sense. Sometimes, all we can do is ask, “Why?” But no matter how deep the darkness, it does not change the goodness of God.
The story of Job’s suffering is well-known to believers. This was a man who lost everything – the “greatest man among all the people of the East” lost his oxen, sheep, camels, servants, children: his wealth, prosperity, family, treasured loved ones. And what’s his response? “Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” (Job 2:10)
His response to this tragedy floors me. He doesn’t shake his fist at God, doesn’t curse His name, doesn’t renounce his beliefs. His faith is unshakable. Yes, he falls into a horrible, miserable darkness, but he can still say throughout all of that, “Though He slay me, yet I will hope in Him” (13:15). Job still clung to the goodness of God.
It’s hard. When darkness stares you in the face, and life offers you nothing but pain and confusion, it’s hard to say that God is good. But even through the troubles, anxieties, depression, doubts, disorders, diseases, and darkness, Jesus has overcome the world. God is good.