“God is good. All the time.”
“All the time. God is good!”
This is a call and response that is used in many churches. It is a powerful statement of belief that can make all the difference in how we live, IF and only IF we truly believe it.
We took the confirmation class to the movie “The Shack” on Sunday. That God is good, all the time, is one of the lessons learned in that great story. Mack, the main character, has suffered a great tragedy: the loss of his young daughter, Missy. And he is having trouble trusting that God is good all the time. In fact, he is struggling to believe that God is good any of the time under the circumstances.
One of the scriptures for this coming Sunday will speak to Mack’s dilemma. It is Paul’s letter to the Romans 5:1-12. Pay special attention to verses 3-4: “…we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us.”
Do you have trouble believing that God is good all the time? There is probably no one who doesn’t struggle to believe it at one time or another. But imagine believing that God is not good. Unfortunately, there are many people who do believe that God is not good.
I remember a conversation with a college student who lived in Men’s Hall at Midland when I was Hall Director there in the early 90s. He told me that he didn’t believe in God, after noticing all the things in my apartment that made it apparent to him that I did. I invited him to tell me about this god in which he did not believe.
I was happy, after he did, that I could assure him I did not believe in that god either, because the god he didn’t believe in was a god of vengeance and anger, quick to belittle and punish. That does not sound like the God I know, the God who is described in the first letter of John as love (see 1 John 4:8).
The God who is good is a God who weeps when we weep, who walks beside us through all tragedies and is wounded by our pain and sadness. The God who is good all the time is always at work in our lives to redeem our pain and sadness and turn it into joy.
God can and will do that, if we dare to trust and believe and resist sitting in the judgment seat against God. God’s work of redeeming a lost world is way too big for me. I think I’ll leave it to God to judge, and to redeem my suffering because I do believe that
God is good all the time….all the time God is good! Amen.
Scriptures for the week of March 13-19:
Exodus 17:1-7; Psalm 95:1-11; Romans 5:1-11; John 4:5-42