“God is good.”
“All the time.”
“All the time…”
“God is good.”
I’ve been to a couple of churches for which this was kind of a mantra.
But how many of us really believe it? Oh sure, in good times it’s easy to believe and say with enthusiasm.
But in hard times?
Or how about in times when we don’t understand what God is doing?
Or in times when we can’t see what the future holds?
Do we still believe that God is good?
This is a fundamental question of faith. For as the writer of Hebrews says,
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. (6)
“He rewards those who earnestly seek him.”
Put another way, “He rewards those who believe he is good. That he will keep his promises. That he will not let our labors go in vain. That our struggles are not for nothing.”
But do we believe this enough to keep seeking him no matter our circumstances? Unless we do, we cannot please God.”
Abraham believed this. God promised that he would have many descendants through Isaac. But then one day, God turns around and says, “Abraham, give your son to me as a sacrifice.”
Not a simple dedicating of Isaac’s life to God’s service. But a literal sacrifice.
How Abraham’s mind must have spun. For the three days it took to reach the mountain where he would sacrifice his son, what thoughts went through his mind?
“How can God ask this of me? He promised I would have descendants through Isaac. But how can that be if Isaac is dead?”
But in the end, Abraham concluded, “God is good. He will keep his promises. And if he asks me to sacrifice my son, then it must be that he will raise him up again. He is the God of life and death. And he is good.”
He lifted up his knife to kill Isaac, and as we know, an angel stopped him and said, “No, you don’t have to do that. Now I know that you fear God.” (Genesis 22:10-12)
God was good.
Isaac saw this and because of that, he could bless his sons Jacob and Esau although the future was still cloudy. In his time, he still hadn’t truly inherited the land God had promised. He only had the plot of land that his father Abraham had purchased. But Isaac believed God was good, and blessed his sons in that belief.
Jacob went through a lot of trials in his life, most through his own doing, some not. But through it all, he saw God’s goodness and faithfulness to him, and so when he was ready to die, he also was able to bless his sons with that knowledge.
Joseph too went through a lot, being taken to Egypt as a slave, but seeing God’s goodness and how God used that situation not only to save himself but his entire family. And though he had a good life in Egypt, he knew that God was good and would return his family back to the land God had promised. And so he gave instructions that when that time came, they would bury his bones there.
How about you? What are you going through in life? Can you say from your heart God is good? That God is faithful? That God will keep his promises to you?
Unless you truly believe that, you will never be able to please God.
What kind of faith do you have?