The Gift of God’s Goodness
Psalm 13:1,2 “How long, O LORD?”
[There will be times when God seems distant, when He is not answering our prayers on our timetable (like right now in my life), when things are going awry with no help in sight. We pray and wait, but nothing seems to happen. There is no hint of His goodness in the mists and darkness of our lives.
Yet His goodness is still shining on the edges of and over our darkness and seeming barrenness. He is at work behind the scenes, working out His greater plans, as He was in the difficulties of Joseph, Daniel and Jesus.]
“Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart?”
[There are dark valleys in life, ones we must pass through. These may be sickness, unemployment, relationship problems, depression (like the deep one my dear wife was going through as I wrote this in 2014), the death of a loved one, or fears sparked by governmental chaos and failure, by wars, pandemics or great disasters.
But we can know that you, Lord, in your goodness, have designed or allowed each one to mature us, to give opportunity to bring glory to you through faith, and to demonstrate your power to the world, sweeping all who are willing into your Kingdom.
As we know and believe this–even though at times our hearts fail us if we allow ourselves to be overwhelmed by disappointment and the immediate circumstances surrounding us–we can choose to look up and have hope in the midst of despair; we can have light in the midst of darkness; we can have joy in the midst of turmoil. Why? Because you are good and we know that you have a plan for good and will faithfully carry it out.
“How long will my enemy triumph over me?”
[At times the enemy does triumph over us—evil leaders arise in nations (such as ISIS), bad decisions are made by government or mission leaders, churches fall apart, families dissolve in bitterness, hard-working people can suddenly become homeless.
None of these, Lord, are your desired, overall will, but you allow them for greater reasons. For unbelievers, it is to nudge them towards belief (many have come to Christ in the Middle East because of ISIS). For believers, it is an opportunity for trust, growth, glorifying you and earning rewards.
As it says in 1 Pet. 1:6-7, “Now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith and…may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.”
So we can know, no matter what, Lord, that you are always there: you are at work for good, moving deeply, quietly, powerfully, patiently, waiting for the right moment to remove the pressure. “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.” In your goodness we can rest. Help us to do so today.]