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 time table, 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 our darkness and seeming barrenness. He is at work behind the scenes, as He was with 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 when God is not answering our prayers. These may be sickness, unemployment, relationship problems, depression (like the deep one my dear wife is going through as I write this), the death of a loved one, fears sparked by governmental chaos and failure, or by wars and great disasters.
But we can know that you, Lord, in your goodness, 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.
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–but we can choose to have hope in the midst of despair, we can have light in the midst of darkness, because you, Lord, are good, you have a plan for good and will 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, may be 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 growth, glorifying you and 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 always 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.]