God is good. Not because of the wonderful, but the other way around.
Every once in a while, when a friend says, “God is good,” after telling me about something wonderful that has happened to them, I will think to myself, What do we think of God when things don’t go our way, “God is not good”—?
It is very appropriate to thank God for the wonderful things in our lives. God is good, and
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. (Jas 1:17 KJV)
Those wonderful, good, and perfect things that we see or that happen to us, are reflections of God’s goodness, but they do not prove that God is good. If they did, then when they went away would He cease to be good? Our understanding of God’s goodness and our relationship with Him must not depend the quality of the things or the circumstances in our lives. If, like Job in the Bible, we were to lose all the “wonderful things,” what would we think about God? Would we, like Job’s wife, conclude that God was no longer good. Would we take her advice and “curse God and die?” I pray not. I hope we would say, like Job did,
“…Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” (Job 2:10 NIV)
No, God is not good because of the wonderful, it’s the other way around. The wonderful is, because God is good. And when the wonderful ceases, for whatever reason, God still remains good. During trying times, we can remain trusting Him, for He will sustain us through the tough times and will show us His goodness again in wonderful things to come, in the next season. That season may be here on earth or in the life to come.
We may not feel like thanking Him for the tough times, but we can certainly thank Him in the tough times. We can thank Him for being good and keep His promises, such as,
“. . . everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life.” (Mat 19:29 ESV)
So when we are thanking Him for the wonderful, and saying “God is good” to those around us, let us also add, if only in our own minds, “Even when these good things go away. He still is good.”
Soak in His goodness, for He is good, all the time!