Do you believe God is good? Is He concerned with our well being? Do we matter to Him? These questions are raised by christians, by nonchristians, by great scholars and by children. Every year students in colleges across the country pour gallons of ink into papers on this very topic, but more often than not this topic arises out of the school of life. People suffer. People die. Disasters happen. Tragedies strike. Do you believe God is good?
Often times people don’t. Our loved ones die in the prime of life or suffer interminably from cancer. The blooming flower of marriage shrivels. Children go astray. Hopes get dashed. Our hearts are fickle. When we experience pain our memories grow short. Our faith is often as solid as shifting sand on a beach. Meanwhile Satan works overtime to wash it all away. Too often he succeeds.
For this reason, because our faith is weak, because our memories are short, because our capacity to turn away from the living God is so high, Jesus tells us we should continually pray. He tells us to pray not because God is in need of our prayers, or because He is lonely. No, Jesus tells us to pray because through our prayers God shows us that His hand is moving. As we pray God shifts our focus from our very real problems and very real pain to His very real presence and His very real aid. Then when God does act on our behalf, when He brings us through, our faith is strengthened.
When I went camping as a boy, there were nights when dark clouds would roll in, and the rain would fall, and the wind would blow, and the lightning would flash, and the thunder would boom. And in those nights it was easy to forget that above the clouds and beyond the storm was the sun in all its glory continually casting its light and heat upon the earth regardless of whether or not I percieved it. Often times in the storms of life we forget that God is good. Yet there remains in Heaven one who sits at the right hand of the Father, who having suffered and died for our sin now intercedes on our behalf.
Today if you are wrestling with the question, “Do I believe God is good,” I invite you to look back upon the cross. Ask yourself, “Do I believe that the God who sent His only beloved Son to die for me has my best interest in mind?” Look upon the empty tomb and ask yourself, “Do I believe that the God who raised His Son from the dead, foreover conquering death, can help me in this time?” You see the question, “Is God good?” is not a generic question about a distant deity; it is a question about a very personal God who made you, knows you and loves you. God is good. God is good. God is good.
I found people needed the opportunity to make this confession over and over again while I worked as a chaplain.