The Lord is Good By Scarlett Stough

Joseph, after years of imprisonment for a crime he did not commit, was able to forgive and reassure his brothers who were afraid he would take revenge on them for selling him into slavery.

But Joseph said to them, "Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children." And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them.
Genesis 50:19-21

Jeremiah wrote of a time of God’s forgiveness and redemption when people would be rejoicing, saying:

"Give thanks to the LORD Almighty, for the LORD is good; his love endures forever."
Jeremiah 33:11

Should we despair when our circumstances are less than ideal? Should we question the goodness of God during our suffering? Job didn’t think so.

His wife said to him, "Are you still holding on to your integrity? Curse God and die!" He replied, "You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?" In all this Job did not sin in what he said.
Job 2:9-10

But Job did have something to learn during his time of great suffering and grief. God never did explain to Job any reason why. We always want to know why. One of the first questions our children learn to ask is "Why?" Sometimes there is an answer. Many times the answer is not understood by the toddler who is asking.

Job listened to God describing his work of creation and sustaining that creation. Job saw himself in contrast to the greatness of God and said: "My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes" (Job 42:5-6.)

Job realized he didn't know all there was to know about God or the meaning of life: "Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know" (Job 42:3.) He learned humility through his suffering and in the end, God restored to him more than he had lost (Job 42:12-17.) Job never lost faith in the existence of God and spoke to God directly about his suffering.

Job's friends thought they had the formula down pat. Sometimes, we Christians think we've got the formula down pat: if we get all the doctrines right; if we follow all the rules of the church; if our righteousness is perfected, nothing bad will happen to us. The lesson of Job tells us that our own righteousness can't prevent trouble in this world.

God is good. He intends to do us good. We should always expect good from God whatever our present circumstances.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also along with him, graciously give us all things?
Romans 8:28-32

Jesus reminds us God wants to give us good gifts, the best of which is the Holy Spirit (Luke 11:11-13.)

 

Volume 12 Issue 9 | Notes from Nancy | Women in Christ Commentary | Bible Study Guide | Abundance of the Heart | Exhortation

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