God Is GOOD
Chapter taken from "The Very Heart of Worship"
Written By Cypress Ministries
Give thanks to the LORD because he is good.
His love continues forever.
Another characteristic of God I would like to look at is that God is good. Even when we are in the midst of chaos, if we will just take the time to refocus, we will see that God is just waiting to give us something good to look at. I have found that if I will take the time to look at the glory of God, then my struggle or situation suddenly doesn’t seem nearly as big. It becomes downsized and isn’t the giant I once thought it was. I have found that in the midst of “Oh, God please…” I find something to be thankful for. I may make requests of my God in the morning, but in the evening, as I look back at the day from God’s perspective and see the traces of His hand, then I always have something to be thankful for.
A long time ago, our family started what we call our “good, bad, and funny.” Usually it is at dinner time that we do this. One of us will start by asking someone else, “What is the worst thing that happened to you today?” We always start with the bad thing first, so that way whatever difficulty we went through is acknowledged and discussed but we don’t dwell upon it. Then the next thing asked is, “Okay, what was the best thing that happened to you today?” And then we discuss it. After which, whoever started us off for the evening will ask the same person, “What was your funny thing today, what made you laugh?” Then whoever just finished telling us about their day will pick someone else. And this will continue until all of us have had a turn.
It is amazing how I can pick up one of my sons from school and as they get into the car, I can ask them how their day was and hear, “It was okay.” But then that night, the same day that was only “okay” comes to life and I find out all kinds of things. Even from our teenager! What is also nice is that it produces conversation and interaction between the boys that a moment earlier wasn’t there. Sometimes it is as simple as one of us saying that we didn’t have anything bad happen so that in turn becomes the good thing! What was really nice is that a while back our oldest son had a really rotten day, so we discussed it (yes, we do put time limits on this) and then our youngest son asked, “Well, what was your good thing?” Our oldest one replied, “Being here as a family having dinner and doing our ‘good, bad, and funny.’” And sometimes one of us won’t have a funny thing to share until we’ve heard someone else’s.
What is so awesome is that we can say our “goodnight prayers” and I will listen to my youngest son pray in such childlike fashion and faith thanking God for something his brother shared with us at dinner time. Or sometimes we will sit and listen as he discusses with God an issue that one of his brother’s is going through that was revealed at dinner.
During a really turbulent time a while back I went and bought a nice notebook with a special pen and I only write prayers of thanksgiving in it. I may journal all my other woes and “this and that” along with my thank you’s in a regular journal, but in this notebook, though I may not write in it every day, I only write positive, thankful praises to God in it. I have found that it helps to put focus on God instead of myself.
I have come to appreciate the prayer in Habakkuk 3:17-18: “Fig trees may not grow figs, and there may be no grapes on the vines. There may be no olives growing and no food growing in the fields. There may be no sheep in the pens and no cattle in the barns. But I will still be glad in the LORD; I will rejoice in the God my Savior.”
An example of God’s goodness I would like to share is an answered prayer for our middle son. I have already written about it in complete detail in another book, so I won’t repeat it here but I will summarize it for you. About two years ago my son was able to see something I couldn’t. He had texted me to hurry and go outside and look up at the sky. So I dropped what I was doing and went and looked, but all I saw were the remaining rain clouds from the spring shower we just had.
In our texted conversation back and forth, he told me he could see a double rainbow, almost from end to end. My reply was that from where I was at, I wasn’t able to see it. A minute or two later, he texted asking me to please stop whatever I was doing, and just close my eyes and be still. So I did, and then he texted me asking if I had “seen it.” I found out he had been staring intently at this beautiful scene and was praying that somehow God would give me the vision that he could see but that I was missing.
Three days later after leaving work, I had to go back and pick up something I had forgotten and some of the men were there. In the course of a conversation with one of my bosses, it came up that one of our truck drivers had been on the other side of town and took a picture of the double rainbow my son had seen. After going out to the bay and visiting with this truck driver he showed me the picture he had taken, and I want to tell you that the date and time that was on the picture was the exact time my son was asking me to close my eyes and be still!
Fortunately, I hadn’t deleted the text messages yet, so I was able to go back and look at the message from my son telling me to please stop what I was doing and close my eyes. The time on my phone matched the time printed on the picture this man had taken. I was able to show it to him just to prove it. He then sent me a copy of the photo and when I was able to pick up my son later, I had a surprise for him! The look on his face and his expression of “God really did answer my prayer!” was more priceless to me than the photo of the rainbows.
To me the incredible and awesome extent that God worked in order to fulfill my son’s prayer and enable me to have “the vision” that he could see and that I was missing is something that could only come from a loving and GOOD God. It was also a nice lesson for both of us, that at the same time my son was praying, God had indeed answered him, but it took a few days to reach me. Read Daniel 10:12-13:
“Then the man said to me, ‘Daniel, do not be afraid. Some time ago you decided to get under-standing and to humble yourself before your God. Since that time God has listened to you, and I have come because of your prayers. But the prince of Persia has been fighting against me for twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the most important angels, came to help me. I had been left there with the king of Persia.’”
At the time Daniel started praying, God answered, but it took three weeks before Daniel received his answer. Sometimes the very thing we are praying for, God has already given us. We just have to know that sometimes the enemy will fight tooth and nail to keep it from us. But if it is what God would have for us, then God will overcome. Our job is to keep praying and believing that God is good and He will ultimately come through for us though it may be in a completely unexpected way.
This reminder brings us back to our core study verse:
“You took care of them for forty years in the desert; they needed nothing.
Their clothes did not wear out, and their feet did not swell.”
God took care of His people. He didn’t leave them, He didn’t forget about them, and He didn’t ignore their needs while they were traveling. At times were they disciplined and punished? Yes, but He still provided and watched over them. Really it is no different than us as parents. Even though our children get into trouble, we aren’t going to stop fulfilling our parental duties.
From the very beginning God has done this for mankind. He was the one to shed blood on our behalf. Even after Adam and Eve ignored Him and disregarded His commands, when it came time to send them out of the Garden, God took one look at what they were wearing and said that would never do. So he clothed them. (See Genesis 3:21.) Just as God is the beginning and the end of all things, He was here also. He began by shedding blood from an animal to clothe us naturally and then shed blood from His Son to clothe us spiritually. I believe that from the very beginning even until now, God has been, is, and forever will be, good to us. Even when we do not always deserve it, I believe we can trust that God will be good to us.
In closing of God is Good,
♥ PRAYING IN FAITH
Father God, thank You. Lord, we praise You for being such a good and loving God. Thank You, too, for Your patience with us even when we are so undeserving. Lord, thank You for what Your Word teaches us about You. We praise You Lord, for Your love that is everlasting.
Father, I pray that over the course of this study, this reader will come to see Your good and powerful handprints on their lives as they come to know You deeper still.
In Christ Jesus’ name I pray,