When it’s hard to believe that ‘God is good’

Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him (Psalm 34:8, ESV).

I’ve often heard enthusiastic preachers lead their congregations in kind of a cheer: “God is good!”—to which the people respond, “All the time!” And of course, I couldn’t agree more. God is good, all the time! All the time, God is good!

But sometimes we find ourselves in seasons of life when God’s goodness is hidden when it’s either invisible to us or we’re blind to it. Let’s be honest enough to admit that those are real struggles. We’ve been in those times, and perhaps you’re in one of them right now. If you’re in such a season and can’t bring yourself to shout “hallelujah,” you don’t need to feel bad about it. I would never want to lay a guilt trip on someone for not feeling like shouting hallelujah at that moment.

But if we’re to walk in faith—if we’re to be people who truly live by faith—we must believe God is good even at times when we can’t see anything tangible pointing to it or giving evidence of it.

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Faith is believing the Word of God and acting upon it, no matter how we feel, because God promises a good result.

If you don’t keep believing that God is good, even when little on your radar seems to be confirming it, you will not be able to live by faith. The goodness of God is the soil that faith grows in. If you as His son or daughter allow yourself to be confused by what you sometimes feel, not fully trusting His good-hearted disposition toward you—if you doubt that His intent toward you is to bless and help and hear and heal—you will not be able to live by faith.

Instead, here’s what you may be tempted to do during times when you don’t feel His goodness: you may wonder whether you should take care of things yourself. You might be inclined to conclude what you suspected all along—If I want good things to happen, I’d better go out there and get them because God sure isn’t guaranteed to do it . . . because He’s not good “all the time.” He has promised us good, based upon His own goodness.

And that’s just not true. He has promised us good, based upon His own goodness. God is good, He’s always been good, and He’ll always be good. Check out how consistently this is established in Scripture: “We know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). In every situation, even in our darkest situations, we “give thanks to the LORD, for he is good” (Psalm 136:1). In fact, “No one is good except God alone” (Mark 10:18).

Now I’m hoping that this is one of those times when you can immediately point to a visible piece of proof—right there!—that tells you how good your God is. But if this is simply not one of those days, do not despair at what your eyes and ears are withholding from you. Rely on what you know is true, even when you don’t feel it.

In faith—even now, even here—you can “taste and see that the LORD is good!”

This post originally appeared on Dr. James MacDonald’s daily devotional Our Journey and was republished with permission.

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