… those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing. Psalm 34: 10
All things work together for the good of those who love him. Romans 8: 28
Sometimes my friends, we find ourselves in the midst of situations where the good the verses above refer to, is difficult to see. There is no specific number of times that after hearing the words above, you can suddenly understand the complexity of what it all means, embrace the bad things, and move on happily to seek God’s good.
More often that not, you aren’t sure what God is doing in the midst of your difficulty and you can’t see any good in what is happening.
We can be certain that He makes even the worst situations turn out good for us in the end.
One of the biggest and most significant differences between God and us, is perhaps His definition of good.
We could question the good that comes out of a situation where a godly man loses his home, his livestock, his children, his wealth and his health. Yet it says of him that he was more blessed in the end than he had been in the beginning.
We would question how good it is for an innocent man to be accused of a crime he did not commit, convicted of said crime and end up imprisoned as a result – yet his story is the one from which we see the phrase emerge ‘you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good.’
We could question where the good is, in an innocent man dying because His goodness was too much for those around him to bear.
Essentially what we are looking at is the difference between our definition of good and God’s. Our definition of good is probably very easily revealed when you look back on a day and classify it as having been “a good day”. To be honest, for me, a good day is one in which I have felt as though I’ve done well. And for me doing well sadly often means I did it all. I didn’t really have to rely on anyone – not even God. A good day is a day that I can look back on with pride and a sense of satisfaction. But for God, my Heavenly Father, a good day for me, in His books, doesn’t look like that. A good day doesn’t mean I got through it without Him – in fact if we consider it even on a superficial level, that definition should make for a bad day. A good day for me from His perspective is one in which He saw the fruit of the Spirit rise to the top rather than my pride and my effort. A good day for Him is one in which I was presented with the opportunity to behave in a more Christlike way and I took it, and I leaned on Him, His Son and the Holy Spirit to bring that to pass.
God’s desire, I’ve said it before, (I’m saying to myself again) is not for me to have good days apart from Him. His desire is that my days be spent with Him, the days when I lean on Him the most are the best of days, these are the good days.
I guess what it comes down to, for me – is redefining good.
If we are genuinely seeking Him as the verse suggests then we shall not lack or miss out on good things. Now, the good may be very cleverly disguised and concealed, it may after all present as bad. But we know that no matter how bent on our destruction others may be – they are able to do nothing without the permission of God. God allows bad to touch us in order to bring about good.
So, friends who are suffering at present, can I suggest that we reexamine our definition of good. We know God knows infinitely more than we do, we know that He knows the end from the beginning.
He knows what you would be like had He given you that relationship, career, home, family you so desperately believed would be for your good, He also knows where that would lead, He knows where you would end up and He knows who you then would be. Trust that He knows what is for your good. Take solace in the fact that because of this knowledge, because of His perspective, and because of the massive heart of love He has for you — He has said no, or not now. He wants you to focus somewhere else, He wants you to see Him more as He is, we know He has something that is better for you.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts.”
Remember you follow the One who is still waiting for His enemies to be made the footstool of His feet. Remember that we know those who lift themselves up will be humbled, remember that those who set themselves up will be brought low. You might not think right now that He has something better – but remember His better often isn’t just for your good – sometimes it’s for generations who follow after.
Sometimes God chooses to allow good things to happen to us, sometimes He permits the bad, as the psalmist in Psalm 73 suggests – sometimes it’s the bad that gives us the perspective we need. What we do need to know is that the bad is also part of His plan to bring us good. We know this because one day we’ll see the One who suffered the most and on that day we will be brought into the immense goodness that His suffering has brought about for us.
Yet the Lord was willing
To crush Him, causing Him to suffer;
If He would give Himself as a guilt offering [an atonement for sin],
He shall see His [spiritual] offspring,
He shall prolong His days,
And the will (good pleasure) of the Lord shall succeed and prosper in His hand.
As a result of the anguish of His soul,
He shall see it and be satisfied… (AMP )