When we experience tragedy, we may wonder about God’s goodness.
Is God always good? Yes, he is.
He doesn’t promise that bad things will not happen to us, but he does promise to be “our refuge and strength” (Ps 46:1). He doesn’t promise that we will never walk through heart-wrenching circumstances, but he promises that we won’t be alone. God is good — no matter what suffering we are experiencing.
Even when we don’t understand, we can say with Habakkuk, “Yet will I rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation (Habakkuk 3:18).” We sing the song and we say the words “God is Good” because we want to express to somebody the goodness of God! But why do we say it?
Do we say it because of some good thing that has happened to us? Is it because a night situation in our lives has turned to a day situation? Do we say it because it is income tax season and we have been really financially blessed? Because the doctor gave us a good report; because we almost had an accident but God intervened and turned that thing around and you are here today? Do we say that God is good because while we were sleeping in our beds, a fire broke out and we were able to get out without any hurt, harm or danger?
Somebody got a new house! Somebody got a new job! Somebody got a new husband or wife! Somebody was told by the doctor that you would not be here today but not only are you here, you are here and you have a testimony! You were happy and you had a right to be!
If you have ever said that “God is good” to any of the above, you are exactly right! You should have said it and you ought to say it every chance that you get! We do serve a good God! He rains on the unjust as well as the just (St. Matt. 5:45). We ought to tell sinners that God is good so that we might draw them to Christ. They need to know that the best thing that could ever happen to a person is Christ! All the time God is good!
He is not just good when things are good! He is not just good when you have money in your pocket and when your health is good! He is not just good when your loved ones are still with you! He is good when things go bad — when the doctor gives a bad report God is still good!
Whenever something bad happens to us, I want us to say “God is still good!” I want this to be the first thing that comes out of our mouth. The next time something bad happens to you, whether it be a lie somebody told on you, something bad that somebody did to you — whether your circumstance turns upside down, I want us to practice beginning today saying, “God is still good!” The power of life and death is in the power of the tongue, and I believe that if we speak something to ourselves long enough, it will become a reality in our lives. In spite of everything good and bad “God is still good!”
The Rev. George Ellis is pastor of Union Grove Missionary Baptist Church.