3 Reasons Why I Struggle to Believe God is Good
There’s a cliché said among Christians where one person will say, “God is good.” Then, another person will say, “All the time. And all the time….” The first person responds back with “God is good.”
There’s truth in that. God is good all the time, and all the time God is good. As a follower of Jesus I do believe that God is good. But there are times when I struggle to believe that God is good towards me.
One thing that I’ve come to realize in the journey I’ve been on over the last season of my life is that it’s okay to be honest. For me I am becoming brutally honest in my journey with Jesus. Just a couple of years ago I would just put on a smile, pretend that all was well and just barrel through anything I was going through. I thought that to be honest would be a vulnerability.
Far too many Christians are living an impostor life. We know the right things to say and the right things to do but we often times struggle with questions and doubts. Heaven forbid that we bring these doubts, struggles and questions up in the church! We’d be looked down upon. In many churches questions are dangerous, doubts are satanic and struggles mean you don’t have enough faith. That’s one reason why I was afraid to be honest.
But these days I find questions refreshing. I have found out that God is okay with my struggles and that doubt is a part of my truly coming to faith. But these ideas are for another blog.
Back to God’s goodness…..
I recently heard a sermon in which I was encouraged to put my trust in the goodness of God in all times, seasons and circumstances of my life. I agree with what my friend was teaching. As I listened I also sat there wondering why I struggle sometimes to believe that God is good in all areas, times and seasons in my life. While this list isn’t exhaustive, I have three reasons why I struggle in believing the goodness of God.
1. I’ve seen too many bad things happen to good people (especially to me!).
This is probably my biggest struggle. It’s the age old question: if God is so good then why do bad things happen to good people, especially Christians? If God is so good, then why doesn’t He stop the bad things from happening?
This is sometimes hard to get our minds around. It’s caused numerous people to shipwreck their faith, get lost in doubt and struggle greatly with the goodness of God.
My answer: I don’t completley know! I sometimes have a hard time reconciling the goodness of God with a world full of evil. More personally, I have had a hard time reconciling the goodness of God when I have went through my own dark valleys of pain, hurt, turmoil and grief.
I believe that one issue we need to look at is that God’s definition of goodness and ours is different. Much like my children’s definition of what is good for them and my definition are different. Now I AM NOT saying that God sees sickness, pain and misery as good things. I know that some Christians believe this but this isn’t what I am saying.
What I am saying is that He loves me. He has my best interest in mind. He will work out all things for my good because that’s how God works. He takes the bad and turns it into good. I don’t always know how, when or where it will occur but it will occur. He will work it out to our good.
Even though I don’t completely understand why bad things happen to good people, I do know that God is good!
2. I sometimes believe the lies of the devil.
The devil wants us to believe that God is bad and is withholding good things from us. He wants us to believe that God is out to get us for messing up. He wants us to believe that we are not worthy of anything good. These are all lies.
Unfortunately, many of us have built our lives upon these lies and we tend to see God as a harsh taskmaster instead of a loving Father. We believe the wicked lies of the enemy and it’s given us a false image of a loving God that is good.
The biggest lie I believe is that I am not good enough for the goodness of God. God’s goodness is never based upon my goodness or worthiness. He is good whether I am good or not. His kindness isn’t based upon the deeds of men. It’s based upon his character and nature.
I am good enough for the goodness of God because I am the object of His affection. His love for me makes me good enough for His goodness.
3. Religion has painted a false image of God.
Religion, and legalism, has painted an image of God that causes us to cower in fear of Him. We don’t believe that He will be good to us until we have performed well for Him. It’s what I call the treadmill of performance. We believe that the harder we run after God, the more we sweat for God and the more tired we get doing good things, God will eventually see our effort and reward us.
Religion has painted a picture of God whereby it becomes all about my performance, my behavior and my pursuit of God. Religion says that I must get God’s attention to get God’s goodness.
This is not true. God came looking for me. It’s God’s kindness to leads me to repentance. In essence, it’s his goodness that brought me to Him. He was good to me before I even knew anything about Him.
God is kind (good) to the evil man and to the righteous man. God is so good that He just keeps on kissing on people always hoping that they will eventually kiss Him back.
It’s not about our performance, behavior or conduct that releases His goodness. It’s His love for us that releases His goodness towards us.
Yes, I need to trust God’s goodness in the midst of whatever I am going through. I know this but sometimes I struggle to do it.
As I listened to my friend’s message these three things crossed my mind as I questioned why I struggle to believe God’s goodness. I’m determined to conquer the lies in order that I might trust the very goodness of a Father who loves me unconditionally.
Lord, may we learn to rest in your love and goodness even when we can’t see it, feel it or even struggle to believe it.
God is good . . . all the time. And all the time . . . God is good!