Do you struggle to believe that God wants good for you? Or that what is going on in your life right now is good? I personally think this is one of life's biggest struggles.... to believe that God is good.
One of my favorite books of all time is Shattered Dreams by Larry Crabb. Two of the ideas that he talks about are... "At this exact moment, God is giving us what He thinks is good." and "The highest dream we could ever dream... is to know God and actually experience Him." It took me a long time to really let that idea digest and to believe that is was true. Throughout the whole book the main point is that our highest need and our highest want is God. We were created for Him, to know Him, to be in relationship with Him, we NEED him. And yet we look for our fulfillment and needs and life in so many other things. And those dreams need to be shattered so we can experience what is best for us... God!
At times it feels like it is prideful on God's part to believe He is best or to not "give us what we want" because He knows it is not what is best for us. But think about every loving parent, they don't just give their kids what they want at every whim because they know it isn't what's best for them. And the child doesn't even know that feeling better, or being able to go to sleep is actually what they need. And as adults we experience this too... there are so many things we think we WANT, and yet as we experience God and His plan for us and experience HIM we realize we are living out what we were created for, those things don't looks so appealing. And there is just nothing better than being smack in the middle of God's hand. We feel alive. We feel free... we are free!
And so that takes me back to the question of believing that what God has for us is good. And the reason that believing He is good is the root of that is because if God is good, then what He does is good. And when you know that He is in charge of everything, sovereign over all creation, you realize that what has come into your life has either been caused by Him or allowed by Him. And therefore it must be good. He will use it for good. He will use it to change us. He will bring glory to Himself through it.
And yes, at times that is not an easy thing to swallow. At times it is just plain hard. Hard to continue to trust Him in the midst of what seems so, so... truthfully wrong at times. But that's where our faith comes in.
Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. Hebrews 11:1
I also read this morning verses about God's goodness towards us when our hope is in Him.
For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears.He will rejoice over you with joyful songs. Zephaniah 3:17
The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. 2 Chronicles 16:9
For the Lord delights in his people; He crowns the humble with victory. Psalm 149:4
And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19
And I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing good for them. I will put a desire in their hearts to worship me, and they will never leave me. I will find joy doing good for them and will faithfully and wholeheartedly replant them in this land.
What a great truth... God is what is best for me. I was created to be in relationship with Him. He knows it is what's best for me, and He protects me from putting my hope in things that will fail me. It's still a battle at times to believe that God is good. And that my circumstances are what is best for me. At times this life doesn't feel good. But I choose to trust Him. Choose to remember truth and be reminded of His faithfulness. Choose to believe what is true... that He is good!
Side note... God absolutely allows me to stray away from Him when I choose to go looking for life in other things. He does not force me to stay or make me be in His will. And He also lovingly calls me back and always has open arms for me to run into!