Discerning God’s Goodness

Whether we are on the mountaintop or in the valley, God’s love is the same.

Psalm 31:19-24

We’ve often heard people say, “God is good!” when all is going well, but what about when life doesn’t look like what we expect? The Lord expresses kindness in more ways than wealth, health, and relationships. Some of His gifts are experiences we would never choose, but God knows we need them in order to grow in faith, obedience, and perseverance. Consider the following expressions of God’s goodness toward us:

  • Loving discipline. In His perfect, unfailing love, God corrects us when we refuse to follow Him. The process is painful but results in “the peaceful fruit of righteousness” (Hebrews 12:11).
  • Wise Limitations. There are opportunities and possessions that seem to promise happiness but ultimately draw us away from God. With great wisdom, the Lord lovingly withholds those things that would prove detrimental to our spiritual life.
  • Useful suffering. God knows which refining experiences we need in order to become fruitful in His Kingdom. What appears to us as a valley of weeping is God’s valley of preparation for godliness and service.

It can be tempting to interpret God’s character on the basis of our circumstances. If evidence compels us to doubt His goodness, we must remember that while His gifts come in a variety of wrappings, they are always beneficial. As Psalm 34:8 says, “O taste and see that the Lord is good.”