Praise the LORD, for the LORD is good; Sing praises to His name, for it is pleasant. Psalm 135:3 (NKJV)

You are Good – song from ‘Be Lifted High’ Album review here
(click on picture to hear this brilliant song)

“Our calling is to know God’s love – to receive it and to let it become the centre of who we are. We are called to know our loved-ness. Some people, even Christians, have never received this love and so struggle conveying it to others.“ From Missions and Discipleship, Listen Here, Anna Thompson, Eden Network, National Development Coordinator. I might have added that for some of us Christians it’s been a long time since we experienced our ‘belovedness’ What I really like about Anna Thompson’s article is the clear case she makes that God’s love for us, at the core of our being, is what leads us to discipleship and mission. Of course before we get to this point we need to start experiencing God’s love and care for us again. Maybe one way to do this is to affirm God’s goodness to us.

Of course it’s not always easy to do and it may be that we come to a place where we say ‘God is good’ through suffering, as the true story below illustrates:

By way of introduction – last week we were at the New Wine Festival, camping with 7,000 other Christians. The worship and teaching was just brilliant! There were a larger number of healings than I have experienced at these things before, some quite mind blowing. I guess if you’ve been healed it’s easier to declare, ‘God is good’, so it was surprising to also hear it said at  a seminar entitled, ‘Making Sense of Suffering’, by Helen Scamman. This lady is a minister’s wife, and is a cancer survivor, having come through various medical treatments. Around the same time as her diagnosis it was confirmed that one of her children was on the Autistic spectrum. She had clearly suffered, and though free from illness, still lives with the possibility that her life may be shorter than expected. She came to a crisis of faith where she said that either she had to say God was less than God and turn her back on him or she had to declare with her whole being that ‘God is good’. Somehow she struggled to that place where she was able to say with her heart, ‘God is good’. She had a great analogy about all the questions we have about healing and suffering, saying it was like a jigsaw puzzle. Only we can’t see the whole picture and it feels like we are missing some pieces! However, there are some pieces of the puzzle we do have and must put down, that ‘God is good’, is one such piece.

My recent experience is that I have a lot of trouble ‘letting go and letting God’. I manage for a while then I start flip flopping between the first two states below from a saying I heard recently:

‘If you look around you, you will become distressed (or stressed)
If you look to yourself you will become depressed
If you look to Jesus, you will be at rest’

If like me you need to be at rest so you can at least be in a place where you might start to enjoy God’s love again, why not be determined to look to Jesus again and give over to Him every circumstance? And even if it’s through gritted teeth, let’s say together, God is good!

Also let’s remember, it’s not peace time, it’s war! If we are down on the ground, it’s the evil one that’s knocked us over. There is something about knowing we are in a battle and getting to our feet again, looking the enemy square in the face and saying, “I don’t care what you say, you’re a liar! Godis good!” Romans 8:31-39

Andy

A couple more quotes and further study:
“If we are going to bring our lives more fully into agreement with God and His kingdom, the primary thing we need is a burning conviction that God is good” Bill Johnson, Face to Face with God

“And this implies not merely a conviction that he is a good being, but also a state of heart in harmony with this conviction” Charles G. Finney ‘On Offering Praise to God’, Dec 17th 1856

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