God is always good!
His Word tells us repeatedly: “The Lord is good, and His mercy endures forever!” Trust Him!
Friends, we may never know why the God of the universe does what He does. His thoughts are above our thoughts and He alone can see the road up ahead—miles, years, decades and centuries. But be convinced that whatever God has sovereignly allowed in your life, His purpose is ultimately to bring glory to Himself.
You may learn something from it (even God’s righteous servant, Job, learned something) but it is also possible that God is putting into motion something that is bigger than you. It may not even be limited to your individual lifetime. In fact, what He allows today may have beautiful repercussions for generations to come!
So, how can we know what the will of God is? We don’t. How can we know what might glorify God or somehow change history or the future to accomplish some good thing He has orchestrated and planned? We don’t. We can only trust what God Himself says about Himself: God is good! His Word says He is good, and from example after example in the Bible, God will determine what is good, based on His will and His glory.
Application #1: God does everything according to His good pleasure.
Once you’ve determined that you truly believe God CAN do all things, including heal us, the only question that remains for us is, “Will He choose to do that for us?” What we do know is that God does all things according to His will, that is, God does all things to glorify Himself. He works everything in accordance with His good pleasure. (Romans 8:28)
Personally, I think the typical, narcissistic understanding of this verse is quoted to mean that God will make me better which forgets that God’s eternal purposes do not promise everything good to happen to me. This verse means that God has something “good” in mind (and only He gets to define what’s “good” based upon what He decides is best according to His purposes). Although, much of what God does do in life is, in fact, also for our good, God is under no obligation to limit His actions to things that are simply about us or to what we may feel is good for us or to what actually feels good to us!
One small example that comes to mind is saving the life of a terminal patient with the organ of someone He allows to die. What ends up being good for the terminally ill person certainly wasn’t what one might deem good for the dead person? Does that make sense?
Application #2: Everything God does is good! Everything that God withholds from us is good!
Because His Word teaches us that God is good, it isn’t only what He does. It’s something He is! It is His character. It is His very essence. He cannot be or do anything but “good,” but only as defined by what is good and perfect to God—and Him alone.
Who is to say and who is to know but God alone what is good in the mind of God? How can we possibly fathom what could, in fact, glorify Him and thus be counted as “good?” Could God know that my suffering would bring Him glory? Would bringing glory to God, as unlikely as it feels to me in this terrible illness which causes me to suffer greatly (at my expense and in my pain) be, in fact, “good?”
Might He think that this might be a refining work by allowing me to go through this fiery trial and might that turn out for my good? Sure. But God’s hand is not limited by measuring out His intervention or non-intervention in man’s life by whether He wants to teach us a lesson or make us a better person.
So, if you believe that God could remove your affliction, any affliction, including depression, then you must believe that He has made a conscious choice not to remove it, especially if you have earnestly prayed that God would remove it, as in the case of Paul’s thorn in the flesh.
Verses to Meditate On
Psalm 23:6 (NASB): “Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
Psalm 31:19 (NASB): “How great is Your goodness, which You have stored up for those who fear You, which You have wrought for those who take refuge in You, before the sons of men!”
Psalm 116:12 (NIV): “How can I repay the Lord for all His goodness to me?”
Psalm 34:8 (NASB): “O taste and see that the Lord is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!”
Psalm 16:2 (NASB): “I said to the Lord, “You are my Lord; I have no good besides You.”
Romans 8:28 (NASB): “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”
2 Corinthians 12:7-9 (NASB): “Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me. Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. And He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.'”
Wow. What excellent logic!
“Everything that God withholds from us is good!” What a profound way to say it!