Scripture of the Day:
Psalm 84:11 (ESV)
“For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.”
Hope Discovery of the Week:
We might not be able to escape a moment, but we can find refuge and hope in it.
Standing in the court numb and filled with anxiety, I suddenly became aware of my mind being distracted. The present moment was too much for me to bear, so I sought to find solace in anything that would take me away from the burden that enveloped me. Somehow dazing off into nothingness comforted me and made the pain hurt a little less. I left my mind drift and stood there, motionless.
Then the gavel pounded and jolted me into the present, plucking me from a moment of peace. I really was there – being questioned and accused falsely. It was then that the Holy Spirit reminded me that I could not escape this moment, but I could find refuge in it. Wrapping my mind around the character of God and His purposes being so much higher than mine lifted me out of the desperation and momentarily placed me in the palm of God’s hands. Somehow, God would use even this or my good and His glory. But how?
Suffering has a great potential. It can either draw us nearer to God or drive us far away from His presence. It is in the moment of pain that we have a crisis that occurs – God’s goodness is called into question and suddenly the pain is not about the one who inflicted it upon us anymore, but about a God who would let it all happen in the first place. How could such a God be good, we wonder?
When we are at the crossroads of despair and hope, the only means by which we can choose hope is by the grace of God pointing us to God’s goodness right in the midst. Such a belief is radical and seems nonsensical. How could we delight in good while we are suffering?
What is good?
Because we are fallen, defining good is limited to what we experience. It is about us. Good = pleasure, or good = blessing. But God’s goodness is not based on our experiences, “good” or “bad”. His goodness is based solely on His righteousness.
Why His Goodness Matters
When we encounter various trials and sufferings in this life, we can choose to focus on those sufferings and blame God, but that will not eliminate our pain. But when we remember the goodness of our God, we have hope because of His character. His promises always come true. Our pain is temporary. God’s goodness is eternal, as are His plans for us, which are good.
Gift in disguise
Perhaps it is logical to say that pain is bad. But when we examine the fruit of pain, perhaps our opinion changes. If a perfectly comfortable life is our goal, will we grow? If a pain-free life is our earnest desire, will that cause us to draw near to God? Is a life without suffering good, after all?
God’s goodness is not defined by whether life seems good. We might not be able to escape a moment, but we can find refuge in it by remembering God is good.
When hardship or sorrow visit us and cover us in shame, we can have refuge and hope even in shame or pain because God bestows favor and honor to His children. Period. No good thing does He withhold. No. Good. Thing. And this comes from the only One Who is truly good. Amen!
Speaking of God restoring us and giving honor to His kids, this month, Shame Off You is being launched into the world. If you have ever felt buried in shame and without hope, there is still hope for you and God wants to remove your shame. Pre-buy Shame Off You now to receive some free resources to help you in the Shame Off You life!