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Is God Really Good?

In the wake of one of the world’s greatest natural disasters you can bet that lots of prayers were making their way to heaven. At the same time the astronomical catastrophe that occurred at the end of 2004 in Asia is sure to ignite questions about God’s goodness. After all this disaster cannot be blamed on evil men, but on a flawed universe that creates a tsunami so powerful that an estimated 150,000 people can lose their lives in one day.

The day the tsunami was reported I was reading in Luke 18. The scripture that seemed to call out to me was the question Jesus asked the rich young ruler. The ruler called Jesus, Good Teacher. Jesus responded by asking, Why do you call me good? Jesus answered. No one is good—except God alone. (Luke 18:19) This truth is what you need to hang on to after your life has been devastated by a tsunami of any kind. You must remember that no one is good except God alone.

I'm sure that there are a lot of people doubting how God could be good and not stop something like this from happening. We humans are pretty limited in our understanding of what is good. We think God is good to us if He lets us have everything we want and gives into our every whim. At the very least, we define God as good when He prevents horrible natural disasters such as the type that devastated Asia.

When you really understand that God is good, you have to accept that you cannot always understand why things work out the way they do. It reminds me of the spiritual lesson I learned while eating popcorn in front of my son. There is something about the smell of popcorn that attracts even the very young. My son was a toddler just eating table foods. He was eager to taste the food that I ate and I was always happy to share it with him. When he came to me wanting to taste the popcorn I was eating, I was a bit surprised. I didn't think of it as something that would interest him. But, I didn't want to share it with him. I didn't want to give him popcorn, not because I was stingy and wanted to keep it to myself. I was afraid that popcorn was too advanced a food item for his inexperienced swallowing and that it would make him choke. He looked devastated that I would deny him food that seemed so appealing. It wasn't easy for him to trust that this would not be good for him. I didn't give it to him because I loved him. I'm not saying that good things come directly from the tsunami but I am saying that we need to remember that God has revealed His ultimate goodness to us when He sent His Son to die for our sins.

As Jesus said, there is no one good except God. This is the truth we need to cling to even when we can't rectify how difficult our lives have become. We must accept that we do not know everything. We do not fully comprehend how devastating sin is and what links God must go to make things right. We must believe that God is good in spite of the circumstances here on this earth and know that He is going to make all things new. Never give up on believing that God is good.

Consider how you can reveal the goodness of God through the ways you help those who have been crushed by the harshness of this world.

 

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