For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.Psalm 100:5 NIV
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV
Why should we look to God, at a time like this? Because He is good, therefore He can be trusted, and He makes ways we didn’t know existed
THOSE OF US who have walked with God for a time in this unlikely relationship — Almighty holy God with accident-prone ordinary man — take the opportunity to remind ourselves again that the essential nature of the God we belong to, is that He is good and He is loving — and therefore He can be trusted. Utterly. These verses remind us that He is loving in a way that doesn’t keep a score when we are less than loving in return, and He is still there for us when our trust has proved to be shaky.
These become, not just words of truth but words of praise. Why would we turn to praise at a time like this, when hospitals are struggling and so many have lost loved ones prematurely?
It is because praise is not limited by what we experience or feel, because it is an expression, not of how we are, but of how God is. He is good. He is loving. His kind of love is not fickle or conditional, but something we can rely on as unchanging, no matter what.
If God is all-powerful and over the situations we are so concerned about, and He is good and loving in that supreme power, we want to recognise that He is always working for our good, always attentive to our cries for help, always doing what He does best — saving and delivering. How much of that do we see coming through? How much of a daffodil pushing up do we need to see before we praise His creation of a daffodil?
Praising God for His goodness is also our dismissal of the lie that God sends hardship. A lie that cannot stand up and which is not entertained, a lie that’s exposed and dismissed, has been disarmed. It no longer has any destructive power. It has been named for what it is. And our choice to believe and affirm who God is, and how He is — what He is like — is our best strategy in the warfare against the misinformation the enemy is attempting to spread.
This is a time for Christians to share the hope they have in God, the confident expectation that He will bring us through. Why would we hope that? Because we know Him, and we know He is good, merciful and forbearing of our many faults.
Why would He do this? Because of Jesus. He made a way for us, warts and all, to have a personal and intimate relationship with God who is pure and holy. And to know that He loves us, likes us and enjoys our company!
It is also a time for Christians to rise up with one voice to praise God for who He is, and to declare that we trust Him for the deliverance, and more, that we know He is bringing through the present difficulty. To praise Him, even, for the many who are turning to Him at this time and finding that He is exactly what His word says He is.
To praise God because He is good, and therefore we gladly put our full trust in Him.
Lord God, I come to You in deep gratitude for Jesus, His self-sacrifice for me, the deepest possible expression of His love for me, taking my guilt and shame and enabling me to know You — and I praise You.
I exalt You above all and declare again that You are good and that Your kind of love endures forever and is steadfast without limitations. You are able to bring Your good out of our desperate situation and need. You are working Your good plans and purposes where we see signs of them — amazing advances of science giving us good remedies in a tenth of the usual time, and medical professionals finding strength beyond themselves. I praise the answers to our prayers for leaders and all in authority, and I recognise that every good call they make gives glory to You. I refute the lie that there is anything about You which is harsh or discriminatory.
You are Almighty, You are strong and also loving. Everything about You is good, and I declare my trust in You. To the glory of Jesus, Amen.
• For an alternative reflection and prayer, see this post on www.glowweobley.com