You can’t answer that question based on what life throws at you. We live in a messed-up (fallen) world, but we have a good God. In this confusing world we can see the works of a good God and the works of the Evil One. Jesus had a personal revelation of who God was before he ever came into this world. That’s why He could reveal God’s goodness and kindness to people who had been hammered by life. That’s why He could live with courage and offer hope to others.
Last weekend Marion and I attended a concert with Brian Doerksen and Kathryn Scott. It was my wife’s date idea, and she picked a good one (thanks, honey ! )
I love Brian Doerksen’s music but I also love his honesty about life. He doesn’t varnish life – he talks about the painful experiences – but he also talks about how he has experienced God’s kindness in the midst of struggles. Brian and his wife Joyce have six children, including two sons with Fragile X syndrome and autism. At the concert Brian recounted what a struggle it was when Isaiah, the younger son, was born, and Brian and Joyce learned that he had the same disability as his older brother Ben. Then he shared a beautiful, moving song he had written about how God’s faithfulness was revealed to him in an even deeper way in the midst of this pain.
Illness and death were not part of God’s original plan, but in a world that has been marred by sin, all of us are touched by illness and death. But some people seem to get more than their share. What’s it been like for Brian and Joyce to have two disabled children ? Brian says “It’s been a huge challenge and an incredible blessing. Both of my sons are teaching me much about life and the heart of God.” He adds, “(Joyce and I) make sure we keep investing in our marriage, because over 80 percent of marriages with special-needs kids end in divorce”. You can read more about this on Brian’s website.
What I love about Brian’s approach to life is that he doesn’t just believe God is good, he knows God’s goodness and kindness from personal experience – but he also knows that this doesn’t mean everything will always go just the way he wants it to, and he has come to a place where that’s just the way he wants it to be – because in the end, God is god and we’re not.
Here are some questions I’ve asked about this whole issue – I think they’re questions everyone asks, in one way or another – and the answers I’ve come up with.
Is God good ? Yes, very good – in fact He defines goodness.
Can I trust Him? Yes, it’s the only choice you have if you want a life worth living. No-one else is ultimately trustworthy.
If I trust God, will I have a good life ? You’ll have an awesome life – but not necessarily an easy one. God will be with you in it, though, and it will be far, far better than your life could ever have been without God. In the end, it’s the only way to really live.