Is God Really Good?

Good and upright is the Lord;Therefore He instructs sinners in the way. Psalm 25:8 (NASB)

Many times I sit with women in my office who are in crisis.  The bottom has fallen out of some aspect of their life.  How could my husband cheat on me? How could my child get cancer? How could my parents hurt me?  The counselee has usually responded to their crisis in some way before they get to the point where they visit with me. The response is unfortunately often a sinful one and as a result the mess has become bigger and uglier. It looks and feels hopeless to them. They feel alone, they feel abandoned, and with tears in their eyes they ask me if God is good, how could He let this happen? 

It is in these moments I must remind my counselee that she cannot interpret God's goodness from her viewpoint, God is good all the time as the song says. The temptation to sin against the character of God can be overwhelming in times of crisis. Part of my responsibility is to help her to see how what she believes about God is being revealed during this time. 

One way I can discern what she believes about God is by examining what she does. What a person believes about God is revealed through their actions. It explains why she may have turned to drugs or alcohol, gambling or shopping, anger, bulimia or anything other than God to soothe her hurt and pain. 

What she runs to for comfort may have become her god. She may have wrongfully judged God and turned to another god to worship. I have to ascertain not only what the counselee is worshiping instead of God, but what is the reason she is not worshiping Him? Is she angry at Him? Does she see Him as vindictive, uncaring, or distant? 

A person who does not understand the goodness of God will not be able to deal with the deep issues of the heart that will lead to true and lasting change. Any change will merely be dutiful and performance oriented; not done as a result of delighting in Him. 

When I am helping a woman who questions the goodness of God I know she is believing lies (Gen.3). She is  failing the test of Eve: "Did God really say..?" She is buying the lie that God cannot be good because if He really was good He would not deny her what she perceives as good. 

A woman who questions the goodness of God does not know her Savior. She does not know His character and therefore does not trust Him.  

They shall eagerly utter the memory of Your abundant goodness and will shout joyfully of Your righteousness. The Lord is gracious and merciful; Slow to anger and great in lovingkindness. The Lord is good to all, And His mercies are over all His works. Psalm 145:7-9 (NASB)

To help her learn, I will have her research many Scriptures that speak to the goodness of God, especially Psalm 145,103, 139, 105 and 107.  I will have her take notes on the goodness of God she finds in those Psalms.  She will be assigned memory verses from both Old and New Testaments on the goodness of God, and perhaps the book by A.W.Pink The Attributes of God.