Tuesday, November 9, 2010

God Is Good All The Time!

We've all had a mountaintop experience; the one where we want to burst with excitement that something wonderful and grand has just happened in our life. We've experienced the joy of leading someone to accept Christ as their Savior, or have somehow been used to help a hurting marriage. Perhaps the excitement stems from being hired for a new job... or being released from one where the joy was gone. Certainly we've had mountaintop experiences when we gaze at the wonder of a newborn (especially when the newborn is our own), or when our children show evidence that they understand the sacrifice that Jesus made. God gives us many reasons to celebrate!

When we sit atop the mountain and celebrate good that's happened, Praise to the Lord rolls easily off our our tongues for that all He has done. His hand becomes clearly evident and oftentimes we can think back and see, step by step, the works of the Lord that brought us to this place. It is an enjoyable, celebratory time!

It's often said from the mountaintop that God is good. Indeed, God IS good. But what about when our world has crashed and the depths of sorrow, regret, confusion, and doubt knock us off our feet? We've all had those experiences too. Do we just as easily praise the Lord during our times of trial?

Over the last 3 months, Mike and I have been hit with wave after wave of trials. We've walked in an almost constant state of confusion, struggled with periods of despair, anger, and pain. Our trials seem to have hit us from out of the blue, stemming from life situations that we imagined to be on solid ground, only to feel that ground suddenly shift and slide directly beneath our feet. These can be described as the opposite of a mountaintop experience, but we can rest assured that God is still with us. One of my favorite Psalms teaches, "If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there." (Ps 139:8) The comfort that comes in knowing God's presence is always with us helps us to stand against the trials that we face. While we walk through the ugliness of life, we keep our eyes on Him, the Author and Perfecter of our faith.

Our trials make us stronger and increase our faith. (James 1:2-3) And just as with a mountaintop experience, when we look back on our trials we can see, step by step, the works of the Lord that have revealed his mercy, protection and faithfulness. It's easy to look for God in the good times. I am so grateful for His reminder to also look for Him among the trials. The trials often drop me to my knees in praise to Him and in humility. They tend to remind me of what I truly deserve - hell - and what He provides - peace. Even amidst a storm, His ways are great and when we look for Him, we will surely see Him.

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.  When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set
you ablaze. For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior  Isaiah 43:2-3

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