What Good Is God?

 

By Dr. Harold J. Sala

After this Job opened his mouth and cursed the day of his birth.  Job 3:1

“Is it going to stop raining?” a visitor asked the old-timer who knew the ways of the woods and weather.  Looking up the old fellow answered, “Always has!”  That was probably the same question that those on board the Ark asked when Noah and his family rode out the flood.  “Is it going to stop raining?”  It is the same question you have when difficulty knocks at your door.  The venerable bard of Avon, William Shakespeare, once said, “When sorrows come, they come not single file but in battalions.”

Doug Herman wouldn’t have to be convinced.  In his book What Good is God? he tells about his white-knuckle encounter with pain and difficulty.  He says, “Not only did the evil of tremendous suffering rampage my life, it trashed my home. My wife suffered from the HIV virus, and we had conceived another child. Ashli was born an AIDS baby.  Both Evon and Ashli suffered terribly before dying within eight months of each other,leaving me with a little boy to raise alone.”

(Doug Herman, What Good is God? (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2002), p. 47).

God, however, did not abandon Doug as he groped in darkness.  Looking back over that dark night of the soul when he prayed and screamed until he was emotionally exhausted, he is convinced that what you think of God and how great is your knowledge of Him before the storm determines how you come through it.

He found strength in what David endured, and in reading the Psalms he regained his confidence in the goodness of God.

“What good is God when he doesn’t provide safety from the storms?” he asks, then answers his own question, affirming that “God is all-powerful, and his perfect love is as great as his power.  His goodness encompasses the eternal hope he offers, that supersedes the horror of our storms.  Here we embrace newfound trust, the pillar of our peace in the midst of the storm.”  (Ibid, p. 47).

When you go through difficult times, there are several things which you really know and which seem to be pushed aside by your emotions, which you need to quietly reaffirm in your heart.

First, remind yourself that God has not made you a target of abuse, nor has He lost sight of your need, nor turned a deaf ear to your cry.  Understand, however, that we who are His children live in a world where evil is a powerful force.  Remind yourself that God never promised to exempt us from the terror of living in a broken world but rather He promised to be with us when we go through the dark valley, the troubled night of the soul, and the difficult time.

We need the attitude of my friend Stanley Collins who was felled with a heart attack, and lying in the hospital thinking of the speaking engagements he was about to cancel and how much good he could do for the Lord, felt sorry for himself and cried out, “Why me, Lord?”  And, said Stanley, he seemed to hear a still voice saying, “Why not you?”

Remember, that even God’s Son cried out, “My God, why have you forsaken me?” as He hung on the cross.

You must also remember that nothing lasts forever. The sun eventually shines.  The resurrection followed the crucifixion, and the long night is eventually driven away by the pink hues of the rising sun.

Back in the days of DOS computers, I put a line in the autoexec.bat that appeared every time I booted the computer. It read simply, “Remember, this too shall pass.”

Yes, sometimes I have to remind myself of what I’ve just told you.  There are times when you must not doubt all your beliefs, nor believe all your doubts.  Then you will discover what good God really is.

Resource reading: Job 2. 

 

Dr. Harold J. Sala, well known speaker, author and Bible teacher, has served as founder and President of Guidelines International, Inc., since 1963. He is the featured speaker on the daily “Guidelines-A Five Minute Commentary on Living” which is broadcast on over 1000 radio stations around the world and translated in over 15 languages. Author of over 40 books published in various languages and hundreds of publications. Residing in Mission Viejo, California, Harold and his wife, Darlene, have three adult children and eight well-loved grandchildren.

Used with permission from Guidelines Philippines, Inc. To learn more about Guidelines and the ministry, please write to Box 4000, 1280 Makati City, Philippines or e-mail address box4000@guidelines.org. You may also visit the Guidelines website at www.guidelines.org.

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