Jeanne Takenaka

We’ve all sung songs about how God is good. And, if you’re like me, in the moment you’re singing that song, your heart shouts, “Yes!”

But what about when hard things happen? When a pregnancy is lost to miscarriage? When there’s a life-changing diagnosis? When we lose our security? When a kid wanders or rebels? When someone wrongs us and we did nothing to deserve it? When we look at the bigger world and see so much evil?

What about then? 

Image of a wooden fence separating an outlook from a river, a reminder that sometimes trials keep us from believing that God is good

Can I be honest and say, I know God says He is good, but sometimes I have trouble believing it? I believe He is good for other people, just not always in my own life. Admitting this feels like I’m laying my heart bare. 

How do we hold onto the belief that God is good when it seems like He’s stepped away from us, like He doesn’t care?

Is God good when we can’t see His hand on our lives?

Here’s what I’m learning . . . we will face life seasons when it’s hard to see God’s presence with us. We may not feel His nearness. Reading His word may feel like an an act in futility.

Maybe, sometimes, we doubt God. Last year, when a family member died unexpectedly, one of our boys began openly rebelling, and I had a scary health situation all in the span of a few weeks, I couldn’t cling to the Lord. 

All the big circumstances crashed over me, suffocating my spirit with fear and “What if?”

Yet, part of me knew that what I’ve read, written, and spoken was true. God. Is. Good. I knew it at a head level, but on the heart level, I was struggling to hold this truth close and internalize it.

A walking bridge leads over a creek, almost as an invitation to believe that God is good

How do we start living as if we believe God is good?

Our thought life will have an impact on our perceptions about God.

3 truths about our thoughts

  • Our feelings will lie to us. We can’t avoid the emotions that hit when life slams us with hardship. But, listening to the lies our emotions tell us is is optional, not mandatory. We don’t have to be submerged by feelings. What we need is to turn our thoughts to Truth. 
  • Be aware of where our thoughts lead us. When our circumstances overwhelm us with fearful thoughts and uncertainties, we always have a choice. Will we sink into the message of hopelessness, or will we redirect our thoughts to truth?
  • Spend time in God’s word before crises hit. When we’re in the middle of a trial, we don’t think as clearly as when life is calm. When we’ve decided what we believe in the calm times, we can lean on that when the storms hit. When we know with all our hearts that God is always faithful, that He’s always with us, that He will never leave or forsake us, this strengthens us when doubt tries to creep in.
7 Important Perspectives for When We Doubt God Is Good—What we believe about God when life is good will guide us when life becomes difficult. #tellhisstory #godisgood Click To Tweet

What we believe about God when life is good will guide us when life becomes difficult.

A meme that says, "What we believe about God when life is good will guide us when life becomes difficult." on a backdrop of a cloudy sky over a running creek

How do we form healthy beliefs about God’s goodness?

What we believe about God begins in our thoughts and is embraced by our hearts. 

4 changes we can make:

  • Guard our thoughts. When we face trials, the temptation to doubt God’s goodness grows strong. We must stop those thoughts when they enter our minds. When we know God’s character, thoughts that try to persuade us to doubt His goodness can be halted.
  • Surrender ourselves to Him. There’s an inclination to rely on ourselves to get through hard times. Our culture touts self-sufficiency as an ultimate virtue. But some trials are bigger than we are. They will drown us if we try to tread water in our own strength.

We may grapple with many emotions in our hard seasons. And it’s difficult to stop fighting in our own strength and trying to force things turn out the way we want. 

Surrendering our plans and desires into God’s hands calms our spirits, thoughts, and hearts. This doesn’t mean the circumstances become easier, but we have the confidence we’re not in them alone. When we yield our plans and desires to the Lord, He brings about His best for us. 

When we are tempted to doubt God’s goodness, we mustn’t allow what’s happening in our lives to dictate what we believe about Him. 

  • Sometimes, we need a perspective shift. When hard situations swirl around us and spin within us, we need to remember how God has brought us through other tough times. 

Over and over in the Bible, God shows He is good. If God says He is good, then He is good. Our Father is the same yesterday, today, and forever. We can cling to this truth and find comfort when life overwhelms.

  • When we find ourselves doubting, we need to confess this to the Lord. He is big enough to handle it. And, our Father is loving enough to confront our doubt and help us in our unbelief. Will we trust God?

Heather Riggleman shares this in a blog post about God’s goodness: “To say that God is good means God always acts in a way that is true, noble, right, and good.”

God never promised us an easy life. He said we would face trials this side of heaven. We need to stop viewing our trials through a lens of “How could this happen to me?” Let’s reframe our perspective to trust God is working in us and in our circumstances. He will bring about His good and ours. Believing this helps us rest in the truth that our Father is good. 

7 Important Perspectives for When We Doubt God Is Good—We need to stop viewing our trials through a lens of “How could this happen to me?” Let’s reframe our perspective to trust God is working in us and in our circumstances… Click To Tweet
An image of a dirt path leading between some trees, reminding us that our journey with God will lead us into deeper belief in His faithful character

Conclusion

As I walked through and beyond those anxiety-filled weeks, I grappled with my own belief issues. I had to acknowledge my unbelief and ask for God’s forgiveness. I asked Him to renew my heart and mind. And in His faithfulness, He did.

The process to change what we believe takes time. We must redirect our perspective and alter our thoughts about our ultimate foundation. Do we rely on ourselves or on God? 

One of these wrecks us. The other redeems us. Which will you choose?

What about you? When you’ve faced trials, what has been your perspective about God? What helps you cling to the truth that God is good always?

Come share your story at the Tell His Story linkup. Connect and be encouraged by like-minded friends! #tellhisstory #linkup Click To Tweet

Most weeks, I link up with Grace and Truth, Anita Ojeda, Instaencouragements, and sometimes Let’s Have Coffee. Come join and read more encouraging posts!

Each week we gather here as storytellers, word weavers, and encouragers to make His name known. Our story is God’s story and this small corner of the blogging world, where we come together each Tuesday, needs you. This is a place where poetry, snapshots, prayers, and stories find a safe spot to nod in agreement that what we have to say matters. I am glad you are here and would love to have you join the #TellHisStory community. Add your own encouraging post through the link below. Spread some love by visiting your neighbor and leaving your own encouragement. Click over here to read more about the #TellHisStory community and find a button to add to your site.

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