Is God Always Good?

Often I have heard people say, ‘How good God is! We prayed that it would not rain for our church picnic, and look at the lovely weather!’ Yes, God is good when He sends good weather. But God was also good when He allowed my sister, Betsie, to starve to death before my eyes in a German concentration camp. ~ Corrie Ten Boom

Is God good? Look around. What do you think? Is God good all the time? Corrie Ten Boom looked around and said Yes, all the time.

I often hear people say When I get to heaven, I’m going to ask God why… My thought is, don’t wait until you get to heaven. Ask Him now. He can handle it. He’s certainly used to it.

I just wonder if why is the real question? Maybe instead we should be asking Who ARE You, anyway? I think who is at the root of the problem of pain, not why.

As the struggles of this life pile up and become the omphaolos (the hub) we look for peace in the whys. Why doesn’t God always send sun for the picnic, spare the one being abused, heal an illness or remove a thorn in the flesh? We ask but He doesn’t justify Himself. I’m guessing that if He did, out of our pain or arrogance, we’d still try to bargain or argue.

I’m not much on asking God why. But when I’m hurting and God seems distant, if I’m not finding comfort in Him, in the not knowing, I try askingย  myself who do I think He is?

Is God LOVE?ย  He says so and if there was ever doubt, Jesus clarified that on the cross.

Is God GOOD? Is He good all the time or do I worship a moody, unpredictable God?

Is God ALWAYSย  RIGHT or is he just another god, not the God–but one given to messing up from time to time.

Questions are important. Questions help us establish security and trust in a relationship. It’s equally important to look at the questions and see if we’re asking the right ones. For me, once the Who is settled, the why becomes relevant only to the extent that I learn to lean.


Author: Debbie

A former counselor and public speaker, I'm grateful for many, many things - God's grace most of all!

26 thoughts on “Is God Always Good?”

  1. The Word says: Love must be sincere.
    If God made everyone love Him, instead of allowing everyone a choice, we would all be little love-robots. Boring.
    God gave us a choice of whether we wanted to love Him or not. Most of us choose “not”. Of those, most reject Him because they do not want to do right and good things. They do not want to love their neighbor. Simple. But profound.
    Good job Debbie, having the type of site where opening this topic is a normal, accepted thing to do. Love coming here. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Dear Katharine –
      And I love having you here! ๐Ÿ˜€
      Your comment reminds me of something C.S. Lewis wrote – that’s surprising, I’m sure! ๐Ÿ˜‰
      Its for The Case for Christianity. It’s rather long but i can’t resist adding it on here since I think you might enjoy it:
      Love,
      Debbie

      โ€œGod created things which had free will. That means creatures which can go wrong or right. Some people think they can imagine a creature which was free but had no possibility of going wrong, but I can’t. If a thing is free to be good it’s also free to be bad. And free will is what has made evil possible. Why, then, did God give them free will? Because free will, though it makes evil possible, is also the only thing that makes possible any love or goodness or joy worth having. A world of automata -of creatures that worked like machines- would hardly be worth creating. The happiness which God designs for His higher creatures is the happiness of being freely, voluntarily united to Him and to each other in an ecstasy of love and delight compared with which the most rapturous love between a man and a woman on this earth is mere milk and water. And for that they’ve got to be free.”

  2. Whoa! Deb, this is major and kinda mind-blowing. Tough love? Egregious Grace, maybe. This is a discussion that is long overdue for so many of us who believe but have these deep, basic, nagging questions. It’s not sacrilegious to ask God why. It’s apathetic not to care. Thank you for this spiritual sustenance!!

    Peace & Blessings,

    Ruth

    1. Ruth –
      I’m going to take a couple more runs at this.
      300 words (including the quotes) doesn’t give me much space to expand on an idea.
      I do so very much believe that God wants our questions. I think He longs for us to come to Him and ask.
      You’re right, it certainly isn’t sacrilegious and not questioning has made far too many people of faith, and people without any at all, apathetic.

      I don’t think there are ANY wrong questions.
      It’s just that the question I hear people ask the most is why and only why. He’s a big God! Surely He warrants more than just one question.
      If people don’t get an answer to why or don’t like the answer, many never get past why to asking anything else. A person can always come back to why later! It’s like skipping the hard math problem and returning to it when you’ve worked through the others. ๐Ÿ˜‰
      I love it when you comment!
      Thank you!
      ~ Debbie

      1. Hi Deb,

        Sorry if my comment came across as disagreeing with you – I don’t think I’ve ever disagreed with any of your posts. I agree the Who is more important than the why; but I don’t think asking why is so bad either. It may be pointless and lapse into whining, but it can lead you to find for yourself answers God doesn’t provide.

        Keep speaking true, dear heart!!

        Hugs,

        Ruth ๐Ÿ™‚

      2. Oh Ruth – I didn’t think you were disagreeing (were you)! ๐Ÿ˜‰
        I thought you were just sharing your perspective, and I agree!
        If you were, that’s perfectly fine always. That’s part of how I roll – and grow!

        I was just realizing from the comments (not just yours) that I may have left the impression that I thought questioning God was not a great idea.
        I hope I did better with God of the 3 O’s?

        I still have a Superhero post to write to try to tie up my thoughts for now (they’re always a bit in flux with some loose ends so I’m sure there’ll be more down the road)

        Speaking of down the road – our rig moved so we’ve been on the road. Sorry to be so slow getting back to you.
        I love it when you leave a comment!
        Hugs to you, my friend!
        Debbie

  3. Oh gracious one . .. this is bringing tears, but good ones. I cry easily. For me it ties in with your post about engaging God first . .. then serving others. Seek Him for Who He is first, then ask questions . . .if we still have any. God bless you and your heart of grace. love and prayers!

  4. You continue to WOW me, oh wise Sister Debbie. I really love this one, as it pierces right to the heart of a common dilemma–as soon as I read your words, turning the question and focus to “Who”, I felt a cleansing rush in my spirit–light and truth, and healing balm. I can’t thank you enough today–God bless you Big! love, sis Caddo

    1. Dear Caddo F.F. –
      I’m so glad. Maybe I didn’t quite make the point I’d hoped.
      I think questions are wonderful. I’m not fond of WHY.
      But WHO – now there’s a question that keeps on giving!
      Love and grace to you with your lightened and enlightening heart,
      ~ Debbie

  5. Good post Debbie.
    I do believe God is good, love and right but CANNOT understand the suffering of children at an adults hand whether through emotional, sexual or physical abuse that sets the course for the rest of their life. Some come out of it unable to be a barely functioning human being and others unable to have a ( ” true” loving relationship). Some carry on the abuse.

    At what point is it a choice? From the abusers side and from the grown up abused as a child? Knowledge of right and wrong?

    Maybe I’m not asking the right question.

    I know the Bible is full of times God asked His people to go in and kill men, women and children, “slaughter” them. For some reason I can accept
    that a bit more because God commanded them but still think its disgusting.

    It helps to ask, sometimes clarification comes in the asking.

    Am I rating sin? ? Hhmmmmm

    1. Cathy, my questions and concerns are the same as yours. Do I believe? Yes. Do I question? All the time. Am I still confused? Absolutely! Survivors, at the very least, have serious ‘trust’ issues – and trusting in God is a huge leap of faith … I keep trying, questioning, talking to Him, loving and believing in Him – but am still full of questions.

      1. Dear Julie –
        Thank you so much for jumping in. I didn’t mean to imply questioning is wrong. I think questioning is essential.

        My question is which questions help. I don’t think there are any wrong questions. Personally (just my opinion), WHY is the least helpful question because, just as in our personal interactions, it’s very often more of an accusation or a demand for justification, than a true question.

        You and Mel and Cathy have inspired me to write a post about questions so I don’t leave the wrong impression here.
        Thank you, Julie!
        ~ Debbie

    2. Dear Cath,
      I’m going to repeat what I said to Ruth.
      I vote for skipping why, like a tough math problem, and moving on through all the other questions first. You can always come back to it, but it’s not a place you want to get stuck!;)

      I just don’t like why in any setting.
      In our relationships, asking some why a person did or didn’t do something, is most often received as an accusation or a demand for justification.
      I’m not sure it’s that different with God.
      If I ask why He did or didn’t do act in the way I would like, not only am I accusing, I think I’m often not allowing for the natural consequences of living in a fallen world.
      Plus, frankly, my picture is too small, my heart is too small, to hold the truths of the Creator of the Universe. I can hardly hold on to the simple every day things.
      I’ve written a follow up post on questions. I think questions are a huge part of relationship formation.
      I love it that you’re willing to share yours.
      And I love you,
      ~ Debbie

  6. Yes, yes, and yes. You’re inside my head again girl. (As I listen to Derek Webb on Spotify ๐Ÿ™‚ I not only ask questions of God, I’ve argued with him! That is love – on HIs part.

    I think your main question, Who ARE you anyway? reminds me of Oswald Chambers when he says God doesn’t reveal his plans for us but reveals WHO he is. It also reminds me of something I heard from Andy Stanley about leadership: If you have the right who, you don’t have to worry about the what.

    I’ve got the right who, so I really need to stop worrying about the what.

    Just an awesome post. I feel the heat and it’s good.

    1. Debby –
      Thank you so much for adding this.
      Questions are essential to spiritual growth – or to growth period.
      I just think why is more of a challenge or an accusation than a question.
      I don’t think it offends God. I don’t think it’s often answered, at least not to our satisfaction.

      I like what Andy Stanley said about having the right who. ๐Ÿ˜€
      I’m going to try to carry this conversation on a little further (which may or may not be helpful)! ๐Ÿ˜‰
      I so appreciate you getting my heart here.
      ~ Debbie

  7. Debbie– Awesome God! Awesome questions!

    I guess I’ve been asking the wrong questions forever. I have said when I die, I’m going to ask Him why… and since reading your thoughts, I’m wondering if, my timing is off. I should ask now. You’re right. It’s important to my relationship with Him.

    And…WHY was the wrong question. I think you’re right. The real question behind my queries was WHO are you? Are you who I think you are? Given my addiction, my mental anguish, the rejection, the death of my innocence…are You the God I thought?

    If those issues and questions are important to me, I’d better be asking. My life, my sanity, my faith stands on those issues. Only recently have I found Him sufficient. Until then, I tried to play God (control others and force my own solutions or alternately numb myself in alcohol) in order to write my own answers–to make sense of my own issues, my critical questions.

    I really respect your 3 God attributes: LOVE, GOOD and RIGHT. I think you’re on target with this. We do need to ask Him. He can take it. In fact,I believe He welcomes our questions. It’s how we become real with Him. He doesn’t want little puppets. He wants us to be just who He created each of us to be: curious children of the Father. I, for one, cannot trust anyone who does not encourage questions.

    Thank you for this post, Debbie. I’m sorry for being so verbose. You hit the target here!

    1. Heidi!
      Wow! I should just re-post your comment as a post!
      That’s exactly at the heart of what I meant to say.
      Ask questions NOW because our life here (the joy, the abundance, the strength) depend on the answers here and now.
      I absolutely believe that God desires us to share our entire hearts with Him (it’s not like He doesn’t see it all already anyway).
      If we insist on asking why, at the very least, I think we should settle the who first.
      Why fades in the light of Who for me.
      That probably isn’t true for everyone.

      I was just hoping it might help a little for people stuck in the tangle of free will and sin and consequences.
      “I believe He welcomes our questions. Itโ€™s how we become real with Him. He doesnโ€™t want little puppets. He wants us to be just who He created each of us to be: curious children of the Father. I, for one, cannot trust anyone who does not encourage questions.”
      Amen, my friend!
      ~ Debbie

  8. Debbie, i never thought i could ask God questions or he’d smack me down. I still have trouble with the God of the Bible. It is a long way to go from feeling that i must have UTTER obedience and utter gratitude to perhaps questioning the motives of the “all-powerful one”. Maybe i’m THAT weak, and fear death THAT much. That if i disagree with the “powerful one’s” motives or “acts” that i would surely be put on the sh(( list and be on the first bus to hell …

    Here is the deal i was taught as a naive child, all good comes from God, all evils are caused by me. At least now i am willing to share the blame for the sh** in the world. as we are all imperfect.

    So, if we are “better” people, the world will be better? I DO buy that … if we all worked from a place of love and goodness, the world would be better … but what about the big stuff? Genocide, natural disasters … i guess we could blame Mother Nature too. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa, circular, and unresolved misfirings, MEL. Much love to you!!!! Your EVER-questioning, pal.

    1. I hope you don’t mind I jump in here…

      You are NOT that weak. Questions are how we learn about God. Notice I did not say accusations, but questions. Take your honest questions to the Lord, He will point you to an answer. Some things the only answer is that we must have faith in our God. Do we believe Him to be omniscient and omnipotent or not? Is He who He claims to be or not? The answers to these two questions provide answers to many other questions.

      All good does come from the Father in heaven. The Old man is evil. The New man is not. If you are saved, you are not of the flesh (the Old man) any longer. You are a new creation (the New man). However, it is still possible to walk in the flesh, entirely different then being in the flesh.

      Blessings to you Mel
      Greg

    2. Oh Mel –
      I can see I need to carry this on further. I’m going to add a couple more posts. Questions are good. Questions are vital.
      While I agree that all Good comes from God, it breaks my heart that you grew up thinking (or being told) that evil comes from you.
      Keep asking, dear melis.
      Keep asking always.
      Much love to you, too!
      ~ Debbie

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