God is not good.
I can't believe I've written such a thing. The words just marched off the tip of my favourite pen. They mar today's spotless, fresh page in my journal. What have I done! How could I have thought, let alone written, such a bold lie?
"Is it a lie?" The question whispers through my mind. As I think back over the last few days, months, years, I begin to see a pattern emerging. It's a pattern that scares me profoundly because it challenges everything that I've believed.
I've believed that God is the One and Only True God. I've believed that He is Sovereign. He is Faithful. He is Righteous. He is The Provider. He is Savior. He is Comforter. He is Friend. He is GOOD.
But He is NOT good. That's the strong truth that rolls in to replace the apparent lie I've believed all my life. Experience shows that God is not good, not really good.
Wait a minute! That can't be true! The Bible is the Word of God. The Bible is true. The Bible says God IS good. I know personally that God is good. I've experienced His provision over and over and over again.
"Has He really provided for you?" The question flutters through my mind, surprising me.
Yes, He has provided. I can list numerous ways upon ways that He has taken care of my family and me. Of course He has provided!
The question rolls gently into my mind. But as I contemplate the answer, the question picks up speed until it roars like a freight train. This is the key. God has provided, but not abundantly. His Word says that He is an abundant giver; but He is not. He's given me only enough to keep me believing. He's been withholding from me, lying to me all along.
No! No! This cannot be true. God does not lie, does He? I reach for my Bible, desperate to fill my mind with real truth, God's truth.
As I read, I am filled with horror. The written words say God is good. But in my heart, I can no longer believe it. Verse after verse of Scripture I read and my heart declares it untrue. It's all a lie.
I am so distraught. I cannot easily throw away the foundation of my life. My faith has held me together so many times. It has brought comfort and such joy. I have soared on the heights with God and He's been with me in the valleys. What is happening to me? I need someone to help me!
But no one seems to have answers for me. Friends have nothing to say, no words of encouragement, no comfort, not even any real sympathy. Bitterness seeps in. Time and time again I see that God is not good, not abundantly good. This revelation is stealing the life out of me. There is no peace, only turmoil. How could God have wooed me, loved me and deceived me? AHHH! Where is truth?
"Be still and know," a gentle voice whispers through my mind.
Yes. I remember that voice. I remember the peace I have often found in His presence. I will be still before Him. Surely He will show me what to do.
"You shall know the Truth and the Truth will set you free."
Yes! The truth is what I want! Tell me the truth!
"I am The Truth. Know Me and I will set you free."
Deep down inside I know this invitation is real, is right. If I want to be free from this gruelling struggle, I must know Him more. The choice is mine to make, though. He will not force Himself upon me. I can choose to seek Him with my whole heart or to remain in torment.
I choose Him.
And with that decision, I have been set on a new path. It is a path of drawing near to Him, of learning to hear His voice more clearly, of learning to see through His eyes, through His perspective. It is a path we walk together. Getting to know Him more intimately is very, very sweet. Gone is the bitterness and turmoil. He is setting me free step by step from the lies that the enemy of my soul had planted. I rejoice in my God. I am His and He is mine. With certainty, I can declare aloud, "He is indeed GOOD."
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