I Can't See How God Can Possibly Be Good

His name was Joseph. He had to endure family turmoil and abuse at the hands of his own brothers. He was falsely accused and imprisoned and his biography is written for us in the book of Genesis. Am I actually going to attempt to convince you that God was good in all that suffering? No. Because Joseph himself said, "God meant it unto good" (Genesis 50:20).

In the greatness of our troubles there may often be space for the greater display of the goodness of God.
— Charles Spurgeon

Perhaps you're thinking, "I can't see how God could possibly be considered a good God in all that mess."

That's just the problem isn't it? It is hard for us to see the goodness of God when all around us is not good. It's even harder to trust Him. But the problem is not with God's character. The problem is with our vision. You see, Psalm 145:9 says, "The LORD is good to all." But for some reason we feel that if He were really good than nobody should have to suffer. 

Suffering however, is often the tool of God's choice to cause us to grow and become stronger and closer to Him (James 1:1-5). Isn't it true that from the anvils of suffering rise some of the greatest stories of heroism, sacrifice, and perseverance? Isn't it also true that often suffering becomes God's greatest platform to demonstrate His glory, sovereignty, and faithfulness (keep Joseph in mind right now)?

But doesn't it seem like if God has good reasons for our suffering, He should at least tell us what those reasons are? Well, perhaps at times He does let us in on why He's chosen to allow us to suffer. Often however, He does not. But that doesn't mean He's not good. Maybe he knows we wouldn't understand or be able to handle His explanation.

It's like a small child getting a necessary vaccination as they look into their parent's eyes with big tears and an expression that says, "this hurts! why are you allowing this person to do this to me?" The parent knows the pain is good for the child, but the child will not understand any explanation offered. 

Despite having to endure the pain of a needle though, the child does not do so all alone. Through the whole ordeal they can clutch their parent's hand, and when it's over enjoy their comforting embrace. 

Do you remember Joseph? Well, throughout his dark days you read these words regarding God's activity in his life; "the LORD was with Joseph." Though no explanation for his trials were given, God's presence was very evident and a source of comfort. 

Often the goodness of God is demonstrated in suffering not because He gives us an explanation, but because He stays close by our side through whole storm. He clutches our hand and says, "Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness" (Isaiah 41:10).  

Perhaps it would clear up our blurry vision of God's goodness if we learned to find comfort in His presence and His promise to, "uphold" us when suffering.