Have you ever looked at your circumstances and failed to see the goodness of God? You wouldn’t be alone. Things happen in life in which we can see no goodness or redemption. Sometimes we see it later, and in looking back we can see how God was at work, but not always. There are some things we will never understand or see any goodness in.
The mistake we often make is to judge God by our circumstances. When we can see no goodness, we doubt the goodness of God. When we can see no purpose, we doubt the promise of God. When we can see no plan, we doubt the sovereignty of God.
At one of the times I was most struggling, and my future looked most daunting, I cried out to God:
“I don’t know what my future holds!”
His answer came clear and immediate: “But you know who holds your future.”
This cut through my self pity and discouragement. Our confidence is in WHO HE IS.
In the times when I have struggled most, God has frequently challenged me to give thanks. I think there are always things in life that we can give thanks for, no matter how painful, but I have not always been in a place to see them. Does this mean that I cannot give thanks? No.
The root of Thanksgiving stems from WHO GOD IS. At the times when I have seen nothing to be thankful for, I have given thanks for Him, declaring His truth, his goodness, and his sovereignty.
The choice to praise God when you cannot see it does many things. One of these is to change our perspective. Instead of judging God by our circumstances, we begin to judge our circumstances by God. Despite seeing no goodness in our circumstances, we can believe by faith that it is there.
We see this at the centre of Lamentations – in the middle of probably the most depressing book in the Old Testament are these words:
“But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope:
The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. ‘The LORD is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘therefore I will hope in him.'” – Lamentations 3:21-24
Right in the centre of all this despair, he remembers who God is and in this He finds hope. With this perspective, we can look at an uncertain future with certain hope in our certain God.
As Corrie Ten Boom said:
“Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God”
He is good, so I can declare that “I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living!” (Ps 27:13)
I have no idea what my future holds, but I know who holds my future.
This is like taking off in a plane in a heavy, overcast day, and rising up above the clouds to see glorious beauty and light… It’s the same scene, just different perspective. Focusing on who God is lifts our perspective above the darkness to see the glorious light of Christ.
Keep looking to Him beloved siblings Christ!