In church, we often proclaim that God is good but do we really believe that when we feel like we’re drowning in life? In an interview with Bill Johnson, pastor from California, he made this statement. “What you know about God changes who you are, defines your purpose and destiny, shapes who you are, your thoughts and how you see life and your assignment.”
He went on to say that “seeing God as good is the cornerstone of all theology, that everything is defined by God’s goodness. When we look inward, our faith diminishes because we become more self-reliant than God-reliant. If we misdiagnose who God is, we become lopsided. We must understand that God is 100% good at all times, in every situation.” Even when we don’t understand.
As I’m contemplating Johnson’s remarks, I find them sobering but they make sense. If I believe in any situation that God is not good, my faith automatically weakens and I begin to question if He can be trusted with anything.
Johnson asked for a miracle for his father’s life when he had pancreatic cancer. His father did not receive his miracle but passed away. Instead of questioning God’s goodness, Johnson began to thank God and worship Him. Then he said something interesting in the interview. He said, “In heaven we can’t give God a sacrificial offering out of loss.” Only here on earth is that possible. He found that a season of mourning and sacrificial thanks and worship led to comfort and healing as he remembered God is good.
Pondering that thought, I recalled two verses that speak to this idea. Psalm 54:6, “Willingly I will sacrifice to You; I will give thanks to Your name, O Lord, for it is good.”
Hebrews 13:15, “Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.
Only here on earth can we give God a sacrifice of thanks and praise in the midst of loss, pain, wounds, and hurtful situations. In heaven, these will be no more. Revelation 21:4, “…He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”
Repentance is simply changing how we think. It is believing that God is good even in difficult times. Johnson says, “Real faith does not deny the problem. It denies the problem a place of influence.” Better to see our problems through the eyes of hope. That way, everything becomes redefined.
Maybe it’s time for us to redefine our difficulties through a fresh lens.