The Benevolent Paradox: Finding God’s Goodness in the Struggles

The Benevolent Paradox: Finding God’s Goodness in the Struggles

Today’s guest post is by my good friend, Misty Phillip. Make sure to scroll to the bottom to check out how to support Misty! She hosts one of my favorite podcasts, “By His Grace.”

Everyone will experience their share of tempestuous storms. We have to remember the Struggle is Real: But so is God. Life’s adversities often leave us perplexed and questioning. In these trying times, we can’t help but wonder, “Where is God’s goodness when the circumstances don’t feel good?” It is okay to question God. He can handle all of our doubts and frustrations. We just don’t want to get stuck in the why. We want to move from a place of questioning to acceptance and growth. 

It’s essential to remember that God’s ways and thoughts are higher than ours, as professed in Isaiah 55:9 ESV, “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” This scripture implies that God operates on a plane of understanding and intention that surpasses human comprehension. We can trust He sees the entire picture and knows what is best for us, even when it doesn’t feel good.

The Benevolent Paradox: Finding God’s Goodness in the Struggles

When circumstances appear grim, it’s crucial to appreciate that God’s goodness isn’t necessarily a synonym for comfort, ease, or prosperity. God’s goodness comes through growth, resilience, and understanding, often from discomfort and adversity. The trials make us stronger and conform us to be more like Him.

Consider the story of Joseph in the Bible. He was sold into slavery by his brothers, wrongfully imprisoned, and seemingly forgotten. These circumstances were far from good. Yet, as Joseph stood before his brothers in Egypt, he said, “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.” (Genesis 50:20). Joseph’s trials led to a position of power where he could save countless lives during a famine. 

In the midst of the trial, it was hard to see, but in retrospect, God’s goodness was clearly evident. Similarly, in our lives, the difficulties we face may not make sense at the moment. We may feel abandoned, broken, or even hopeless. Yet, these feelings do not negate God’s goodness. On the contrary, they set the stage for it.

The Gift of God’s Presence

How does God reveal His goodness in these circumstances? Primarily, it’s through the gift of His presence and our growth. It’s natural for humans to seek a comfortable, convenient life. However, real growth seldom occurs in the realm of comfort. Like a blacksmith forging a blade, God sometimes allows us to go through the fire of life, not to harm us but to shape and strengthen us. In the process, He is always near.

The Gift of Resilience

God also shows His goodness through the gift of resilience. Trials and tribulations can be the toughest of teachers, but they also cultivate a deep sense of resilience in us. As Romans 5:3-4 ESV tells us, “Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.” The difficulties we face are often designed not to break us but to bend us towards His will, enabling us to endure and thrive amidst adversity.

Wisdom and Understanding

Additionally, God’s goodness manifests itself in the wisdom and understanding we garner from our trials. Life’s most profound lessons often come cloaked in the garb of hardship. Experiencing deep grief and loss, losing babies, siblings, and parents have all been catalysts that have developed my character and made me the person I am today. Just as a seed must break open to grow into a mighty tree, we, too, must sometimes be broken to gain a deeper understanding of ourselves, life, and God.

A Steadfast Companion

Lastly, God demonstrates His goodness by being our steadfast companion through trials. Psalm 23:4 ESV affirms, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me..” God promises to be with us in every circumstance, guiding us, providing comfort, and showing unfailing love, regardless of how dire our situation may seem.

Developing Us Through Adversity

It’s challenging to perceive God’s goodness when faced with unfavorable circumstances. Yet, it’s crucial to understand that God’s benevolence isn’t tied to our transient situations. Instead, His goodness is a consistent thread woven through the fabric of our existence, a beacon of light that shines brightest in the darkest of nights.

God’s goodness is not always about delivering us from adversity but often about developing us through adversity. This growth, resilience, understanding, and divine companionship are a testament to His unwavering goodness, even when circumstances aren’t as favorable as we’d wish them to be. The struggles in life are real, but so is God, and He is always with us and will never leave or forsake us.

About Misty: 

Misty is an author, speaker, podcaster, and founder of Spark Media. She hosts a conference every year for Podcastors, check it out here. Connect with Misty on her website or Instagram.

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