When I was a young college student and a new Christian, I struggled with giving God control over every area of my life— finances, school, sports, my future, and especially my relationships with the opposite sex.
I knew that He didn’t just want the visible and superficial parts of me. He wanted all of me.The problem was I wasn’t sure I wanted to trust God to select my future mate.
Trusting God that way, and so completely, filled me with dread. I imagined it would result in being single for the rest of my life.
Or maybe even worse, I would be married to someone dull and unattractive, serving God in some godforsaken place infested with bugs, alligators, and snakes. I hate snakes! I couldn’t see any fun in a future with God in control.
Then one evening, I had a dinner invitation from a young farmer and his wife. I saw the genuine warmth in their home, reflected in the faces of their two small children, and something happened in my heart. I found myself rethinking my life’s wish list and realized that outward success seemed paltry compared to the wealth I saw in this man, his wife and kids.
I felt the bond of love in that family, and I sensed the goodness that filled that home. I realized that if I could choose my future, I would want that kind of family to be a part of it.
But, would God allow me to have it?
My warped view of God made me think he only wanted hardship and sacrifice from me.
I had been memorizing Romans 8:32, and all of a sudden it dawned on me. I had been questioning God’s goodness at the same time I was memorizing a verse that promises it:“He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?”
It was so obvious. Of course, God had good plans for me! I could trust him. He was on my side! His purpose was not to ignore or crush my desires but to fulfill them far beyond what I could imagine!
How could I have thought that God was good and at the same time thought he would do bad things to me?I began to realize how my wrong idea of God had undermined my relationship with him.
I decided that evening to make Jesus the Lord of my life because I saw God’s goodness clearly. Before that, I had so focused on the cost and sacrifice of his lordship that I had totally missed the reward.
Coming to understand God’s goodness transformed me because it transformed my view of God.I had the greatest struggle of my life dissolve in a matter of minutes because for the first time I got a glimpse of God’s goodness.
How about you? How do you see God? What do you think it really means when Scripture says God is good? And when something in your life goes wrong, will you blame God or will you trust him?
The truth is all of God’s actions are good. God never gives in order to get. His giving isn’t manipulative. God cannot be tempted to do evil.
The Lord is good to everyone. He showers compassion on all His creation. (Psalm 145:9)
God is divinely and positively disposed toward you. He takes holy pleasure in your happiness. He is not down on you because you live in a fallen world; he is for you in the midst of it.
To learn more about God’s character and his goodness,download our new, free Family Devotional: Real Conversations about the Real God.This resource offers a series of videos along with a downloadable discussion guide to help you and your family begin to explore who God really is, what He really thinks about us, and how we can know Himbetter.
Watch The Real God Family Devotional video lesson: Lost Dog.
Founder & Teaching Pastor, Living on the Edge
Chip Ingram is the CEO and teaching pastor of Living on the Edge, an international teaching and discipleship ministry. A pastor for over thirty years, Chip has a unique ability to communicate truth and challenge people to live out their faith. He is the author of many books, including The Real God, Culture Shock and The Real Heaven. Chip and his wife, Theresa, have four grown children and twelve grandchildren and live in California.More Articles by Chip