Not too long ago I had a friend going through a difficult time, and in their prayer request they asked me to pray for them to see the goodness of God. So when I went through a difficult time myself recently that became my prayer as well. It was hoping to see God’s loving hand in the midst of my difficult and challenging time.
I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD In the land of the living. – Psalm 27:13
I recall going for a run at the Town Lake Running Trail, a very popular place to near downtown Austin for recreation. As I came by a point that I have come through hundreds of times I looked around and saw what seemed to be an extraordinary view of the area around me. Everything seemed surreal for a moment. In that moment I felt God telling me, “How can you stand before me and ask me to show you My goodness?” For a moment, I was overwhelmed to the point of wanting to drop to my knees. It was God saying look around you, look at your life, and place that I have you. I am always showing you my goodness. I took you from death to life, and I have blessed you to be able to enjoy your days. And although you don’t deserve it I am constantly showing you my goodness.
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. – James 1:2-4
Our natural tendency is to pray for the relief of our difficulty, hardship, or trial that we are going through. But when we understand that God uses such times to refine us, draw us closer to Him, and grow us in holiness our perspective changes. Our attitude changes, and our prayer should also. God reminded me to see His immense love for us. That He doesn’t have to save us but He chooses to. That He doesn’t leave us the way He found us but that He works in our lives to draw us closer to Him, and sanctify us. That He loves me enough to put me through fire, and purge the things from my heart that are out to destroy me and our relationship. When I turn from my sin, and to Jesus I cannot doubt the goodness of God in my life. Not at certain times, but at all times. Jesus and His work on the cross is the ultimate example of the goodness of God. That He is always good and always loving.
Who will separate us from the love of Christ ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword ? Just as it is written, “FOR YOUR SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY WE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED.” But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 8:38-39