“I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.” Psalm 27:13
David said that he believed he would see the goodness of the Lord in this world, not just the “sweet by and by.” Sometime I ponder upon just what that goodness is supposed to look like. Is the goodness of the Lord defined as two cars, a paid mortgage and a spouse by my side? Or is the goodness of the Lord a young child eating a piece of mango in a lean-to in a in a third world ghetto? Obviously you would get a different opinion of what exactly the goodness of the Lord translates to, depending upon your geographical location and your status within that location.
If your circumstances are harsh are you no longer experiencing the goodness of the Lord? Sometimes we doubt the goodness of the Lord in direct proportion to how much we suffer, concluding that suffering is either God’s punishment or His complete detachment from my pain. I even subconsciously conclude that those who suffer, be it myself or others, deserve to suffer because of a moral or behavioral deficiency. Therefore, even a good God could not bless such a rascal as me or thee.
Scripturally, here is what we are believing: we are believing in God’s goodness DESPITE circumstances and despite our craven character. That is the radical nature of life altering belief. It is the exhilarating, audacious conclusion that God’s best belongs to me even though I am not God’s best. It is King David caught in adultery and murder crying out, “According to the multitude of Your tender mercies, blot out my transgressions!” David hoped for what he had no right to hope. It is Jonah, with his head wrapped in seaweed, saying, ‘I have been cast out of Your sight; yet I will look again toward Your holy temple.’ Jonah looked to where he had no right to look. It is the Canaanite woman who dared to believe that Jesus would heal her daughter even though Jesus informed her that He had not come to the Gentiles. She dared to believe what she had no right to believe!
God invites you to this audacious faith that brims with hope, despite all material evidence to the contrary. Come to Him weary from sorrow, labor and sin, and He will give you rest surpassing comprehension. You will see the goodness of the Lord in this lifetime, not just in the life to come. True joy is in believing the goodness of God, knowing that He, even now, is working to change either your circumstances or your muddled mindset, so that you will find contentment and ultimate satisfaction of soul and surroundings. I dare you to once again rest in this truth.