Maybe you have heard the phrase, “God is good … all the time; and, all the time … God is good!” I will often start worship services with this phrase. But is God good all the time? Is God good when 19 innocent children are gunned down as they sit in their classroom, when a Peace Officer is simply doing his duty and is killed, or when one hears the dreaded words, “There is nothing more we can do”? This is a question that I have pondered and struggled with, and one that people often ask me.

When God created humankind it was not with the thought that one day we would needlessly murder each other, or with the intention that humankind would destroy one another through thoughtless words and deeds, or with the intention that a disease would take our lives. God created humankind to have harmony with each other, with nature and with the God of gods. But, as we all know from the creation story, peace and harmony reigned until a fallen angel named Lucifer came on to the scene, breaking the peace and harmony that ruled the land.

Lucifer, also known as the Devil or Satan, is still on the scene and continues to attempt to destroy the peace and harmony for which we were created. We are told in 1 Peter 5:8-10, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” We also read in John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” These words make it clear that it is not God who desires to steal, kill and destroy — it is Satan. When the gunman walked into the Uvalde Classroom on that fateful day, it was not God who was guiding him, it was Satan. But, that does not mean that God was completely absent.

In the midst of trials, sadness and tribulations God IS good. We read in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” God was present with each of those children and adults who died that day in Uvalde, Texas, and God continues to be with their parents and the survivors today. God was present with Officer Lopez when he drew his last breath, and God continues to be present with our Peace Officers and Officer Lopez’s family as they mourn the loss of someone they loved.

When we get a diagnosis that causes us fear, when someone we love is critically hurt or dies, we must remember that God did not cause it. The saying, “God will never give you more than you can handle” cannot be found anywhere in Scripture. Instead, what can be found in scripture over and over is the fact that God is a loving God, a God who cares for you, a God who is ever present and a God who weeps alongside of you. We experience illness, accidents, and death simply because we are not puppets and we live in a fallen, messed-up world.

God reaches down to us when our hearts are breaking, when the world seems to be falling apart and through the Holy Spirit to bring us a sense of peace and comfort. God is good in that God does not and will not abandon us in the darkest of times. God is good because nothing we can ever do will separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord, God is good because God is sovereign.

God is good … all the time; and, all the time … God is good!

(2) comments

pxllr

Your all knowing God would have known this was going to happen since the shooter was born. Why did your god allow this shooter to grow up to become a mass murderer? What lessons does that provide to the shooter or to his victims, or to any of us?

ronzim

“For good people to do evil things, that takes religion.” Steven Weinberg

Sigh. The fact remains that virtually all definitions of various supernatural creative entities declare they are each imbued with omnipotence, omniscience and omnibenevolence, with perfection in both goodness and wisdom. Thus, with perfect knowledge of the future this entity (pick any one) knew at the moment of creation that it was creating a world of daily horrors and went ahead with it anyway.

This means that this entity has had full knowledge of the sheer savagery of the physical world which has never abated. Consequently, the creative entity either does not have the power to stop the suffering and therefore cannot be omnipotent or is omnipotent and chooses not to end the savagery which abounds, and therefore cannot be perfect. The clerical class has turned to theodicy (from the Greek words Θεός, Τheos and δίκη, dikē. Theos is translated "God" and dikē can be translated as either "trial" or "judgement". Thus, theodicy literally means "justifying God".) to craft an entirely anthropogenic rationale to explain away that which cannot be reconciled – the “free will” fiction, for example. Imagine the arrogance involved in mere, flawed humans presuming to know the mind of God and involving themselves in rationalizing its existence. It does not wash, except by the intellectual gymnastics in the fetid imaginations of the seekers of power, wealth, and sexual access.

The ultimate failure of the whole idea is demonstrated by the fact that there are about 4300 religions in the world today, each claiming to be the one true religion worshiping the one true God. And if you disagree, they will be happy to torture and murder you as a demonstration of their fealty to whichever entity may be involved. Every culture has its own creation myth which has arisen both from ignorance and the pursuit of power based on fear and superstition. At best, religion is but a metaphor categorizing the local definitions of good and evil, which would be fine if adhered to. Alas, it is mostly not. The soil of this planet has been soaked in blood from religious exertions for centuries.

“Religion is like a blind man looking in a black room for a black cat which does not exist - and finding it.” Oscar Wilde

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