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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Life Is Hard, God Is Good

You may have heard it before: life is hard; God is good. You’ve probably even said it, so you may appreciate knowing that this statement is far more than a cliché: it’s a strong and solid theological truth. I find a huge amount of peace in knowing that some incredibly smart people have wrestled with such questions as, “if God is good, then why does this happen? Why is injustice allowed, and why can life be so hard?” Those really smart people call it “Theodicy.” It means that life is hard AND God is good.

You see, the greatest struggle in life is not necessarily the hardships we face, but the doubt and questions that those hardships create.

Most people assume that because life is hard, God must not be good—but that’s not the case. It’s not an either/or scenario.One doesn’t cancel out the other.

A few years ago, I decided that even when I couldn’t answer the “why?” part of that statement (“If God is good, then why ____?”), I decided that I would eliminate the “if.” In other words, I choose to believe that God is good - no matter what.  

Hope begins when we stop wondering and start watching. It starts when we stop analyzing whether God is good or not. Genuine hope is when we start watching for the goodness of God despite the circumstances. Maybe the door gets closed on one opportunity and seems like all hope should be lost, but maybe God has something better in store that we have to walk through a different door in order to access it. This has happened so many times in my own life that now I expect it. When something doesn’t go my way, I remind myself of God’s track record, and I start watching for the next opportunity that will uncover God’s ultimate plan through the process.

Just like a good book has many chapters, so does a good life. As the plot forms, you and I are tasked with the responsibility of response. We all have the gift of perspective. We get the chance to decide which lens we’re going to use every single day. What some see as an end, others see as a chance to begin again. Some see problems. Others see possibilities. Being anchored in the goodness of God isn’t always going to be a rational thing—but that’s what it means to be anchored in hope. It’s a stubborn, unrelenting determination not to let the hardships of life downsize the bigness of God.

Copyright © 2015 by Kevin Gerald. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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