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Scrolling through Facebook, Instagram, and other social media outlets, I see statements like the following on a regular basis.

“Getting ready to watch Wicked with my husband. God is good.”
“Here’s our new van. God is good.”
“Enjoying a hamburger with my little girl. Just the two of us. God is good.”

These are not actual quotations, but very well could be. From dates to new houses and cars to big vacations, we are quick to throw the little tagline at the end of our updates: “God is good.”

But there seems to be something missing, and I think it speaks to a very troubling issue about how we view God.

Intellectually, we know that what I’m getting ready to say is true, but I just wonder if we ever show it to the world. That is this: God is always good.

God is not just good when you can afford a new car.

He is not just good when you are able to spend a romantic evening with your spouse.

The Lord is not just good when you can finally afford to take that once-in-a-lifetime vacation.

When I was studying for the sermons that eventually became the book Hymns of the Heart, I spend a lot of time in Psalms that I was not quite as familiar with. That was part of the reason for studying for those lessons and the book. It “forced” me to dig into some of those wonderful poems that I did not know as well.

I was blown away by how many of the poems speak to the goodness of God, but are set in times of extreme struggle.

For example:

Psalm 28 contains the words near the beginning, “If You be silent to me, I become like those who go down to the pit” (verse 1). However, it also contains this great line: “The Lord is the strength of His people” (verse 8).

The 56th Psalm has as its setting, “My enemies trample on me all day long, for many attack me proudly” (verse 2), but also contains the powerful words of praise, “in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me?” (verse 11)

Psalm 69 opens in perilous terms: “Save me, O God! For the waters have come up to my neck. I sink in deep mire, where there is no foothold; I have come into deep waters, and the flood sweeps over me. I am weary with my crying out; my throat is parched. My eyes grow dim with waiting for my God” (verses 1–3). But near the end, David wrote, “I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify Him with thanksgiving. This will please the Lord more than an ox or a bull with horns and hoofs. When the humble see it they will be glad; you who seek God, let your hearts revive. For the Lord hears the needy and does not despise His own people who are prisoners” (verses 30–33).

Many other examples from just the book of Psalms could be given, but these suffice. In times of extreme trouble and despair, the poets were basically saying, “God is good!”

Yes, God is good when you buy a new car or go on that vacation.

But God is also good when the doctor utters the dreaded word “cancer.”

God is still good when you wonder if this month’s light bill can be paid because you’ve been laid off.

God is still good when the one you’ve loved for a lifetime passes suddenly and unexpectedly to the next life.

God is still good when you hear the words, “You’ll never have children.”

God is still good when drought comes. When disease comes. When distress comes. When disaster strikes.

So, please, keep giving God the credit for the good times in life. But may I ask us all to also display to the world–even on social media–that God is good at all times.

As the most famous Psalm of them all says it, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me” (Psalm 23:4).

Even when our life may not be worthy of Instagram, our Shepherd is good.

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