“It’s all good”

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin; and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons,

My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,
Nor faint when you are reproved by Him;
For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines,
And He scourges every son whom He receives.”

It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live? 10 For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness. 11 All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness. – Hebrews 12:1-11

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Cliff Near La Paz, Mexico | August 2019

“It’s all good,” he said. He was awaiting a diagnosis from recent pathology tests. Was it cancer? What would he have to face? How would it impact his family? His friends? His co-workers? His neighbors? Himself? “It’s all good,” he said with a wistful smile.

“Not all things are good, but God is always good,” I gently offered. “God’s my It” he said. “It’s good because God’s good.” And so It is. God is good all the time. That’s true whether facing a foreboding diagnosis, or an angry boss. A mean neighbor or a gang banger focused on scoring his next hit. Or a foreboding financial reckoning: these all must bow to the goodness of God. They’re not going to interrupt God’s goodness, love, faithfulness, mercy, kindness, and grace.

That’s good news for people of faith. For those who believe in God, who are willing – by his grace and the working of the Holy Spirit – to recognize his authority over all things and our accountability to him, and who delight in his promises of forgiveness, life, and salvation this is very good news indeed. God’s faithfulness and goodness spans every trial, challenge, hardship, disappointment, fear, threat, or anxious moment.

Then there are times when we recognize the hand of God’s discipline on our lives. We discern that we are being corrected, refined, redirected, and reoriented by God’s providential work in our lives or the lives of others. In this case – as well as when we face challenges from the world, the devil, and our own flesh – the goodness of Godis an anchor for our souls. Alluding to passages from the Psalms, Proverbs and Jeremiah, the writer says:

My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,
Nor faint when you are reproved by Him;
For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines,
And He scourges every son whom He receives.”

C.S. Lewis says that pain is God’s megaphone to the world. In times of pain, God is calling to us and seeking our heart’s devotion, faith, and love. He is yearning for us to look to him with confidence and faith that is validated in Jesus’ perfect faith, his suffering death, and resurrection.

God’s goodness, love, grace, and faithfulness is the constant that spans every chasm of despair.

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