In All Triumphs And Failures, God Is Good

happy girl walking on street holding blanket
📷: Brittany Martin

God is good. All the time. As a child I remember singing those words in our church chorus, my little chest puffed out and the melody bursting forth from my lips. When I was younger, I didn’t quite understand the weight of those words, how truly beautiful and transformative they were.

I grew up in faith, but never really knew what it meant to be a follower of Jesus until my life was challenged, until I was broken, until I realized I had been blindly walking in the steps of something I didn’t quite understand or feel in my heart. When I became a true Christian, everything in my life shifted. There was purpose. There was love. There was strength. There was hope.

And most of all, there was (and always had been) a God who was good.

I think, sometimes, we’re taught the wrong things about God. Regardless of whether we’re raised in the Christian faith, we tend to see God as this ambiguous figure in the sky, someone looking down on us with judgement, determining what is right and wrong. He feels so removed up there, like we are lesser beings in comparison. (In truth, we are. But that’s never how He treats us.)

God is not this floating cloud, not this blinding light, not this person-shaped ghost. He is bigger than what we imagine, but not as removed as we’ve made ourselves believe.

He is present. He is real. He is listening. He is good.

And even as we hear those words, we don’t quite understand what that means. We can’t quite comprehend having someone who will carry us through our burdens, who has a plan, who doesn’t and will never abandon us. We face hard moments and we question. We fall down and we wonder why He wasn’t there to catch us. What we don’t realize is that life happens, mistakes happen, sins happen—and none of this is of Him.

When we face these things it’s not because that was ‘His plan’ or His intention. It’s not that He wanted to ‘teach us a lesson’ or that we’re being ‘punished’ for something we did. When we face hardship, it’s just a circumstance of this uncontrollable life we face.

Yes, He is a God who controls all things, but He brings forth purpose from pain, love from heartbreak, hope from disaster, new beginnings from rock bottom, change and healing from dust. He gives us opportunities to start over, to begin again, to fall into Him even when we’ve gone astray. He listens, He loves, He never leaves.

And though it may feel, at times, that we’re facing battles all alone, only in time do we discover that He was holding our hand on the sword, He was steadying our voice as we spoke, He was guiding our heart through and out of the troubles and towards the person we’re meant to be with. He was with us, every step, every breath, every tear, every laugh.

Our God is good. And not good because He gives (which He does), but good because He is. He is good in all moments—when we’re on a high and our hearts are full and happy, when we feel we’re broken beyond repair and fully out of hope.

He is good in all circumstances, even the moments where we don’t quite understand what to do or where to head next. He is good when we fail, when we lose people we love, when we’re challenged.

He is good because He promises His love and follows through in this promise—there is nothing we can do or say to make Him walk away.

He is not an angry God, a judgmental father shaking His head as He watches us wander below. He is not standing with balled fists, ready to throw burdens and pain on our already heavy hearts. He is not keeping a list of our wrongdoings, or calculating our shortcomings as measurements of whether we’ll go to Heaven.

He is an open-armed God, a forgiving God, a God who, regardless of the ways you have and will continue to let Him down, loves you as His child. He is a good God, so so good.