God’s Goodness in Question (What do you believe?)

But for me it is good to be near God;
I have made the Lord GOD my refuge,
that I may tell of all your works.
~Psalm 73:28

There are rumblings among some of my friends. Now in they’re thirties and forties, they’re finding things to be wholly other than they thought in the post-college, eyes-wide shut days. To them, God’s goodness is in question, it being inadvertently linked to their everyday circumstance. Promising careers have turned into laborious drudgery. There are houses high-centered on the market, families struggling to make ends meet. The family illness, the church split, the separation, the divorce–it’s all got them running amok. Living in a carnival of uncertainty, they point to proof after proof of a failing god, of an impotent gospel.

But there are others who see God’s grace is deep and wide, less like a fountain and more like the mighty Mississippi. They live in this river, the one whose streams make glad cities, homes, and hearts.  They haven’t been spared the troubles or sorrows of this world. In fact some of them have suffered a double-barreled blast.

Consider John Ray.  I sat on his porch last week while the first cold front blew across the Ozarks.  October  is especially stark for him, it being the month he lost his youngest daughter. John reminisced a bit, shared good memories, painful ones, too. But in the end he affirmed the truth–God is good in security, he says, but he’s equally good in insecurity.  God is good outside of circumstance because that’s his nature.

It’s a gutsy affirmation, I know. I wonder whether I believe it. Really? In earnest? Do you?

Starting next week, we’re going to be exploring some themes here. What doesn’t God promise? What does he promise? How do we hold the two in tension, recognizing His goodness?  Is it possible to see God in the failing circumstance?

I hope you’ll visit. But in the meantime, tell me: what do you believe about God? Really? No holds barred. And if you need to hold a bar or two, feel free to comment anonymously.

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53 Responses to God’s Goodness in Question (What do you believe?)

  1. Tanya Marlow says:

    I have so many thoughts on this. So many. I really appreciate your desire to hold God’s name as holy. I am also challenged by the call to react well to hard times, and not throw a tantrum. I know that when I look at others, like your friend John, that is what I deeply desire to be like.

    But to be honest, I just find it hard. There are things that I haven’t yet blogged on, because I am not ready to do it – but they basically involve me almost turning away from God because I stopped believing in His goodness. I looked at my newborn baby, and how I would do anything for him, and how I couldn’t even leave him crying because it pained me to see him crying – and then I looked at my situation and my illness, and my isolation from being housebound from my illness, and my treatment by the medical community – and I thought, ‘if I were God, I would not be this cruel.’ And i wasnt even in the midst of proper proper suffering. It was just that i could not longer walk, really. and somehow it’s been okay to look at the lives of others in deep suffering before, because the ones I read always testified to God’s presence and goodness in the midst of it – but I was tired of making excuses for God. There was no presence, there was no goodness here.

    And the reason I feel unable to share this just yet, is because I know that when people read how my feet almost slipped, they will think to themselves, ‘oh, we thought she was a mature Christian. But really she only loved God for what she could get out of Him. If she were really a mature Christian she would feel joyful in these circumstances.’ I feel like I went through the time of testing and failed.i think the anger at God has now subsided, but I am still confused at how to process it all.

    Woah, I think your post hit a nerve! I’ve been so blessed and challenged by reading your and Amber’s response to Titus’ hospitalisation over the summer. I’m looking forward to reading more.

    • sethhaines says:

      Thank you for being honest here. I’ll be interested to see how you ultimately end up processing, so come back here and let us know. And I certainly understand the trepidation to share doubts, but in that, I’m reminded of this quote:

      “A faith without some doubts is like a human body with no antobodies in it. People who blithely go through life too busy or indifferent to ask the hard questions about why they believe as they do will find themselves defenseless against either the experience of tragedy or the probing questions of a smart skeptic. A person’s faith can collapse almost overnight if she failed over the years to listen patiently to her own doubts, which should only be discarded after long reflection.”
      ― Timothy Keller

      • Tanya Marlow says:

        Thank you for this post and for your thoughtful reply, I love Tim Keller! I wonder if sometimes my hesitation in sharing doubts is that my doubts don’t sound very ‘doubty’ – they sound angry! But you’re right, and this helps. Thank you.

    • Scott says:

      Tanya,
      May the Lord draw near to you today as you sort through these thoughts. If I might encourage you a bit…Faith is never static. The Gospel is so completely juxtaposed to how the culture around us thinks that it makes sense to me that you would feel trepidation in sharing your struggles. But you’re not accountable to the world, you’re accountable to God and his place is the safest place of all to bear your soul. There is never a thought that he doesn’t know already and so when the time comes, write to him. Post it publically if you feel like it but write to him.

      The most mature Christian is one who has his/her identity fully in Christ (Philippians 3:8). Those who tell you or come off as their faith is a rock haven’t read Hebrews 11 where the faith of many is highlighted but if you know their stoires their faith was never a once off, finished, completed and doubtful faith. They doubted. Sin is doubt. The sin under all sin is the sin of doubt and unbelief. If your cooking up a blog about how you doubted then you are cutting to the marrow of the Gosepel. And may Christ be wtih you as you write.

      Scott

      • Tanya Marlow says:

        Thank you so much for this. It helps, it really does. Both the Philippians stuff and the ahebrews 11 stuff. That is wisdom right there, that I am accountable to God and not to the world, and I really needed to hear that today. I am most profoundly grateful for this post today and the responses from you and Seth – I have tears, and I feel like God is ministering to me in an unexpected way. Thank you.

    • bhirschy says:

      @Tanya – thanks for sharing that. I couldn’t appreciate your honesty more.

    • Ericka says:

      Tanya, I don’t know you but I just prayed for you. I teared up reading this because I echo your doubts and have had the same feelings of isolation and even seeming cruelty (it almost feels wrong to type it). Chronic pain has made me go face to face with some difficult questions about God. I don’t have any children, but have had the thought that if my earthly dad were still alive and knew how much pain I was in, if he could remove it he would. He so would. But God doesn’t and I know he could. Same as you, when I think how many tears I have cried, how many times I have pleaded for God to heal me, and he is just so quiet. It’s baffling to consider this God who has such tender relentless affection for us, how he can watch us cry and not put an end to it.

      I found this account not too long ago… from Charles Spurgeon.

      “When I was racked some months ago with pain, to an extreme degree, so that I could no longer bear it without crying out, I asked all to go from the room, and leave me alone; and then I had nothing I could say to God but this, ‘Thou are my Father, and I am thy child; and thou, as a Father art tender and full of mercy. I could not bear to see my child suffer as thou makest me suffer, and if I saw him tormented as I am now, I would do what I could to help him, and put my arms under him to sustain him. Wilt thou hide thy face from me, my Father? Wilt thou still lay on a heavy hand, and not give me a smile from thy countenance?'”

      Seems we are not alone in this type of questioning. It’s tempting to try to answer my own questions and doubts about God here, but I like the intent of Seth’s question. What do I believe about God? On the harder days when it’s harder to believe in the truths about who God IS, sometimes what I hang on to is what I know He is NOT…what I know is impossible for Him. It’s impossible for Him to be unloving, cruel, overlooking, forgetful, indifferent. I don’t know, it helps me on those harder days.

      Thank you for your honesty about your doubts and how difficult to process. You are not alone.

      • Tanya Marlow says:

        Thank you so much for this. Chronic illness has been the thorn for me, although i haven’t had severe pain with it – I imagine that to be incredibly difficult. It is SO comforting to have this quote by Spurgeon – thank you, I hadn’t come across it before.

        I really appreciate everyone’s comments- this has been a conduit of God’s grace to me this week.

    • Annie says:

      Tanya, I’ve been so moved by your words here, and the whole thread of comments. I think I often take the idea of receiving comfort so we can pass it on to others (2 Corinthians) and try to short cut the process. I so desire to be steadfast and trusting in affliction, a model of trust and vulnerability, that I try to fake it till I make it. It doesn’t work, and when my sister died – and I could not reconcile a life built on a Redeeming God and heartache that held no redemption, all my foundations crumbled. I think walking through the suffering – feeling the depth of the anger or grief or loss, feeling even the apparent absence of loving God in the midst of the dark night – this is the messy, uncomfortable path to trust. Thank you, thank you, for your honesty here.

  2. What a great question…

    I touched on this briefly in my blog post today, and what I know to be true is that believing in the kind of God I WANT to believe in is easy when things are going well. When they’re not going well, I can so easily go to a place of believing that God is harsh, punishing, judgmental, and distant. That, for me, is where faith has to bridge the gap, and I have to remember that even when I don’t actually believe what I want to believe, I can still choose the idea of God I want to hold. It doesn’t make things better, necessarily, but it allows me to show up in my relationship with Him just as I am (showing up kicking and screaming is still showing up).

    I don’t think the goal is to believe 100% of the time that God is good…but I want to believe that He can bring forth the good from ANY situation, and for that to happen I have to have my honest, authentic human experience, while at the same time being willing to make space (even the tiniest bit of space) for Him within it.

    Thank you for this thought-provoking post, Seth.

  3. tonia says:

    What I really believe about God? He’s good and tender and gentle and kind and full of love. I feel almost timid saying that here…as if someone will look at it and say, “well she just hasn’t experienced hardship then…” But my belief about God comes out of chronic relational pain and disappointment and grief and daily fear. Out of those circumstances, day after day after day, God has shown Himself to be unfathomably kind and able and gentle. When you ask me what I believe about God my whole spirit wants to shout that HE IS GOOD! and He is trustworthy and He has never, ever failed us. Even though we can’t claim success as the world measures success, and indeed, I think some people do think we have failed, I see something else: a God who is tenderly leading, who is giving beauty out of ashes and joy out of sorrow. I know it in my bones: He is good, He is good, He is good.

    • sethhaines says:

      Tonia,

      I just figured that my stupid spam folder found your comment. I released it from spam jail (and set it to where it would never treat you with such an indignity). These are good words, T. Thank you for sharing your perspective here.

    • Annie says:

      This is beautiful.

    • Annie says:

      I think this is beautiful.

    • Tonia, I’m SO with you. And sometimes I hesitate to be so bold about it because people instantly think that my life must be a fairy tale. Or that I’m incredibly naive… And neither are true. Granted, there have been good years, but there has also been pain and want. The reality is that Satan is the father of lies and he lies to each of us a little differently – but it’s all the same lie as the first lie… that God is withholding his goodness and that we deserve more. The truth is that we have been given infinitely more than we deserve – forgiveness of sin and reconciliation to a holy, good God.

  4. bhirschy says:

    I’ll be honest, sometimes I want to fist fight God (a losing battle, but I’m glad he doesn’t him me with lightening like some would suggest) – His goodness and fairness look a whole lot like bullshit to me sometimes. Bullshit. The questions of God’s goodness (or fairness), in a third-world sense, have more validity to me where depravity and suffering are the norm.

    Either there is a reason thousands of kids die in the sewers of India every day or their isn’t. There is a reason that orphans in China get put into “dying rooms” to die scared and alone because no one wanted to adopt them, or there isn’t. Kids get sexually molested, is there a reason for that? Name anything totally horrific

    Either he is wholly good or he isn’t. Either He is what he says he is, or it’s all BS.

    God, I don’t want to be a cynic, masochistic, sadistic or overly rude, but hiding from suffering won’t help me answer the question of “Is God good.”

    From my experience though, there is no understanding God’s goodness and fairness without really understanding horrific suffering and circumstance – there is no understanding, for me, without saying “What the @#&! God?!? That’s messed up! You’re an ass!” I’m not sure I want to live in a squeaky clean world that refused to identify the unfairness and suffering of humanity… there can’t be understanding of grace (the ultimate goodness) without that. Help me understand how effed up the world is in order to understand grace better. God, that’s a scary thing to say…

    *ps, I know this wasn’t even remotely helpful

    • sethhaines says:

      I think this was helpful and brings a good bit to the conversation. The thought that one can not understand grace without the mess of this world is critical, I think. Because ultimately, we’re mostly responsible for the mess of this world, which makes grace even more audacious.

  5. Josh says:

    God has forgiven my sins at His own great expense. Because of what HE DID, I look forward to everlasting life rather than eternal punishment at the end of WHATEVER happens to me for the rest of my earthly life. If He offered me not a single other good thing, He has still been gracious beyond measure.

    It’s one thing to become discouraged amid suffering, to question one’s own perception of God’s will, to wonder what He’s doing and why, to struggle with bitterness, and quite another to go beyond all that into questioning His revealed character. If you claim saving faith in Jesus Christ and still somehow manage to question God’s goodness, I don’t understand you at all. I might even be a little bit angry with you.

    • bhirschy says:

      “You have saving faith in Jesus Christ… now go and question no more.”

      I’d as humble as possible suggest that your position on this could isolate you from a huge portion of the world’s church members – those who have and are suffering mightly. As Gennie says below, suffering doesn’t equate to making God not fair… but we were never called to not question him.

      I really do understand what you are saying in the first part, but there are a whole lot of people that have some pretty good reasons to be angry with God and question his goodness. I know ‘a good reason’ is wholly subjective but telling someone who is asking those questions or who is suffering that it’s NOT a good reason is just not very productive, and most of the time, not very loving. Getting angry with them is probably even less productive 🙂 A whole lot of crap can go on in peoples lives where they question God and are in process towards realizing his ultimate goodness… I hope we don’t throw stones at them while they are processing that.

      Thanks for your comment.

      • Josh says:

        “We were never called to not question him.”

        The Bible makes it clear that we ARE called to trust, faith, belief… which equates, the way I understand the word “question,” to being called to not question God. That’s not to say that we won’t do it occasionally, just like the other sins that we as humans will struggle with all our lives, but it should be understood as the error that it is.

        What’s interesting about those people (the Christ-followers, anyway) with “pretty good reasons to be angry with God” is that many of them aren’t, in fact, angry with God. One of the most powerful proclamations of God’s goodness that I’ve ever heard came from a man who has been paralyzed for over three decades and suffers constantly due to atrophy and infections in the lower half of his body. When he praises God, the man’s spirit becomes almost tangibly felt, like a light bulb’s heat in a cold room.

        Regardless, I still hold that a person who can say to me, “Yeah, I know God has saved me from a justly-deserved ETERNAL PUNISHMENT, but my vapor of an earthly life sucks right now so I’m not sure He’s all that good of a guy,” is at least not thinking rationally; and is at worst thinking he has some standing before the Almighty to claim entitlement to greater earthly comfort. I don’t care how “pretty good” his “reason” is: A Christ-follower *defending* such a position is inexcusable.

        And I’m not throwing any stones at anyone, here. I approach this as a topical Internet discussion with strangers, not burden-sharing fellowship with friends. If I misunderstood the prompt, I apologize.

    • sethhaines says:

      He is gracious beyond measure, no doubt. Thanks for dropping dimes here (yeah… that’s a basketball reference).

    • sethhaines says:

      You didn’t misunderstand the prompt, Josh. Not at all.

      And now that I’m thinking about your most recent comment, I realize I haven’t really said what I think. Not really. (Bad host, I know).

      I’m thinking specifically about the come-to-Jesus God had with Job (where were you) and juxtaposing that with the questioning of Thomas (without whom we wouldn’t have some of the key salvation scriptures in scripture). I throw the Jacob account out because, despite popular preaching, I’m not sure he was “wrestling with God,” in the way we want to believe. That leaves me thinking….

      God is gracious. He gracious when he calls us down (like Job). He’s gracious when he allows the doubt (like Thomas). He’s gracious in affliction (like Jacob). He’s gracious in all of it (whether in life or death).

    • Tanya Marlow says:

      I wrote a post on the question of getting angry with God and whether it’s a sin. It’s called ‘Get angry with God: Job did.” (which might give you an indication of where I’m coming from on this!) Blessings. http://tanyamarlow.com/get-angry-at-god-job-did-is-it-a-sin-to-be-angry-with-god-pt-ii/

  6. Gennie says:

    Is human suffering unfair?

  7. S. Herron says:

    Seth,
    I’m not sure why I’ve been paying seemingly more attention to what you and Amber are up to lately but it seems that God has us chewing on similar things but in different ways.

    What do I believe about God?

    My mother died when I was 10. It was through her death and the difficult and painful relationship that grew from that event between my father and I that God drew me out of the “easy faith” network of believers that I grew up in, into the gospel. I swore at God. I blasphemed and cried. I visited her grave once when I was 20. It was the first time that I had gone back since her death. I wept like a baby. On my knees with my 1990 Mustang GT behind me parked on the blacktop one-lane-road, I threw off all pride of a young college freshman boy and wept like a baby. Repeating “why?!?!” over and over again I began to realize that the one to whom I was angry was the one from whom I would find solace, and my blaspheming turned to worship.

    It didn’t happen all at once. I continued to believe that my identity lay in things other than the cross of Christ but as dawn breaks and the starkest contrast is in the morning between light and dark I believe it was, in this moment, that Christ won. Through my sin and my struggle he won. I’m convinced that as Jared Wilson says, “We are saved from God to God by God for God. The godhead works in concert so that salvation will engulf you in God.”

    For me, and this isn’t easy to say; truly I cringe as I write, I have no other choice than to believe in the goodness of God. The brokenness of our condition still suprises me, (it shouldn’t though; quite the opposite, and what I should be suprised by is rest and peace) but as the tide ebbs and flows I know that out in the ocean the water level is the same. My fear is that my own personal happiness, and “easy living” would render my heart from faith faster than tragedy or doubt. I fear my stomach being my god, a loss of restraint of my appetites (Philippians 3:19). It is without a doubt the ultimate goal of the enemy to make us feel like we are “ok” or “full”. May it never be!

    There are a lot of pad answers or common responses we can give to people who struggle with faith and doubt. Christians think that their answers to atheists should be logical and concise. If they “win” the logical argument then they have won the day! The problem is that we aren’t confessional enough with our own lack of logic. We lack the honesty of the unbeliever because we want to be something that we are not. We want to be justified apart from Christ so therefore we construct an idea of what faith should look like. This is driven by fear. Fear of not trusting in Christ for our life and salvation. Fear will motivate us to say and do things that are not true.

    Fear will be something that I will struggle with until I meet Jesus face to face. In the meantime I will continue to trust in the promises of God and the repeated command to “do not fear.” What do I believe about God? I, profess with Peter, the most vocal and demonstrably the most fearful disciple of the 12 when he answers his King’s question of “who do you say that I am?” Peter’s reply, “you are the Christ, the son of the Living God!”

    But that is not the end of the context there. In the very next breath Jesus rebukes Peter for his lack of faith. I imagine hearing the words of Christ, “get behind me Satan, You are a hinderance to me, You are not setting your mind on the things of God but on the things of man.” and it makes me cower and hide.

    There are no other answers to the questions of life. There is no other explanation to the problem of human suffering and love. Therefore I cling to the scriptures, treasure the confessions and sing along with the truth of so many others the belief in the son of the Living God. In the words of Keith Getty,

    “In Christ alone my hope is found,
    He is my light, my strength, my song.
    This Cornerstone, this solid Ground,
    Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
    What heights of love, what depths of peace,
    When fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
    My Comforter, my All in All,
    Here in the love of Christ I stand.

    Thanks for letting me share.

  8. S. Herron says:

    Thanks B.Hirschy…incredible photos by the way. I’m intrigued and mezmerized by the captions of such a beautiful place and people. Praying for our brothers and sisters in China that the Gospel might grow in their hearts to the glory of God.

  9. I wish I had more time, but I will say this for now: I think we have long been conditioned by our white-man, western culture to believe that the definition of “goodness” is something that leans in the direction of “happiness” or “pleasantry” or any other words that make life feel agreeable. But, I also believe that MOST words we use and define today are interpreted completely different on the other side of the Cross. (In our hearts, every word has to make it’s own journey to the other side of the Cross for the fullness of it to be revealed?!)

    So, I guess what I’m saying is: “do we even, even, EVEN know what “goodness” is? Or, do we even know what the “goodness of GOD” really is (or looks like)? We EXPECT our own man-made definitions when we attribute goodness to God, but mercy! He. Is. Not. Like. Us. And His ways are higher than our ways.

    • sethhaines says:

      Oh MAN!!! I like this. As if somehow asking the question of God’s goodness is anything other than nonsensical. As he said to Job — WHERE WERE YOU?

      E, you are welcome here any day of the week. I mean it.

    • Annie says:

      “In our hearts, every word has to make it’s own journey to the other side of the Cross for the fullness of it to be revealed?!” This, Erika, is a welcome revelation.

  10. Josh says:

    I’ll step off from my earlier soapbox rant to ask a question, if I may…
    If God’s goodness is in question, what greater standard of goodness may we use to judge Him?

  11. I’ve often asked myself and have been asked of others if I am in some sort of denial. I have had the gun barrel blasted at me as you quoted above no doubt. Molestation as a child, father hurts, mother hurts, laid numb on both ends of adultery, spiritual abuse, a son demanding his own way. But in each circumstance after being violently pursued by “Love Himself” I draw closer to him. Never have I been bitter towards God, but man. Yes, I have cried bellowing cries at the bottom of my pits ranging from shower stalls, submerged beneath warm turned cold bath water, my closet floor, altar of bleeding knees….but I never blame God or find him unfaithful. Do I have thoughts of doubt of such a loving God, God in general…yes my mind plays those games with me, but even then it is the error of my ways. I don’t pretend to understand it all, but he has always cloaked me in such grace even when I hurt do deep traveling dusty roads and swimming in deep dark waters. I am no stranger to asking questions….I just don’t doubt his ways.

  12. The only way I can not doubt God’s goodness and love is to remember my goats. I love my Dwarf Nigerian Dairy Goats and delight in taking care of their needs. Sometimes giving them what they need is painful, uncomfortable or frustrating to them (such as clipping hoofs, stripping an impacted udder, or helping with a birth). It’s what is best for them, but they don’t like it! Many times they fight me, wail, pass out, or run away. At times, they don’t trust me.
    I tend to be like my goats with God. I don’t react well when bad things happen. What’s the best thing for me? Becoming more like Jesus, which sometimes that means enduring tremendous pain or sorrow.
    I still can’t make sense of the tremendous amount of suffering and seemingly needless pain in this world. I do, though, think it has to do with the tremendous consequences of sin. I believe I tend to trivialize sin’s destructive impact in the world.

    • Scott says:

      Thanks for your words here Phyllis. I pondered this a lot last night and at a deeper level I came to the conclusion that the Fall of Man as recorded in Genesis 3 is a lot worse than we think it is. To Erika’s earlier point; There are parts of the world which almost seem to have an advantage over us in the West (It’s hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven…) for understanding our actual condition. The fall of man was not a trip or a accident that rendered us in critical condition. It was the absolute decimation of the way the created order is supposed to be. It was a biological and spiritual fracturing of all that is right and good, true and righteous. It left us so separated from what we were created to be that we can’t even understand how far we are from God’s design. If I’m honest, really honest, every time that I am upset with God, it’s because I want to be God. We do this with hurts and devestation, pain and tragedy as well. We ask, doesn’t God care? The question is honest and whether or not it is sin, I don’t know. And I’ll probably continue to struggle wtih that question and probably continue to ask it, if in any other way at least privately in my heart. Job was severely rebuked (as Paul does as well in Romans 9) but God cared tenderly for him despite his heart. The cosmos is out of order. It won’t be restored until Christ returns (Revelation 21) and truly makes all things new. Before my wife and I got married our pastor counseled us by reminding us that expectation will kill relationships. When I expect my definition of goodness I miss the goodness of God. When I expect my definition of goodness I supplant the creator with my own idolatry of self worship. But…what a glorious day! What a wonderful hope! The Return of The KING! When we minister in the dank and depressing conditions of life we offer Christ and by doing so bring light to the dark and in turn know his goodness, the goodness and beauty of a God that suffered more than we ever have.

  13. “What doesn’t God promise? What does he promise? How do we hold the two in tension, recognizing His goodness?” I think there’s an answer in your question: perhaps holding the tension IS the way we live in the promises and let go of our false notions of who God is. I think the only way to live or see the not-good of this broken world and still hold to the goodness of God is to walk THROUGH the suffering and the brokenness – whether it’s our own or the suffering and brokenness of those around us. It was in the midst of the darkest heartache, while I was angry and deaf to grace, that I met Christ the Suffering Servant. And there aren’t a lot of road maps for that. My thoughts are kind of scattered here, but one last thought from my six year old. She recently told me, after a tantrum and a time-out: “I just can’t feel the love I know you have for me when I’m this upset.” I was floored, and am still mulling it over, but I think there’s a lot of truth there. Thank you for this discussion. It’s helped me process some of my own grief this week.

  14. S. Herron says:

    P.S. I love this thread. In the coming of the consumation of the kingdom of God we shall all sit, or probably relcine actually, around a table, drink the best wine the universe has ever had and joyously reflect on the goodness of our God.

    Isaiah 53…a man of sorrows, pouring out his soul unto death and bearing the transgressions of many.

    Revelation 21:4…”He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

    It’s true, it really is.

    • chadly says:

      I’m writing this on my phone so it is necessarily brief, and i confess that i have not read all the comments so I’m not sure the tenor of the conversation. I am a committed taoist, a practicioner, of Tai Chi, and a believer in the infinite possibility of life energy. I believe that you and i, Seth, have much in common. When you begin to contemplate goodness and it’s lack, when you begin to count the lack of goodness as only a reminder of what goodness is, i think that’s the beginning of wisdom. I asscribe no name or gender and little narrative to define what is good, but i damn well know good when i experience it. And I’ll strive to make more goodness in my own life and others.

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  17. Well nowadays in my mind God’s goodness is seriously getting questioned. Before that I would like to ask your guys to define ‘Goodness’. At what point of time you will say somebody is good. Its purely opinion based.

    For example if a thief feeds a tasty chocolate to a kid with some kind, As for the kid’s concern the thief is good. The kid doesn’t question the goodness of the thief. Because it is not sure/aware of the real face of the thief.

    Coming back to the talk, If anyone says God is not good that directly means he is having a superior revelation/understanding than the average people continuously say God is good. To question the goodness of God requires more maturity and courage. Taking my personal I belong to a Christian family, And of course I am born again, I received salvation through God’s superior grace. God has blessed me with right education, family, job and marriage. As for I am concerned God has been good to me in plenty of ways.,

    Having said that, The blessings I received from God is not enough to certify God is good. Because my definition of Goodness is so so so strong enough to disqualify God from being called Good. Why do I say that? When Srilanka was killing Tamils brutally in 2009, As a human, as a born again believer, as a bride of mighty Lord, I asked my spiritual bridegroom one simple help (who is capable of) to ‘Stop the war’

    But that so called Good God never responded me in this regard. Thus God’s goodness is greatly questioned 😉

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