Good All The Time
A Reflection on Genesis 45:5
The phrase, ‘God is good, all the time and all the time, God is good!’ is a familiar one. Many churches recite this at their weekend services as a kind of affirmation of the God we serve. But is our God good? Really?
Sure, we can testify out loud that God is good when our year-end bonus is more than what is expected. God is good when we are promoted or when our children do well in their exams. But is God still good when the cancer marker refuses to go down or when someone in the family is unexpectedly retrenched? Is God good when the death of a loved one becomes real?
Joseph must have pondered and even asked this question as he sat there all alone in the cold, dark prison cell. Just a few years before, he was his father’s blue-eyed boy with a colourful robe from Jacob as a gift. God was good indeed. But all of a sudden, a series of events changed all that. He was betrayed and sold away by his very own brothers and was now a slave, alone in some faraway land. God is good?
I’m sure Joseph’s answer to this would have been, ‘yes’. I found my reasoning in Genesis 45:5. In this chapter, Joseph finally reconciled back with his brothers and as he revealed who he was, listen to what he told them, “You sold me here but God sent me before you to preserve life”. Amazing! Joseph saw that God was good despite having been in a hopeless situation. How? By focusing on the sovereignty of God. You see, God’s sovereignty assures us that while men may do the wrong thing for the wrong reasons, God can overrule and cause that evil to accomplish His good and perfect purpose (Romans 8:28).
Let me share a personal testimony. The month of May 2005 was to be a double celebration for me. I was about to graduate from my theological studies at Trinity Theological College (TTC) and at the same time welcome the arrival of my third child. God is good! However, what was supposed to give us double joy ended in despair. My son, Jeriel, was born with Down Syndrome. In the midst of our asking God why, he revealed to us His purpose in doing so. You see, (not to go into detail) it was Jeriel who brought my mother-in-law to Christ and she was the last person in my wife’s household to be saved. What we couldn’t do all the years, God used a Down Syndrome boy to achieve it. God is indeed good!
If we want to understand that our God is good in the midst of the bad, then we must first define ‘good’ in God’s definition. Just as God’s thoughts and ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8), so too is His definition of ‘good’. Secondly, we must allow ourselves to be used by Him just as Joseph did. In the process, we will recognize that God is always able to turn something negative into something positive
So, is God good? Yes, all the time!
Pastor Darren is the Executive Pastor in COOS. He is also the head of the Inter Generational Division which comprises of UnbanKidz (Children’s Ministry), Youth, Family Life and Family Inclusive Network or FIN (Ministry for children with special needs). He is married with 4 children.