For The Good

I don’t believe

 

that when God says

He works

all things

for the good,

 

 

that He means

 

He gives us brokenness

and then calls it good

 

I don’t believe that

 

I believe that

when God says

He works

all things

for the good

 

He means

 

that for those who love Him,

He takes our brokenness

in this broken world

 

and He uses it for good

 

He redeems it

 

He uses

difficult

and harsh

and sad

and awful

 

and changes hearts

heals wounds

teaches

 

and makes something beautiful

 

He wraps His loving arms

around the worst

 

and when He opens His arms

we find that the worst

 

looks like good

 

– Susie Stewart

 

 

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.

– Romans 8:28 (NIV)

 

For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

– Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT)

 

Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.

God knew what He was doing from the very beginning. He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love Him along the same lines as the life of His Son. The Son stands first in the line of humanity He restored. We see the original and intended shape of our lives there in Him. After God made that decision of what His children should be like, He followed it up by calling people by name. After He called them by name, He set them on a solid basis with Himself. And then, after getting them established, He stayed with them to the end, gloriously completing what He had begun.

– Romans 8:28-30 (MSG)

 

Photo by Susie Stewart

Good & Trustworthy

The God Jesus reveals would never do anything to harm us.  He has no malice or evil intentions.  He is completely good.  And the fact that God is also all-knowing and all-powerful makes His goodness even better.  I can trust God even if things look bleak.  It does not matter that God is all-powerful or all-knowing if He is not all-good.  If He isn’t all-good, I will never be able to love and trust Him.

– James Bryan Smith

 

Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be shaken but endures forever.

– Psalm 125:1 (NIV)

 

He is the Rock; His deeds are perfect. Everything He does is just and fair. He is a faithful God who does no wrong; how just and upright He is!

– Deuteronomy 32:4 (NLT)  

 

But as we come to know the good and beautiful God that Jesus knows, our struggles take on a whole new meaning.  If God is truly good and is looking out for our good, then we can come to Him with complete honesty.  We can practice honesty when we pray – baring our soul and confronting those hurts that make us doubt God’s goodness by handing them over to Him for healing.

– James Bryan Smith

 

Photo by Susie Stewart

 

Goodness

 

God promises to work ALL things for the GOOD

 

for those of us who love Him

and have been called by Him

 

He takes our mistakes

our heartache

our everything

 

and brings purpose and good

 

Beauty from ashes

from all that happens in our lives

 

No exceptions

because of unconditional love

 

How unimaginably gracious!

 

 

So, what if you and I sought to do that

for people?

 

What if we were to respond with grace

when wronged,

bringing the good

to that situation?

 

And what if we loved

when it makes more sense

to hate?

 

And what if we took awful circumstances,

and inserted compassion

and truth

instead of criticism?

 

What if we responded with patience

when it isn’t warranted?

 

What if we sought,

by God’s Spirit,

the good

in everything?

 

What if we showed His goodness,

by His power,

with His Light,

in the darkness?

– Susie Stewart

 

 

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.

– Romans 8:28 (NIV)

 

…we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.

– Romans 8:28 (MSG)

 

And we all, with unveiled face, continually seeing as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are progressively being transformed into His image from [one degree of] glory to [even more] glory, which comes from the Lord, [who is] the Spirit.

– 2 Corinthians 3:18 (AMP)

 

To all who mourn in Israel, He will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair.  In their righteousness, they will be like great oak that the Lord has planted for His own glory.

– Isaiah 61:3 (NLT)

 

Photo taken by Susie Stewart

 

 

 

Good

This morning I read the words aloud.

For God to hear.

For the angels to hear.

For the dark ones to hear.

“In the beginning God created  the heavens and the earth…”

What a sentence!  It is amazingly understated, but as I read it aloud, the profundity of it quickened my spirit.  Deep called to deep.

“…and God saw that it was good.”

My eyes, my heart, my spirit, everything that bears His image in me, knows that

IT IS GOOD.

All of His glorious creation.  It is good.

We gaze at a brilliant sunset, and our spirits say “It is good”.

We see a precious baby born, and our spirits say “It is good”.

We feel love for a person so deeply that it seems we might burst from the depth of it, and our spirits say “It is good”.

We stand on the edge of a great and awesome cliff overlooking a scene we can hardly comprehend, and our spirits say “It is good”.

We take time to focus on Creator God, we are filled up, and our Spirits say “It is good”.

“So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him…”

What a treasure we have in these jars of clay bodies that we can live and breathe and experience “good”,

the understated awesome.

Lord, I will speak Your Name forever.  Out loud.

– Susie Stewart