Is There Any Goodness Here?

African Kids

Sometimes, it’s just good to read something more than one way….

I remain confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.

 Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord.
Psalm 27: 13-14

Or it could read…

I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
Be strong and let your heart take courage;
Yes, wait for the Lord.
Psalm 27:13-14 NASV

Or one more… 

I’m sure now I’ll see God’s goodness
in the exuberant earth.
Stay with God!
Take heart. Don’t quit.
I’ll say it again:
Stay with God.
  Psalm 27:13-14 The Message

In a world where so much sorrow, calamity and horror attack and lay waste to our hearts and minds, it isn’t always easy to see the goodness of our God on this earth, is it?

This morning, I heard some terrible things, some horrendous things on the radio news here in Johannesburg…

A six month old abandoned baby was found dead in a shack in Diepsloot.

Haiyan, the storm that ravaged the Philippines, caused massive, inconceivable destruction and loss of life.

The conflict in Mozambique is intensifying and people’s fears are growing over the possibility of an imminent civil war.

Such news causes feelings of powerless and a heavy-hearted spirit of despair.

Then, there are the things that shake us to the core as we are pierced by personal, crushing news. A dear friend informs us that her 25 year marriage is ending due to betrayal and abuse. Cancer strikes our family. A friend’s teenage son descends into a life of drugs and cuts all ties from his family. A friend is fired from his job for no apparent reason. Another friend confesses that she is an alcoholic and is on the verge of losing her family. A child is diagnosed with a life long impairment and no one knows how to deal with that.

That is the question, isn’t it?

How do we deal with that?

How do we deal with divorce, cancer, betrayal, drug-dependence, job loss, death, alcoholism, disability and every piece of horrific news that we read on the web, hear on the news, or watch on the television or experience personally?

How do we determine that we will look for and see the goodness of our God in this land of the living?

How do we remain strong?
How do we take courage?’

How do we show heart?

How do we stay with God and wait for Him when so many different things on this planet seem to be imploding in one way or another?

Where is the good in all of this badness?

Let’s be real. There is a lot to be concerned about in this world.

How do we respond to it all and not just hide behind our walls, refuse to listen or engage with the news, or turn away from those in need because we’re just too overwhelmed?

For me, personally, it comes down to one thing; my point of view.

I will look for the goodness, compassion and mercy of my God in my day to day life.

I will choose to seek Him out; even if things fall apart before my eyes.

I will engage with others and find ways to encourage them in honor of my God.

Too many people are suffering in despair around me. They need the hope of Christ. They do not need condemnation or judgment. They need the embracing, all-encompassing love of a Savior.

Yes, there seems to be more bad in the world than good. Things do look like they are getting worse and worse. Yet, if I only take the point of view that this world is ‘going to the dogs’ then all I am going to see are dogs running amuck in grocery stores, in the streets, in gardens, in schools and in every setting on earth.

But dogs aren’t running amuck everywhere are they?

My God, the creator of this world is in control. His hand is upon us. He is working, even now, to demonstrate His love, His joy, His peace, and His blessing in large and small ways in every home, in every neighborhood, in every city, in every state or province, in every nation, and across the world. We just need to look for the blessing.

It’s there. We just need to have the point of view that our God’s goodness reigns and is being made known through the compassion and mercy displayed by you and me to our fellow man. For we have a significant part to play in demonstrating and showing the blessing of God in our lives and to the lives of those in our sphere of influence.

There is a song that Hillsong sings entitled, “Mighty to Save.” Here are the lyrics…

Everyone needs compassion,
Love that’s never failing;
Let mercy fall on me.

Everyone needs forgiveness,
The kindness of a Savior;
The Hope of nations.

Savior, He can move the mountains,
My God is Mighty to save,
He is Mighty to save.

Forever, Author of salvation,
He rose and conquered the grave,
Jesus conquered the grave.

So take me as You find me,
All my fears and failures,
Fill my life again.

I give my life to follow
Everything I believe in,
Now I surrender.

My Savior, He can move the mountains,
My God is Mighty to save,
He is Mighty to save.
Forever, Author of salvation,
He rose and conquered the grave,
Jesus conquered the grave.

Shine your light and let the whole world see,
We’re singing for the glory of the risen King… Jesus

Yes! Let the whole world see!

Let the whole world see the goodness, the love, the salvation of our God in the midst of their circumstances. And may we engage in this world and make His love and compassion known! We have a significant part to play!

Photo by Screencraft_ of Flickr

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