Does God’s Goodness Always Feel Good?

I want the goodness of God to always feel good, but is this realistic?

When loss is the uninvited guest of our home, we feel something about it. The loss seems to invite feelings of grief, mourning, aching that crush the core of the one living in the loss.

It seems to be in these times we ache for answers to help us understand the purpose of the pain. “How can God be good when this is so painful?”, we say aloud or keep it tucked away in the secret parts of our heart so no one knows you are questioning the goodness of God.

God created us to have feelings and it doesn’t make us weak to express them. We hurt so we cry. We are excited so we laugh. We are happy so we smile. We are tired so we sleep (or are grumpy all day… if you’re anything like me). We are stressed so we drink wine. We lose a loved one so we grieve.

Yet when feelings become the dictator of our life, we can quickly lose heart. How do you respond when met with all of these feelings? Do you cast your cares on the Lord (Psalm 55:22 NIV)? Do you trust the Lord with all your heart (Proverbs 3:5 NIV)? Do you let God’s love drive out your fear (1 John 4:18)? How you respond in the face of your feelings can be the regluing or undoing of you.

God’s goodness does not always feel good. The book of Job clearly exposes this reality. I wonder how many people walk around feeling wounded by God because they have allowed their feelings to be the dictator of their life.

Ten years ago, I would have confidently exclaimed God’s goodness and it would have felt good to say. I would even provide you with evidence of his goodness in my life, but the reality is this evidence was based on circumstances that felt good. My feelings dictated my belief about God’s goodness.

On June 24, 2011, my feelings became the most unreliable source of truth for me. I was met with the devastation that would forever change how I did life with the Lord. What appeared to be evidence of God’s abandonment was just the beginning of the stripping of a belief system that was faulty. He was soon going to cloth me with one that was true from the source of truth, my Jesus.

God’s goodness has not always felt good but, I can firmly say, He has always worked the pain for my good. It has been the saving of my soul that has been worth it all. With an aching in my gut and a tears welling in my eyes, I can testify that He has been worth it. It’s been through the  tragedies- that resulted from June 24- I have been gifted with some of the most intimate times with God, in turn deepening my faith.

Romans 8:28 tells us, “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.” (NIV) This Scripture does not say, “And we know that all things are good for us.” We can trust that He is going to work all things for our good even when it is not good for us.

Death is not good for us! Dear one, if death was good for us there would be no need for Jesus to come and die and be resurrected to save us from death. He died on that cross because death is not good for us. Death is terrible and excruciatingly painful and not what God intended when he created this world (Genesis 1-3 NIV).

If you are walking the road of losing a loved one, lean into Jesus. He knows this is not what is good for you but he will work it for your good. Abide in Him and you will produce lasting fruit and much of it, even though you feel as if you might die from grief (John 15).

If you are walking alongside someone who is grieving, will you share this truth with them? This may be the breath of fresh air they are longing for. This may be their break from the idealism of the well meaning that is suffocating them. They just may need someone to come and sit with them and say, “this is terrible”. Your friend can be in excruciating pain and still trust God is going to work this out for her good. I’m so grateful for the testimony of Katherine and Jay Wolf in their book Hope Heals,

No amount of catharsis or perspective finding will change the fact that our situation is terribly sad and deeply broken. I can give God the glory, and it can still hurt. I used to cry myself to sleep every night. But I have learned, above all other lessons, that healing for each person is spiritual. We will be fully restored in heaven, but we are actually healed on earth right now. My experience has caused me to redefine healing and to discover a hope that heals the most broken places: our souls (page 18).

Are you struggling because you desperately want God’s goodness to always feel good?

I did too.

It feels like a crushing blow when this truth is met with your inescapable reality that life- no matter how many years pass, new life that grows, exciting experiences that arise- is now filtered through the lens of loss. But this is where hope comes in, dear one. We can look forward with the hope that someday God’s goodness will always feel good because all will be made right (Revelation 21 NIV). As you wait expectantly for that day, you can experience healing of the most broken place right now: your soul.

 

If this post resonated with you, journey over to Newness through the Pain.

Facing Your Freedom [Free Download]

“For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands” (2 Timothy 1:6)

Let’s face it, when it comes to freedom in Christ, we trade our joy for doubt, our tenacity for fear, or (dare I say) our calling for a self-invoked punishment as if we are putting ourselves in timeout until we learn to “behave”. I don’t know about you but I’m tired of defeated living. As women of God, we were made for fire and I want “this little light of mine” to burn wild and free.
This particular piece of writing had me captivated as I was curating it while sitting with my legs curled close to my 20-week baby bump and my left pointer finger twirling a strand of hair as I sat, prayed, pondered and wrote. You see, this piece represents what A Woman Named Free was birthed from, raw and unrestrained life of Maria Bowersock.
I typically do not write poems, so I thought it would benefit you to have some instruction on how to read this piece. (pst…I may be breaking all the rules of poem writing by doing this, so … )
This particular poem starts with statements that I wrestled with at one point or another. I was sure these fierce times in life would slaughter me and yet because of Jesus, I safely stand. The poem then guides you through the time of my life where my feelings collided with Scripture and produce something miraculous; the moment in my life where something wildly beautiful happens. From here, you will walk with me down the road of intimacy as I talk to my Heavenly Father.
Most of these types of writings I ponder up with Him and keep them in the secret hideaway of my heart. Other times, the message relentlessly burns to my bones and needs to be released from my hideaway… {download and read by clicking below}

 

 

 

Facing Your Freedom [Free Download]

Name Calling: a wrestle with the devil

Name Calling: a wrestle with the devil
I understand not everyone has a story that has led them down a path of destruction, and I’m thankful for those people! I, however, am not that person. My life was a true definition of “mess”. The effects of this bondage left sever damage. I mean, after all, the enemy is out to kill, steal, and destroy (John 10:10) and I tasted just how real that was. This is an excerpt taken from Beth Moore’s book, When Godly People do Ungodly Things, and is a glimpse into what it’s like to be “had” by the devil.
These writing are meant to be filtered through scripture not a replacement of scripture. God’s word is true and the source of all truth.

 

My name is Had. You may know me, but you may not know my new name. You may have no idea what I’ve been through because I do my best to look the same. I am scared to death of you. I used to be just like you. I once held my head up high without propping it on my hymnal. 

I was well respected back then, and I even respected myself. I was wholeheartedly devoted to God, and if the truth be known, somewhere deep inside I was sometimes the slightest bit proud of my devotion. Then I’d repent … because I knew that was wrong. I didn’t want to be wrong. Not ever. 

People looked up to me. And life looked good from up there. I felt good about who I was. That was before I was Had. Strangely, I no longer remember my old name. I just remember I liked it. I liked who I was. I wish I could go back. I wish I’d just wake up. But I fear I’m wide awake. I have had a nightmare. And the nightmare was me. Had. 

If I could really talk to you and you could really listen, I’d tell you I have no idea how all this happened. Honestly, I was just like you. I didn’t plan to be Had. I didn’t want to be Had. One day I hadn’t, then the next day I had. 

Oh, I know now where I went wrong. I have rewound the nightmare a though sand times, stopping it right at the point where I departed the trail of good sense. The way ahead didn’t look wrong. It just looked different. Strange, he didn’t look like the devil in the original scene. But every time I replayed it, he dropped another piece of his masquerade. When he finally took off his mask, he was laughing at me. Nothing seems funny anymore. I will never laugh again as long as he is laughing. 

If only I could go back. I would see it this time! I would walk around the trap camouflaged by the brush, and I would not be Had. I would be Proud. Was that my old name? Proud? I can’t even remember who I was anymore. I thought I was Good. Not Proud. But I don’t know anymore. 

Would you believe I never heard the trap shut? Too many voices were shouting in my head. I just knew I got stuck somewhere unfamiliar, and soon I didn’t like the scenery anymore. I wanted to go home. My ankle didn’t even hurt at first. Not until the infection set in. Then I thought I would die…

The infection is gone. He (God) put something on it and cleaned it up instantly. As he inspected my shattered ankle, I kept waiting for Him to say, “You deserved this, you know. You’ve been Had.” Because I did and I know and I have. He hasn’t said it yet. I don’t know whether He will or not. I don’t know how much to trust Him yet. I’ve never know Him from this side. My leg still hurts. God says it will heal with time. But I fear I will always walk with a limp. 

You see, I wrestled with the devil and he gave me a new name. Had. 

*This is not the ending of this story, or yours.

Read more here

Redemption of a Good Girl Gone Bad

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A Quick Note From the Author: This is a glimpse of how Jesus saved my life. Ultimately our saving is marked the day Jesus died on the cross; however, we have free will and my free will took me down a path I never want to travel again. In addition, this piece is written from my experience and perspective. This piece is meant to share testimony to Jesus’ saving ability. To know Jesus more and personally, the only source is the Bible, his true word. 

 

Good Girl. 

I’ve spent much of my life having an idea of who Jesus was and found great satisfaction in being known as the “good girl”. I went on living this way for years until one day I didn’t. I made a public decision that dethroned me of my “good girl” title. The effects of that decision created a wave of bitterness, anger, and resentment that came crashing down. Judgement sounds hammered loud from others and left scars of hurt. One public mistake changed the way I was viewed, talked about, and befriended and, because of this, my hurt turned loose. I was out for blood only to realize it was the Devil who was out for mine.

Gone Bad. 

As I tried to hide my hurt, I built up walls of bitterness and judgment for a certain group of people: Christians. Like the prodigal son, I left to go and feed my flesh most everything it desired. The deeper I got into this bitter way of life, the more addicted to my bitterness I became. You see, I started out angry at Christians only to find out that the true anger and hate I had was toward myself. I fed on things, did things that only proved I was worth hating. I thought I was satisfied until I became bored and then it happened- it didn’t happen overnight but when it did it was abrupt. I was hit hard with conviction from the bitterness that became me, of the things I had done. As the reality of the things I had done came crashing in, I realized I didn’t know who I was anymore. Suddenly, I became tormented with these thoughts:

 

 

“What have I done and who have I become?”

Jesus. 

If you’d ask me years prior to this, I would have told you I have been a Christian since I was six years old. The truth is, it wasn’t until this particular season of life that I truly surrendered my entire heart to Jesus. For the first time in my life, I saw the condition of the human heart apart from Jesus and was in tears by his ability to love me still, desire me still, and choose me still. At the point of thinking I had failed to the point of no return, he saved my life. For the first time, I stopped trying to be “good” and just accepted that he loved me at my worst.

In the summer of 2010, I finally learned what the human heart is capable of apart from Jesus, and I’ve never been the same since. It was that day I realized, I may not know what the future holds but I know one thing and that is: I NEVER want to be separated from God like that again. I haven’t left Him since that day and His word continues to prove he is more amazing than I ever thought.

 

Click here to read: An Addicts Confession (from the Unspoken Broken) 

“Because I started to face my pain, the Lord was able to bring healing.”

“Because I started to face my pain, the Lord was able to bring healing.”

It took me years to know how to handle the hardships of grief during the holidays. I was reminded recently of the verse from Psalms 147 that says that God mends the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. This resonated deep within me. Every holiday season, it almost seems like I have this wound that has started to heal but once I start going towards these seasons, the wound starts to re-open. When someone is in pain from a deep wound, it’s hard to get their mind off the pain. Your focus is only on that hurt. Your brain makes it a number one priority. And that is how it felt for me for so long.

I can really only say that once I started seeing Jesus in my healing instead of seeing only myself, was I really able to get through a holiday without that wound re-opening. He really started to bind up my wounds, therefore He was mending my broken heart. My blood started pumping towards His heart. His blood started circulating through my body, healing my wounds. I started to become one with Him.

I try to make it a priority to see my family as much as I can during the holiday seasons, even though we are placed throughout the world. That’s where I find my joy, in the love of Jesus and in the love of those who have loved me unconditionally. I’m not afraid to go toward these seasons anymore. I’m not afraid of the grief I still face. It’s so much better to go towards the grief than to run away from it. I ran away from the wounds for quite some time. Because I started to face my pain, the Lord was able to bring healing.

However hard this upcoming holiday season may be for you, don’t run away from your hurt. Use your boxing gloves and fight. Fight for the joy that this holiday season can bring for you. But also fight for the grief you are in. It’s okay to be in it. It’s okay to have wounds. But don’t stop putting ointment on it. That ointment is Jesus. Memorize his Word in your heart so that His blood can also run through your veins. I promise it will heal you. Maybe not in your time or my time but it will happen.

As I was praying on how to end this, I was reminded of this verse. I really feel that God wants to speak Isaiah 61:3 as a promise over all of you who are reading this with a heart full of pain and hurt. Jesus cares so deeply for you that He spoke to me to give this to you. How caring is that? So please read it. Get by yourself, take all of your worries and busyness out of your mind from the day and soak it in.

Isaiah 61:3 (NIV)

“…to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.”

About Audra: Hey y’all! My name is Audra Arnold. I’m a wife to my husband, a lover of all things birds and a nanny to three adorable boys (I love my job). Most of all, I’m a daughter of Jesus. If you would like to continue to follow my story or would like to get in contact with me, feel free to add any of my media links that are listed below. Thanks for taking the time to read my post!

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