“God is so good.” Yes. He is.
Goodness is part of God’s nature. He IS good. Period. Full stop. He is good whether you are rich, poor, healthy, sick, disabled, happy, sad, angry or anything else. He is ALWAYS good.
From a human perspective, good is when we feel everything is fine and we are happy. However, our happiness is not God’s goal. When we know and are like Him, we experience joy in spite of what happens to us.” – Muriel Cook, Kitchen Table Counseling
Do we believe that? Do I believe that? Can I say this with full confidence even when I don’t feel it?
“He has blessed me greatly.”
How? How has He blessed you? Has He blessed you with money? A house? Clothing? Food? Family? Friends? A job? Good health? Has He delivered your babies safely? Has He protected you from contracting Ebola? Has He taken you out of a war zone just in time?
Maybe. Maybe those are blessings. But what if they’re not?
“He [God] makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matthew 5:45). Does this mean He is blessing the wicked?
A friend told me that God’s blessing is a package, inside of which are any number of things God knows you need but aren’t necessarily things you want.
What if blessings aren’t necessarily things we want or even like? What if they are things that grow us, things that help us become more like Christ?
Muriel Cook, in her book Kitchen Table Counseling, explains it like this:
The Bible tells us that “all things…work together for good” (Romans 8:28) Everything?  Romans 8:29 shows what God means by “good”: “For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son.” The good that comes from tragedy is that God is making you like Jesus.
James 1 says “blessed is the man who endures temptation.” A friend is struggling with pressures of her culture. She knows what is right but it is increasingly difficult to stand firm in her convictions. Where is her blessing?
Psalm 1 says “blessed are those who do not walk in step with the wicked.” A friend of mine is refusing to “walk in step with the wicked” right now, meaning she will not pay a bribe to receive her work permit. She lives each day wondering if she will have to uproot herself from the life she knows and leave behind the country and work she loves. Where is her blessing?
Increasingly, I am convinced that blessing does not mean material goodness. The blessings listed in the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-10) don’t seem like blessings that will be realized here on earth.
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn,
For they shall be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek,
For they shall inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
For they shall be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful,
For they shall obtain mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
For they shall see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
For they shall be called sons of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
It ends with, “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven” (Matthew 5:11-12).
Our reward is in heaven. This is comforting; a reward in heaven, “where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal” (Matthew 6:20). I’m still wrestling with this term “blessing” and now I hope you are too.