The Lord is Good

One of my favorite books of the Bible is the Psalms. I can usually find one that fits any circumstance, need or mood of the moment. The Psalms are written like a songbook for God’s people to bring us into the presence of the One who created us and loves us. In it we find words of wisdom, lessons in history, songs of praise and thanksgiving, and heart cries of lament to the Lord.

I am particularly fond of Psalm 100.

Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth!
   Serve the LORD with gladness!
   Come into his presence with singing!
Know that the LORD, he is God!
   It is he who made us, and we are his;
   we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
   and his courts with praise!
   Give thanks to him; bless his name!
For the LORD is good;
   his steadfast love endures forever,
   and his faithfulness to all generations.

Here is a promise of God’s goodness from beginning to end! Indeed, our God is good, and we have many reasons to give Him thanks and praise!

But what about when bad things are happening all around us? How can we be thankful amid all of the calamity, disease, violence, oppression, and terrorism happening across the globe? We are overwhelmed by negative news and images and staggering numbers of the loss of human life. It has stopped me in my tracks and my heart hurts to my core. My instinct is to run and hide, stick my head in the sand and pretend it isn’t real. But what good is that? Like the lamenting psalmist I’ve cried out to the Lord, “Where are you?”

And then one morning I woke up with Psalm 100 on my mind. I wondered why, in the middle of all this chaos, would I hear “Make a joyful noise all the earth!” So I asked God. I read the Psalm again. I meditated on it. I spoke it out loud. And then it hit me! I believe the Lord gave me Psalm 100 at this time to tell me that no matter what is happening on the earth, I can trust that He is still over it all. He has it all in His hands. He is good and faithful. He is in every circumstance and with every soul, always. Nothing is beyond His care.

Isaiah 55:8-9 reminds us “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

We may not understand these earthly events from heaven’s perspective, but Psalm 100 is a call to faith-in-action. That no matter what is going on around us, we CAN make a joyful noise. We CAN serve the Lord with gladness. We CAN give Him praise and thanksgiving. We are His, He made us, and He cares for us in the good times and in the bad times.

So to answer my question, “God, where are you?” His response is, “I am right here.”

Can you hear the Father speaking to your hurting heart? “My child listen – You. Are. Mine. I am your God and you are my people. Remember always that I am good. Keep your eyes focused on me because my love for you is steadfast. And it endures forever. Nothing can separate you from my love. This love is faithful to every generation, no matter where you are, no matter what time or age, no matter the circumstances on earth. I am with you.”

Thank you, Lord. I believe you. I trust you. I bless your Name. Amen!