Here we are, partway through the first full week of 2021. I’m excited about the year ahead. Hopefully, we’re all still on track with our goals at this point!
However, I know that just because one year rolled into the next, none of our trials or troubles just automatically disappeared. We’re likely carrying over some fears or disappointments from last year. Perhaps we don’t see a lot of hope ahead, even with 2020 behind us. Maybe we’ve even questioned whether God will be good to us in the coming months.
I believe we can definitely say that He will!
Let’s start this discussion with how we define “good.” Here’s a parenting example that might help.
As a child (okay, so maybe this is still the case!), one of my daughters would have thought it was “good” to eat only dessert for every meal with a few candy snacks between those meals for good measure! But while that would have fulfilled her physical desire in the moment, it would in no way be good for her overall health. As her mom, I knew more than she did as a four-year-old. Hence, fruits and vegetables appeared on her plate more often than chocolate ice cream.
In the same way, what we deem as “good” for us isn’t always seen that way by a God who is much wiser than we are. He alone knows what is truly good for us. What He allows into our lives – some of which we may not see as good – is ultimately what is best for us. Those things will help us grow into the person that He would have us to be.
So how do we know we can trust God to be good to us in 2021? Here are three reasons.
His Word tells us so.
“Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men!” ~Psalm 31:19
Isn’t it neat to think about God storing up goodness for us, His beloved children?! So many of those things will be received by us as blessings straight from His hand. It could be financial gain, good health, a steady job, the love of family, His clear guidance, and so many other things.
Over and over in the Bible, we’re told that God is good. Not only that, but we also read stories of His goodness to His people.
Think of the life of Joseph. God was good to him and blessed him throughout his life. Did being sold as a slave or unjustly imprisoned seem good? No, not in the moment. But look at how God used him to preserve the lives of his countrymen as well as his own family.
Remember what he told his brothers in Genesis 50:20? “But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.“
Here are a couple more verses that tell us God is good.
“The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.” ~Psalm 145:9
“O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good; for his mercy endureth forever.” ~1 Chronicles 16:34
God has been good to us in the past.
“O Lord, thou art my God; I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things; thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth.” ~Isaiah 25:1
Every one of us has lived through hard times. Yet not one of us can say that God hasn’t been faithful.
This is one reason why I love keeping a gratitude journal. Even before I got as old as I am, my memory was short! I get into a trial and forget what God did previously in a similar situation. But when it’s written down, I can read back through how He worked in the past and trust that He’ll do the same in the present.
I like this quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson.
“All I have seen teaches me to trust the creator for all I have not seen.“
Here are a couple more verses that encourage us to recall God’s goodness.
“I will remember the works of the Lord: surely I will remember thy wonders of old. I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings.” ~Psalm 77:11-12
“O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.” ~Psalm 34:8
God has a plan to prosper us.
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” ~Romans 8:28
I’ve sometimes avoided this verse because it feels overused. It’s like we trot it out to give people comfort when something “bad” comes into their lives. But it’s God’s Word, so it’s one hundred percent true.
ALL things work together for good in God’s economy. He only wants what’s best for us. In the long run, He wants us to flourish spiritually and in every other area of our lives.
Not a one of us could have foretold what 2020 would look like. But God knew. And in each individual case, He had a plan.
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” ~Jeremiah 29:11
Will things that we deem “bad” continue to happen in 2021? I’d say that’s almost a guarantee. But from God’s perspective, all of it can be His blessing and through His grace, it works for our good and His glory.
- A Story of Goodness and Grace
- What Does It Really Mean to Rejoice in the Lord?
- 4 Questions You Might Have Asked God