The best question we can ask ourselves when we’re feeling discontented, despondent, overwhelmed or fearful is “What am I believing about God right now?”
Do I believe God is in control? Do I believe he is being good to me? Do I believe he cares about me? Or do I believe that somehow God’s left the building and forgotten about me? Or he’s temporarily lost control of the universe. Or perhaps he is mad at me and punishing me for some reason. Or giving me too much for me to bear.
We must continually fight to believe that God has made a covenant to never turn away from doing good to us (JE 32.40).
Surely if [God] would not spare his own Son one stroke, one tear, one groan, one sigh, one circumstance of misery, it can never be imagined that ever he should, after this, deny or withhold from his people, for whose sakes all this was suffered, any mercies, any comforts, any privilege, spiritual or temporal, which is good for them. –John Flavel
God never gives his children anything but what’s best for us. And if he withholds something from us, it’s because it would not be good for us.
When I was a kid, I would have told my mom it would be good for her to give me unlimited candy. She would not have been a good mom to give me what I desired though. I would have told her it would be good to let me stay up as late as I wanted and watch whatever I wanted to on TV. But my Mom didn’t give me everything I wanted, even though I was sure it would be the best thing for me. My mom had wisdom; I didn’t. She knew better than I did what would be good for me. So our heavenly Father knows far better than we what is good for us to have and not have.
And we must always remember our greatest good is knowing and being conformed to Christ. If our suffering drives us to deeper pursuit of Jesus and we cling more closely to him, that’s wonderful. If our affliction humbles us and makes us more merciful to others, that is a good thing.
In heaven we’ll look at all God did in our lives that we didn’t understand and it will all make sense to us. Then we’ll praise God for our momentary light afflictions, for we’ll see the eternal weight of glory they produced. In heaven we’ll say, “Jesus, thank you for all you did in me through that trial.”
And if we’ll praise God in heaven for all the good he did through our trials, shouldn’t we praise him in those trials now?