“Yet I am confident I will see the LORD's goodness while I am here in the land of the living.” Psalm 27:13 (NLT)
“I know God can work all things for good,” I admit as we sit outside the coffee shop, hot mugs in our hands and warm sunshine on our backs. “I just wish He’d give me a glimpse of what He’s doing in all this.”
My friend doesn’t need a detailed definition of this. She’s walked me through a recent heartache and prayed with me for a miracle. She’s shown up with groceries, lattes and hugs and has refused to offer pithy platitudes when the outcome of our prayers hasn’t matched the longing of our hearts.
I pull a yellow slip of paper from my pocket and hand it to her so she can read my scribbles: “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” (Romans 8:28, NIV).
For months, I’ve carried this promise around as a reminder that even though my circumstances don’t feel good, God is still working for my good.
I’ve turned Romans 8:28 into a prayer of faith, and I’ve waited expectantly for God to answer. Yet as my circumstances remain unchanging, my hope is slowly waning.
My conversations with God have begun to shift from I know You can take this mess and do something marvelous with it … to Where are You, and what are You doing?
As my friend and I sip our coffee, I wrap words around my discouragement, and she listens without judgment. She nods in understanding, then speaks a gentle truth: “Even when we can’t see how God is working for our good, we can choose to see His goodness.”
Her wisdom dangles in the silence between us as she digs for something in her purse. “I carry a verse with me too,” she says with a playful wink. “It’s a reminder to open my eyes.”
She hands me her phone, and I read the pixelated promise splayed across the screen: “Yet I am confident I will see the LORD's goodness while I am here in the land of the living” (Psalm 27:13).
The verse brings both comfort and conviction. When did I stop noticing the Lord’s goodness? I wonder as the psalmist’s words stir my heart.
We head home when our coffee grows cold, and I tuck that crumpled piece of yellow paper inside my prayer journal. I won’t stop believing God’s promise in Romans 8:28 and waiting in expectation. But there’s something I need to do in the meantime.
I turn to a fresh page in my journal. Lord, help me to see Your goodness, I whisper. I slow my swirling thoughts and think back through the moments of my day. Then I put pen to paper and name what I see:
- A friend who speaks in love.
- Tulips blooming in my yard.
- Laughter around the dinner table.
My discouragement doesn’t instantly disappear, but as I turn my scribbles into praises, my heart feels lighter, and my frustration grows quieter.
I close my journal and fold the corner of the page to mark my spot. Tomorrow I will pause to notice again. Because a wise friend is teaching me that even before we see God’s promised good, we can rejoice in His present goodness.
And it’s there — at the intersection of faith and sight — that hope grows.
Dear Jesus, I know You are good, and You are good to me. Please open my eyes to see Your gifts of goodness. Restore my hope as I wait to see how You’re working all things for good. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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We know God has the power to take away all of our problems and pain on earth. But what do we do when He doesn’t? Join our study of the book of Job, When the Hurt Feels Hopeless: How God Meets Us in Our Pain Even When We Don’t Know the Answers, where we will find a God who meets us with His love and perfect plan right in the middle of every question we are asking. He does not always take our pain away, but He promises to give us His presence in it. Click here to order your study guide, and join us on June 12 in the free First 5 mobile app.
If you’d like to be more intentional about noticing God’s goodness and enjoying His presence, Alicia has created a 40-day devotional resource just for you. You can find it here. And for more encouragement, connect with Alicia on her website, where she shares stories to buoy your hope and bolster your faith.
FOR DEEPER STUDY
Psalm 23:6, “Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever” (NIV).
What keeps you from noticing God’s goodness in your life? Develop the habit of looking for the Lord’s goodness. Keep a list of what you see, and use it to spark prayers of gratitude. Invite a friend to join you. Share your thoughts in the comments, and let’s celebrate together!
© 2023 by Alicia Bruxvoort. All rights reserved.
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