The Psalmist shares a powerful testimony in his experience with God. His confession is that he would have felt hopeless, like giving up, had it not been for God’s character. The word “despair” means “the absence of hope, discouragement, the feeling of gloom and uncertainty, of dreadful fear.” Notice the word “Unless.” It makes all the difference. There is a shift from hopelessness to hope, from despair to expectation. The word “believed” is a key word. It means to trust, to be certain about.” The Psalmist was certain about God and His promises.
This verse is a powerful statement as we live in a broken world filled with evil. Unless we have hope in God, there is despair. It’s hard enough some days to make it with God, but how does a person make it without Him? What was the basis for this powerful belief and trust? Simply that God is good, and He brings good into the lives of those who trust and follow Him.
What is “the goodness of the Lord”? “Goodness” is God’s perspective, God’s gifts, God’s blessings, God’s favor and God’s promises. The belief factor means you trust that no matter what is going on around you, God is going to bring something out of it that is good. The operative teaching in this verse has to do with our perspective; in fact, that we have a God perspective.
The key issue is an understanding the difference between God’s definition of “goodness” and our definition of “goodness.” Our definition makes good is the opposite of bad—no difficulties, no problems, no bad days, no hurts, no wounds and no dread. However, God’s definition includes difficulties, trials, bad days, difficult people and trying circumstances. These are the ingredients God uses to mold us and help us depend upon Him. When God’s definition of good is embraced, a new perspective emerges, one that can see God using things people normally consider bad to help us become more like Him. Jesus is our ultimate example. He endured the cross—the ultimate bad—so we could experience His ultimate good—salvation and heaven.
Daily Do It
Make a commitment today that before the next event of bad news comes your way, you will look for something good out of it. Change your definition of good from being the absence of bad to God’s definition which sues good things and bad things to bring us growth and Him glory through our lives. Look back at some of your most difficult moments and ask, “Did God use that someway, somehow to help me grow?” It is often adversity that causes us to be more like Jesus.
Quote of the Day
“What is ‘good?’ ‘Good’ is what God approves. We may ask then, ‘why is what God approves good?’ We must answer, ‘Because He approves it.’ That is to say, there is no higher standard of goodness than God’s own character and His approval of whatever is consistent with that character.”