Devotionals by Dr. James MacDonald

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him(Psalm 34:8, esv)!

When we go through hard times, we need truths to cling to for dear life. We need the truth of God’s presence: He is always with us. We need the truth of God’s sovereignty: He is in absolute control and ordering the circumstances of our lives. And we need the truth of God’s goodness, which takes us close to God’s heart. God’s goodness is the ultimate rescue net under all of life’s experiences. No matter what we face, soon we will see and say, “God is so good.”

The goodness of God is stamped all over the Bible. Let’s do a flyby of Scripture that boasts in the goodness of the Lord.

God’s goodness is the eventual conclusion of every generation of His children. “For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations” (Psalm 100:5). Every generation learns the truth of God’s goodness. You might not think it now, but if you’re one of God’s children, then you’re going to figure it out by the end of your life—God is good. Before your last day, “God is good” will come from your lips. He may have to take you through a lot to get you to that place, but eventually you will conclude, “The Lord does all things well; He is good.” Everything He allowed, everything He withheld, every difficult season, every stretching circumstance, He meant for good, because He is good. His disposition is kindness. His default action is for your benefit. He is good.

God’s goodness is something He wants us to experience. “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!” God invites us, “Taste! Sample and see. Find out for yourself that I am good.” This isn’t imaginary; it’s experiential. Taste it!

God’s goodness is all over that He does. “The Lord is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made” (Psalm 145:9). God may not be super fast in answering our frantic questions: “Why did You allow this, God? When will this trial end?” But in everything, overarching everything, His goodness and mercy endure.

God’s goodness may not be immediately obvious. “The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him” (Lamentations 3:25). Wait for God. Too often we rush His agenda: “I have to see it now, God! You have ten days to show me You’re good, or I’m out of here.” God doesn’t respond to bullying, and our ultimatums don’t leave Him shaking. That’s not how it works. Because God is good, even His timetable is good—but we can only see this after events have transpired. We have to learn to pray, “Father, I choose to wait for You, because I know You are good, and that includes what You do and when You do it.”

God’s goodness is a refuge, and He is aware of the people
who find it. “The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in him” (Nahum 1:7). As God watches our lives, He points to us and says, “She’s trusting,” or “He’s not,” or “He’s trusting a bit,” or “She did last Thursday.” He knows those who are taking His promises to heart. He’s proving the Word of God in our lives. He knows the people who are resting in and the people who are resisting His promises. Stronghold is what God’s goodness looks like to the enemy on the outside; refuge is what God’s goodness looks like to us on the inside. “He knows” in this context doesn’t just mean He recognizes but also that He draws near in intimate fellowship. God’s character is our protection.

Have life’s difficulties caught you off guard? Do you wonder today if God is good? This is a life raft in the storm, a truth you can cling to, come what may: God is good.

Journal

  • By the end of life, every child of God concludes that He is good. Are you there yet? To what extent do you believe in the absolute goodness of God?
  • God wants us to taste and see that He is good. How have you experienced the goodness of God?

Pray
Father, by faith I affirm that You are good. Even when life is hard, You are still and always good. Your goodness is over all You do. I choose to wait for You, because I know You are good, and that includes what You do and when You do it. You are my stronghold and protection, and I choose to take refuge in You. Because You are good, I can trust You, knowing You want what’s best for me. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

For more from Dr. James MacDonald please visit Walk in the Word on OnePlace.com.


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Pastor James MacDonald preaches without apology straight from the pages of Scripture, provoking Christians to think and act on their faith. His Bible-teaching ministry, Walk in the Word, launched on as a radio broadcast in 1997, with the mission of "igniting passion in the people of God through the proclamation of truth."



About Dr. James MacDonald

James MacDonald (D. Min., Phoenix Seminary) is the founder and Senior Pastor of Harvest Bible Chapel. He has led the church from the time it began with just 18 people in 1988 to the present, where 13,000 people attend seven campuses in the Chicago area weekly. His practical teaching of God’s Word is broadcast daily around the world on radio and TV through the program Walk in the Word, and more than 160 vertical churches have been planted on four continents under Dr. MacDonald’s leadership. Pastor James has authored several books and Bible studies, including: Act Like Men; Vertical Church; Lord, Change Me; Lord, Change My Attitude; When Life is Hard; Always True; and most recently, The Will of God IS the Word of God. He and his wife Kathy live in the Chicagoland area near their seven beloved grandchildren, and three adult children who serve alongside them in ministry.

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