Several years ago Karen and I were assessing our finances and the fact that we were eleven months behind on our mortgage and two months behind on our utilities.
We had less than ten dollars to our name, mostly in loose change, and we had about a gallon of gas in the van. Karen is amazing, her faith stunning. She is well acquainted with our Father’s good love and made a statement that highlights it: “We have food in the fridge. We are blessed and God is so good.”
“God is good.” Sometimes it’s the most powerful sentence in the universe, a statement of profound faith.
"A need met can never be the measuring stick of our Father’s goodness, it can only be the evidence."
“God is good.” It’s true when we can pay our mortgage and when we can’t.
Karen and I are learning that a need met can never be the measuring stick of our Father’s goodness, it can only be the evidence. His goodness and His love will follow us all the days of our lives and will never be measured or determined by our circumstances. This faith is the foundational truth upon which everything else in our lives is built.
Karen and I have prayed when she starts to get a migraine: “Father, heal Karen’s migraine in Jesus’s name.” And we have thanked Him for His always-good love as the headache that typically becomes a migraine fades away.
We have also prayed against a coming migraine and watched, feeling helpless, as Karen still got the migraine. And yet we are learning, even in the pain, to hurdle the disappointment that seeks to discourage our hearts, and thank Him for His always-good love.
We trusted God absolutely, financially risking everything to start a company. Karen and I watched God come through miraculously, giving us favor and increase. We thanked Him for His goodness as our company prospered.
We trusted God completely, risking everything financially by giving the company back to Him. Karen and I believed and surrendered through the debilitating season of failed business and substantial debt. We chose to thank Him for His always-good love.
"We have met our Dad and are convinced, and we are becoming more convinced, that our circumstances don’t determine His love. He only has goodness and love for us."
We have prayed, “Lord, protect this pregnancy and our child,” when a heartbeat couldn’t be found. We celebrated days later in the doctor’s office when life was discovered and again when our first daughter Madeleine was handed into the thankful, waiting arms of a tearfully joyful new mother and father.
We have also prayed, “Lord, protect our child and this pregnancy,” when complications became obvious. And weeks later we stood in the doctor’s office, grief in our eyes, as the devastating news was gently broken. On this journey of faith, we are learning, even in the midst of heartache, to trust in our Dad’s always-good love.
Why? Because we have met our Dad and are convinced, and we are becoming more convinced, that our circumstances don’t determine His love. He only has goodness and love for us.
“God shall supply all your needs according to His riches and glory in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19 NASB). It’s in my Bible and yours. That Scripture isn’t a bumper sticker platitude or a warm feeling or a nice sentiment; it’s a promise that His love is good. It’s disappointment hurdling revelation. It’s the truth. It’s the truth even when we are facing sickness, bankruptcy, or death. It’s the truth even when everything we are experiencing screams the lie.
David was a man after God’s own heart. He both started and finished well. His life was a study in mountaintops and valleys.
His story was one of miracles and misses, faith and failure. David experienced some crushing disappointments but somehow never suc- cumbed. He ended well—better than well—he handed increase to the next generation.
I am convinced there is only one reason David succeeded where so many before and after have failed. David did not believe his circumstances were the measuring stick of God’s love. On the contrary, he was convinced that…
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The Father's Heart in the Valley
by Jason Clark
Jason Clark is a writer, speaker and lead communicator at A Family Story ministries. His mission is to encourage sons and daughters, fathers and mothers, to grow sure in the love of an always-good heavenly Father. He and his wife, Karen, live in North Carolina with their three children. Website: www.afamilystory.org