• Lisa Ingram

Is God Really Good?

By Guest Blogger: Julie Graybill


"Everything happens for a reason." It's the mantra of our culture. We hear it almost daily as if it's truth.


The Bible doesn't say it.


The world says it.


This five-word proclamation is usually a response to answer the question of why a bad thing happened. It's often echoed to offer "comfort" to those facing an unexplained illness or other horrible news.


Here's what I know. God's character is righteous and when we believe he causes unrighteous things to happen in our lives, then we are believing that He is not all the way good. I'm protective of my God's reputation because I know Him and want to proclaim the truth!


It's a little harsh, but when I came across this picture (below) I jumped up and said, “YES!" while chuckling.



God does not cause all things. Yes, he’s omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient, but we cannot link our every human action to His will.


Our actions are often intertwined with sin and dysfunction. Simply put, if we are not living in Christ, our actions will most likely not represent Christ. We've been given a beautiful gift called freewill and with it we can choose good or we can choose bad. We choose! Can God direct our paths? Absolutely! But, he's purposeful in allowing choice.


Let me put it this way. When my children were learning to walk, I chose, at times, to not break their fall. I knew they would fall, and I could have prevented the fall, but that would have deprived them of the opportunity to struggle and build the muscles needed for walking on their own. The times that they were out of my reach and face-planted on the floor - those were not times that I caused them to get hurt. Those falls were natural consequences of inexperience and lack of coordination.


On the radio, I heard a well-meaning lady say that she had been paralyzed by God. Her story broke my heart. She really believed that the accident that left her paralyzed was part of God's will. The radio station featured her story which would, in turn, mislead more believers (and non-believers). How confusing. Her story continued as she tearfully announced she was thankful for her condition because she can now encourage others. I am all for encouragement and redemption but wait a minute - go back to her statement about being paralyzed by God.


Enough is enough.


I hold my tongue a lot when I overhear friends post about how their family member died of cancer and how God must have needed another angel in heaven {this is another statement that is also made up by culture}. "Everything happens for a reason," they chant. Maybe, just maybe, the reason is that we live in an imperfect, sin-filled world with a defined enemy. Some friends tell me that they wouldn't have thought they would get divorced, but everything happens for a reason. God is for marriage and he hates divorce. God did not will my friends to get a divorce to intentionally cause pain. His ways are higher than our ways and his plans are greater than we can ever imagine. I can assure you He doesn't break up marriages, or give someone cancer, or cause horrible accidents. He is for you, not against you. He is LIFE not death.


I realize I may be stepping on a few toes here but that's okay. The truth can be hard to swallow yet hear me loud and clear. The TRUTH will set you free. It's the only thing that can set you free. Chances are you are in bondage to the very thing that you are blaming God for causing. When you can step away and ask yourself this question, you will be taking your first step towards freedom:


Does my illness, stronghold, tragedy or pain line up with the character of God?


I stand for a God that is good. His character is unblemished. His ways are holy. His will for you is wellness. Sickness and disease are from the enemy. Not God. God is our healer. He is our restorer. His specialty is taking broken people and making them whole again.


God did not paralyze you, sweet woman on the radio, nor does he give people cancer. Instead of saying, everything happens for a reason, how about digging a little deeper? The Bible is very clear that Satan's purpose is to steal, kill and destroy. God came to give LIFE abundantly!


The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it to the full. John 10:10

I believe with all my heart, that God’s will for us is wholeness, in every sense of the word. And any disease, pain, suffering – that is not of God.


My friend, a beautiful woman of God, struggles daily with Sickle Cell anemia. My heart aches witnessing how she has wrongly accepted this disease as God's will for her life. Her daily tasks are limited, her hospital stays are frequent, and her faith is constantly tested. To my sweet friend, I can say with assurance - that is not God’s will for you. He did not put that upon you, but rather His promise of bringing good from the bad holds true.


Oh yes, the lady on the radio and my friend both have part of the truth correct. God can and will use your storm or your sickness to bring glory to His name.


Roman 8:28 reminds us of God's unfailing redeeming power!


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.

In John 16:33, we read how this life will NOT be easy and that we WILL face trouble. Oh, how I love the ending, "...but take heart, I have overcome the world!"


Let me get personal. I am confident that God did not give me an eating disorder during high school and college. Rather, I made choices and I experienced things that tainted my identity in Christ. Not knowing who I truly was in Christ took me on a journey that often included poor decisions both for my mind and physical body. I take responsibility for a lot of choices that led me into the addiction of an eating disorder and the destructive patterns of misusing food and exercise. Yes, it's a mental illness and I can play the blame game if I so choose, but I choose to never blame my God. For that would be exactly what the enemy would desire. The enemy knows if I become angry with God, then I will distance myself from Him. But here's what I've learned. God never left me. He is a patient father who never gave up on me. He knew I would face trouble in this sin-filled world, but he offered me a way out of my bondage. He offered Himself as my personal Savior!


God is good.

He is for you.

He is the author of goodness.

He promises that He can bring good from ALL things.

He can redeem your pain.

Trust Him.


Be blessed, Julie


God saw all that he had made, and it was very good... Genesis 1:31


The LORD is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made. Psalm 145:9


Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17


We would like to say a big thank you to Julie Graybill for being our guest blogger this month! We encourage you to visit Julie's blog at Hunger for Greater to read more of her articles and to be blessed! We love you Julie and hope to have you back again soon!


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