Doubting God is Good

by Sarah Markley


I remain confident of this:
    I will see the goodness of the Lord
    in the land of the living.

 Psalm  27:13

Something in me doubts that God is good. Or at the very least, He may not share His goodness with me.

I lean so heavily on what I remember James saying about trials and tribulations that when something great happens, I look around and wonder where it came from.

Surely not from God.

We’re in it with him to endure, right? We are running a marathon and marathons aren’t fun.

This kingdom building life is all about the struggle and the hurt and even the grief, and the good things? Well I guess I’ll just have to wait for heaven for the real beauty and for the real capital G Good things to show up.


But the fact is that God is Good with a capital G.

I remember a story my father tells of me when I was two and a half. We were in our old Datsun driving home from church. My father and mother had been in the process of trying to buy their first house, a cozy bungalow that would be just perfect for our family.

My mother was pregnant with my sister at the time and they needed to move out of the little apartment the 3 of us shared.

“If God is good to us then we’ll get this house, honey.” My father said to my mother as he turned the corner from church back to home.

Overhearing my parents like a good toddler does, I piped up from the backseat, “But God is good ALL the time, Daddy!”

And from the way my father tells and retells this story, he was faced with the goodness of God in a way he’d forgotten.

God is good when we are enduring the marathon of kingdom building (or trying to stretch and buy our first home) and God is also good when we are in the middle of it all and His goodness rains down like something we don’t even think we deserve.

But somewhere between age 3 and 38 I think I’ve forgotten about the goodness of God.  It’s the faith of a child, I guess, that believes He is good if we get the house and He is good if we don’t.

Lord, help us not to lose faith in your Goodness. Help us to remember that you are Good all the time and that you are perfect in your goodness.

Do you ever doubt His goodness? Do you have trouble, like me, remembering He is Good all the time?

22 Responses to “Doubting God is Good”

  1. Davinia George February 12, 2013 at 6:49 am #

    Hi Sarah,
    Yes we do have to remember that life is a marathon, I am not a runner, I really admire the commitment of friends who are, they talk about focus, dedication and commitment. They also show it through their training schedules, it reminds me it’s not just the 26 miles they run on the day of the marathon, but all the miles they have done in training (100′s or 1000′s)
    It’s just seems so painfal to me but then when you see them pass that post, their face’s show it all, the pleasure, the achievement, the exhileration the relief, it’s all there in that one expression!!
    We need to press on with our lives in Christ, to run our race, to see Christs expression when we finish our race, how great will that be?
    Thanks Sarah, I want to be a committed, focused Christian your post today has helped me on a down day…x

    • Sarah Markley February 12, 2013 at 9:45 am #

      i’m so sorry you are having a down day davinia. hoping that your heart can turn around this morning. =) God is good with a capital G. =)

  2. ro elliott February 12, 2013 at 7:16 am #

    oh wow…a Datsun…my husband’s first car :) The older I get the more I believe right where you speak is the battle of every battle we are in…if Satan can get us to believe the lie…God is not good…and we can continue in our anger…mistrust…and unbelief…then we can slowly start turning our back…distancing ourselves…reaching for more control( because we can do this life so much better than God)… I really encourage my kids…or who ever is in a battle….struggle…don’t wrestle over the struggle…wrestle to believe the truth about God…ask God what we don’t know about Him right now that would keep us from believing He is who He says He is…and through that struggle…you will know God’s love better…know Him better and therefore we can rest and trust that He will get us through what ever we are going through. and oh my we all become like a child…God is good all the time…

    • Sarah Markley February 12, 2013 at 9:46 am #

      yes! yes. thank you so much ro. =)

  3. Tanya Marlow February 12, 2013 at 9:02 am #

    I love this story- it helps. I confess: it is my secret internal battle to believe that God is good. To have the faith of a child – that is helpful, so helpful. Thank you.

    • Sarah Markley February 12, 2013 at 9:50 am #

      yes. me too. i’m so glad not a one of us is alone. thank you for your comment, tanya =)

  4. Jen February 12, 2013 at 9:07 am #

    Totally, Sarah. I get what you’re saying. We so often forget that God wants his kingdom (of love, truth, justice, grace, etc) HERE and now. So often I used to feel like I was just hangin’ on ’til heaven, fighting the good fight, but forgetting that He wants us to experience crazy joy and His goodness here!

    The verse you quoted, Psalm 27:13 has been one of my favorites for a long time, and also the one following it: “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” Ps.27:14 When I read them together, it’s such great encouragement…be strong (stand firm, don’t give up) take heart (He sees you! He loves you! He’s good!) and wait for Him. For me, I’ve found that when I really seek out His goodness, I begin to see it everywhere. Resting in that truth, that He is always good, and He can ONLY act out of that goodness, has become my main source of peace, regardless of if we get the house or not. :)

    I love your honest, real heart, Sarah, it’s seriously beautiful. Thanks for sharing it today. :)

    • Sarah Markley February 12, 2013 at 9:59 am #

      thank you jen. the other night i was laying in bed and i couldn’t sleep. that verse kept popping into my head. so great. thank you so much for your comment Jen!

  5. Jenna February 12, 2013 at 9:15 am #

    So true. Echoing that today.

    Jenny Simmons has a song about this on her new CD and every time it comes on in the car it makes me stop and think and pray and believe again. :)

  6. Prudence February 12, 2013 at 9:49 am #

    All the time. Sometimes even in the good I forget, doubt He is good, Most probably because I feel it’s something I did. This last year has been a growing experience in me remembering and **trusting** that He is good. Good when the good things are coming my way, and good when prayers aren’t answered – especially when they’re not answered the way **I** want them to be answered.

    • Sarah Markley February 12, 2013 at 10:00 am #

      oh yes! its about trusting in his goodness isnt’ it? so hard.

  7. Deborah West February 12, 2013 at 10:19 am #

    I forgot. Last night I forgot, and this was part of what helped me remember God is Good. Thank you. Linked to you in my post today.

    • Sarah Markley February 12, 2013 at 10:23 am #

      yes, i forget all the time. i’m right there with you!

  8. Kevin Shoop February 12, 2013 at 10:21 am #

    WOW what a great post Sarah. To answer your question at the end of your post: all the freaking time! It’s probably the foundational struggle of faith in God. I have zero answers. Thank you for writing about it!

    • Sarah Markley February 12, 2013 at 10:22 am #

      thank you Kevin! =)

  9. Karina Allen February 12, 2013 at 10:26 am #

    Sarah, I love this! It’s a good word! God showed me this a few months ago during a season of discouragement. He reminded me that He is good & does good. It is His character. He is good regardless of our circumstances or our emotions. This truth is one of those things that we just have to know is true & declare during times of pain or when we are disappointed. When we speak it out, those words speak life and hope into us. That builds our faith so when the next trial comes, we’re more apt to believe in His goodness rather than our circumstances.

  10. LoveFeast Table February 13, 2013 at 9:30 pm #

    (Giant’s Causeway!) I have found His goodness in the biggest blessings and in the greatest disappointments. I can’t wrap my head around how He does what He does, but I can always stand on who I know Him to be. ~Kristin

  11. Lisa February 14, 2013 at 6:21 pm #

    Yep, it is easy to doubt His goodness, but I don’t doubt who He is. He can handle my questions, my doubts, and fears. We don’t know what he is doing most of the time, but we can trust his character.

  12. katie February 16, 2013 at 9:12 am #

    This very scripture and these very ideas have me chronicling God’s goodness as well…which began after a tragedy in our lives that has yet to be completely redeemed… I needed to look outward, to see God’s hand at work around us, and so I began to consciously look for His goodness, to acknowledge that it is here, in “the land of the living,” indeed. And that, as He walks and grieves with us, His Goodness – with a capital G – is evident everywhere {for example, looking back and seeing the blooming crepe myrtle of our Katrina salvaging}. Thank you, thank you for your post on this, Sarah…

  13. Patty February 19, 2013 at 7:08 am #

    As someone who has been in the midst of a painful, heart wrenching trial for well over a year now, I have had to learn first hand about trusting that God is good. I’ve learned that God isn’t just “good” when life is going great, but that He’s just as good when life is hard. He has used this past year to reveal to me how far and wide his love reaches, and that he’s with me me in the fire, even when I “feel” alone. I’ve learned the hard way that some of the most valuable and unforgettable lessons we learn are the ones learned through heartache and loss. Thank you for sharing this today, Sarah, I’ve enjoyed your posts for a long time and always go away thankful I read.

  14. Shannon February 19, 2013 at 2:04 pm #

    I must say that I believe this with my head, but it’s not getting down to my heart these days. We spent eleven years serving in the ministry and have recently left feeling not only taken for granted, but used, judged and unloved. Broke and broken. We gave some of the best years of our lives in service and it seems like there is nothing to show for it. Harsh words, but this is how it feels right now. I’m struggling to not be bitter, and not always winning that fight. Thanks for the reminder that it takes a child’s faith to keep believing that God IS good all the time. I need to hear that right now.


  1. What I'm into (February 2013) | Thorns and Gold - March 2, 2013

    [...] Markley for A deeper church – Doubting God is good. Such a helpful reflection for those battling with [...]

Leave a Reply:

Gravatar Image