And the angel said unto them, "Fear not, for behold I bring you good tidings
of great joy, which shall be to all people."
Through the good and the bad and the ugly
I can still see the sunshine above me
Lord I love all the ways that You love me
You’re the good, You’re the good, You’re the goodness. ("The Goodness" Toby Mac and Blessing Offor)
As much as I tried, I could not quite move on from the song, “The Goodness” by TobyMac and Blessing Offor. I felt that there is still so much more that can be said.
The few lines above are sung by both singers, but each with his own slight twist. These lines are first sung by TobyMac but when Blessing sings it a second time, instead of singing: “I can still “see” the sunshine above me,” he sings, “I can still “feel” the sunshine above me.” To be honest I paid attention because, knowing that Blessing is blind, I wondered if he would use the same word “see” when he sang it. He didn’t. I realised that each person experienced God’s goodness in a different way. No one way was better than the other. One “saw” it, the other “felt” it. It was the same sunshine but appreciated in a different way.
I love the fact that God makes sure that everyone can experience His goodness. He knows that we all have different challenges, different limitations but He knows just how to ensure that no one misses the expression of His love.
Later on in this verse is the line, “Lord I love all the ways that You love me.” It’s a reminder to me of God’s love and of the vastness of that love. Psalm 36:5 says: “Your unfailing love, O Lord, is as vast as the heavens. Your faithfulness reaches beyond the clouds.” It’s not just one thing but the multitude of ways that God shows His love. He chooses to wake us up every day. He gives us health and strength and the ability to enjoy each day. For me personally, I love the fact that God knows me so well that He knows exactly how to cheer me up when I am down. He knows exactly the right movie, the right song, the right sermon, the right word, just the right thing to put a smile back on my face and in my heart. God always keeps His promise … He NEVER leaves us alone. He is always there when we need Him - even when we don’t always appreciate His presence.
What are the ways God is loving you today? He does it every single day. Take the time to reflect on His love for you, on the various ways that He shows you that He cares and that He is always there even when you don’t realise it.
If you have not accepted Jesus Christ into your life as your personal Lord and Saviour, I encourage you to make that step now. God loves us in so many ways that it can be hard to keep track. Whether we deserve it or not, He chooses to love us and has a beautiful plan for each of us. His love always seeks the best for us, it never runs out, never fails…
There are days when it is easy to be joyful, happy, positive. You feel hope and confident that you can handle whatever comes your way. And there are days when depression, discouragement, negativity all seem rolled into one, and it is truly difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I personally would love it if every day could be a “great” day. But, the reality is that some days will always be easier than others.
Last week, I shared about the goodness of God. My focus was the song “The Goodness” sung by Toby Mac and Blessing Offor. I choose to continue along the same vein. There is still more encouragement to be had from this song. The third verse speaks of an eclectic mix of things that can remind us of God’s goodness:
You are the joy
You're the smile on the face of Your boy
You're the flowers at that park in Detroit
Still the words on the back of our coins
Let's make some noise
Nothing about this verse seems linked. Yet, at the end of the day, no matter what we go through, there is ALWAYS something that reveals God’s goodness to us. It’s about appreciating the little things, those insignificant things that we take for granted. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says: “In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” Some may interpret this verse to mean that we should be thankful for everything, both good and bad. Others may see it as being thankful even while going through a difficult season. However you view it, I believe God wants us to see His goodness in the big and little things, as well as in the good seasons and in the bad.
A few mornings ago, I got up and decided to spend some time in prayer. I got up with the intention of bringing something that was bothering me before God. Instead, I found myself being thankful. God took charge of my entire prayer time and what should have been me reaching out to God for help, turned into a beautiful session of thanksgiving! God helped me to realise what was really important. He shifted my focus so that I found myself being able to see His goodness in the midst of a variety of negative situations. I found myself being amazed as God helped me see how good He has truly been to me over the years. It did not matter anymore what I had actually gotten up to pray about, God’s goodness became my focus. The problem I wanted to pray about became but a small thing and I believe I had more peace in that atmosphere of thanksgiving than if I had spent a whole hour crying out to Him!
I encourage you today to shift your focus a bit. Life is what it is yet, God is still good in spite of everything! No, your problem is no less stressful or painful but remembering God’s goodness can be the strength you need to cope. God’s goodness can be the peace you need in the midst of your storm. It can be the hope and reminder that God is with you while you are going through. Knowing that you are not alone can help you be confident that you are going to make it. Yes, God is still good no matter what!
If you have not accepted Jesus Christ into your life as your personal Lord and Saviour, I invite you to make that step now. God wants to be there for you and with you. He wants to be the One you turn to no matter what you are facing. Give Him that chance to show His goodness to you today.
Ain't no doubt about You
Everywhere that I go You keep showin' up
Lord, You make me wanna shout it, oh
You're the goodness in my life
(“The Goodness” sung by Toby Mac and Blessing Offor)
Life is filled with both ups and downs. We cannot have one without the other and recently I was suddenly hit with one of those downs. But, what I love about God is that He doesn’t allow you to stay down, He always finds ways to give you the pick-me-up He knows you need.
While feeling very discouraged, I found myself watching the 2022 Dove Awards on Youtube. From the first song that kicked off this event I began to feel encouraged. But there was one song that caused me to say to myself “That’s for me.” It was a song sung by Toby Mac and Blessing Offor entitled: “The Goodness.” I think what really brought it home for me was Toby Mac’s introduction to the song. He spoke about the death of his oldest son and how God helped him in the midst of tragedy to write such an upbeat song. God was still good. Part of the first verse is as follows:
You made the rain so when it falls on me
Should I complain or feel You callin' me
It's all on me to stay and really catch what You're showin'
It's my roots that You're growin’ ‘cause life is more than this moment
Whether we like it or not, life is going to happen yet, it is so important to learn what God is showing us through those seasons. We can easily get caught up in what happened and why it happened that we end up missing the important lessons God is teaching us. Toby Mac had unexpectedly lost his oldest son. Blessing Offor had completely lost his sight as a young boy. Yet, they recognised that in spite of the bad that had come their way, GOD WAS STILL GOOD. God did not stop being good because bad things had happened. He was still good. Period.
I am reminded here of the story of Job. What Job went through was nothing short of tragic as one tragedy after the next ripped through his life leaving him shocked, confused and grieving. Yet, he refused to deny or turn his back on his God. As far as he was concerned, worship was his option. Although he had many questions and was amply supplied by “friends” with reasons as to why tragedy had come his way, as well as suggestions on how he should respond, he chose to worship his God (Job 1:20). God was still good. That had not changed even though he had lost so much.
Psalm 27:13 says, “I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” When our hope is in God, we can expect Him to be there for us and to strengthen us as we go through difficult situations. We can have hope that He will bring good out of our challenging circumstances and that what we will learn at those times will make us stronger, wiser and better. God never fails.
This is what I am learning as I go through my own challenges. God is still good no matter what! That doesn’t change even though I may have a good day or a bad day. And, it is a truth that gives me hope in the midst of any situation.
So, whatever you are facing today, I am not going to promise you that things will get better overnight but I can tell you that God will never leave you alone in your situation and that He will give you the strength and grace you need to make it through. You are going to make it! He is still good no matter what!
If you have not accepted Jesus Christ into your life as your personal Lord and Saviour, I encourage you to do so now. God wants to be your strength and support so that as you go through life’s challenges, you can be encouraged that you will see God’s goodness no matter what you go through.
Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit (Proverbs 18:21).
Over the years, I have learned to take these words seriously and am still learning to watch what I say. When we are in challenging situations it can be so difficult to speak those words that can bring life and help us to overcome.
I was listening to a testimony from Virginia who was diagnosed with sinus issues that became so painful that it hurt her to even blink. She refused the medication the doctor prescribed and opted instead to use the over-the-counter drug, Ibuprofen. She also prayed and trusted God for her healing and God encouraged her that this too will pass. One night, the pain and pressure became so bad that she began to walk the floor declaring God’s Word for her healing. Some time later, she listened to a christian program and during the time of prayer, she received her healing. She acknowledges that her condition may not seem as serious as others but it was serious for her. Her experience taught her to trust God instead of choosing to fall apart. She was encouraged that God loves her and He is faithful.
As I listened to her story, one of the things that caught my attention was the fact that when things became really bad she began to pace the floor declaring God’s Word over herself and her situation. She could have chosen to think and to speak her negative situation - after all that would have been the common, even normal thing to do. However, she chose to speak God’s promises for her healing over her life, expecting and trusting God to come through for her. I can tell you from experience that it can be so easy to speak and declare negative words as fear grips you. It can be easy to forget that God is right there with you and that He desires to help you through. Virginia was believing God for her healing but the journey towards that healing was fraught with obstacles and challenges and her faith was consequently tested. Yet, she chose to use her tongue to speak life instead of death, to speak healing instead of sickness and God came through for her.
I am reminded of the Shunammite woman in 2 Kings 4:8-37. She and her husband would accommodate the prophet Elisha whenever he passed through their town. To reward her for her kind hospitality, Elisha asked if there was anything he could do for her. He found out that she had no son and promised that a year later she would bear a son. Unfortunately, however, one day the child got sick and died and she took him to the man of God, Elisha. Interestingly, when asked about her child’s well-being she responded: “It is well.” Yes, she could have honestly revealed that something was wrong but instead she used her tongue to utter the words: “It is well.” The man of God prayed and the child was revived. As far as the mother was concerned, God had promised her a son and I believe she chose to hold on to God’s promise to her. I also believe that her faith, spoken through her words of faith, contributed to her son coming back to life.
What are you choosing to speak today - words of life or words of death? I like the way the Message version puts it: “Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit - you choose.” The choice is still ours. I have learned over the years to speak words that align with God’s Word - not because I was seeing something positive happening but in spite of the negative that I was experiencing. I encourage you to declare God’s Word over your situation instead of negative words based on fear and discouragement. Let God’s Word be your final word!
If you have not accepted Jesus Christ into your life as your personal Lord and Saviour, I encourage you to do so now. God has provided us with the tools we need to live and thrive in this life. His Word is one of our most powerful tools. Let’s use it!
This blog provides inspirational nuggets inspired by the Word of God and serves to encourage and motivate Christians in their Christian walk.