If you have ever read the Easter story in the bible (start at Matthew 27:27) then the beginning half of this psalm will be familiar to you. Our big question for reflecting upon this psalm is: how do we respond when it seems as though God doesn’t hear us or decides not to answer? We have to maintain a basic truth about God: He is good all the time. When we don’t sense His presence, He is good. When we don’t hear from Him, He is good. When we are persecuted and brought to death, He is good. When we don’t get things the way we want (even if we are certain it is what He wants), He is good. When things don’t make sense and it causes us to question His goodness, He is good. When His beloved Son is hanging on the cross crying out for help, He is good. When Jesus is declared dead and placed in the tomb, He is good. When you have no more strength to go on, He is good. When you are tempted beyond your perceivable limits, He is good. When there is no hope left, He is good.
In the eyes of the world, God abandoned Christ on the cross. The Romans mocked Him, “if you are the Savior, then save yourself!” His family and friends cried and questioned God’s goodness. Jesus Himself felt abandoned and alone as He bore the penalty for our sins. But the story doesn’t end there! God is so good He allowed Jesus to be crucified and die to His mortal body. On the other side of the cross it all makes sense to us now. After many people have written out a detailed explanation that covers the events of time as to why it was a good thing that Jesus died, it’s easy to accept. But what about Jesus’ mother? What about Peter who would die for Jesus? What about John who saw Jesus for who He really is? Doubts, questions, frustration, anger, sadness are all normal reactions to what happened that day at Calvary. Even for those strongest in the faith, nobody really knew what was happening. But God is good regardless of how we feel or what we see.
David, centuries before Jesus’ crucifixion, knew how good God is. He understood God’s redemption and believed in His promises even though things around him looked pretty scary. If we were enduring these types of things, would we still trust in God’s goodness? Would we still praise Him, glorify Him, honor Him, and believe in Him with all our heart? Maybe you aren’t being mocked, scourged, and hung from a cross. Maybe your situation is one of emotional need, spiritual distress, physical discomfort. Whatever your affliction, God is good.