“Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever” (Ps. 136:1).
God’s goodness. It is the one thing that never changes, that will never disappoint, but it is often the first thing we forget. When the clouds of depression, sorrow and abuse get in the way, we easily see God’s supposed failings instead of his grace and love.
When I think of something like human trafficking, and the estimated 20-29 million people who are abused, traded, and used as property, I wonder how they could ever see God as good. How could they even think that there is a God out there who loves them unconditionally and hears their cries?
But God always takes me back to this unchanging fact: he is good. God always says: just start to thank me and I will part the clouds. And so I do; but for those who cannot, we must stand in that gap until they are able.
In 1 Thessalonians 4:17, Paul admonishes us to pray without ceasing—and not just for ourselves, but for those that have never felt the light or hope of God. So we must begin to pray for our enemies and thank God for them. Not only because Jesus calls us to, but imagine if just one brick quarry owner in India, or one brothel owner in the Philippines, or one garment factory manager in Los Angeles had his or her heart changed by God. Thousands would be released, and thousands might see and hear about the power of God. It is so easy to hate them, but we have to fight past our anger and see that God has a plan for them too.
We must thank God for all that we have in our lives and strive to see how we can make changes that could save the lives of others. We must thank God for each and every life held in bondage. We must cry out for the 13-year-old girl servicing man after man each night, the father who is picking our food from dawn till dusk, and the grandmother who is weaving our clothes together. They need to know that there is a God out there who suffered and died for them. They need to know that there is hope out there that will not disappoint (Rom. 5:4). They need to know that there is a Holy Spirit out there groaning for them, and who is waiting to pour the love of God down on them (Rom. 8:26; 5:4). They need the clouds to part so they can see Christ and say with confidence that the Lord is good, and his steadfast love endures forever, even in a place where all hope seems to be lost.
For if we can see God as good in places where the darkest of evils lives, we will see God’s goodness everywhere. Little by little that darkness will be cast out, and we will all begin to see his light.