It’s not uncommon to hear the phrase “God is good!” in times of plenty. When circumstances fall together in ways that please and benefit us, we’re often quick to declare the goodness of God because it’s right there in front of our faces. However, the same Christian who praises God’s goodness when they drive off the lot in their newly-acquired car might be apt to blame Him when that car crashes. After all, why didn’t God stop that from happening? If He was really good, He would have done something about it.

There have been numerous books written on the problem of sin, suffering, and evil, and where God factors into all of that. The purpose here isn’t to navigate the hows and whys of this expansive subjects, but to encourage all of us that when we face difficulties, we look to see how God is still working for our good in spite of what we’re suffering.

It’s rarely easy to turn our eyes off of negative experiences in search of the good. Sometimes we need to wallow for a minute and acknowledge that our current circumstances are a struggle! But it better serves us and others if we put the bulk of our effort into thankfulness and finding the goodness of God in such difficult times.

The same God who is good when He opens doors for your dream job or healing in your family is the God who is good when you’re down and out, when you feel lonely and hopeless. His strength is made perfect in our weakest times, and He does not abandon us. He is for you, and He yearns for your heart, for your wellbeing, for your victory. It will never be harmful to turn to Him in these times rather than away from Him, to rely on Him and trust His goodness to guide us through the fire.

We are under fire a lot in this world today; sickness, riots, oppression, injustice, death and destruction are commonplace on the news and in many of our communities. It can be difficult to find the goodness of God in times like these, yet He is still active, working on behalf of and through His people to the benefit of all.

I encourage you to look closely for the ways that God is still carrying you, and others, through this tough season. Lean on Him with all your might, and let His might guide you through the valley of the shadow and back to the light. You will be stronger for it—and you may even learn of new and amazing ways in which our eternal, unchanging Heavenly Father is indeed so very, very good!