And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. – Romans 8:28 

If God is good, why is there so much pain, suffering, and evil in the world? This is one of the most challenging, confusing, and mysterious aspects of scripture to understand. One way people explained God’s sovereignty is that it’s like a cosmic blueprint. God’s plan for the world is always playing out, and in the end, we will look back and see how he worked out everything for good. This interpretation of scripture falls short when we look at passages like Matthew 6:10, where Jesus taught his disciples to pray, “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” This verse teaches us that God’s will is not always being done on earth and that we play a part in bringing God’s kingdom to earth. God is in charge, and he is in control. But not everything that happens on earth is his plan or his will. Scripture teaches that a cosmic battle is happening where evil forces oppose God and lead people to do things outside his will. In the midst of this battle, we are not without hope. We know that God is good and he can be trusted. At the very center of God’s identity is his goodness. So as his people, we keep praying, “May it be on earth as it is in heaven.”

As you go through this week, read through these passages and let God’s word reveal new truths to you and let those truths set you free.

Matthew 6:5-15
Psalm 34:1-10
Ephesians 6:10-18
1 Chronicles 16:34

In your prayer time, take time to pray through these things…

-Share with God about anything you are struggling with or is heavy on your heart right now. Ask him to show you the ways he is with you as you walk through the challenges you are facing.
-Thank God for the areas of your life where you are experiencing his goodness.
-Listen to the song “Goodness of God.” Let the words wash over you and remind you of God’s goodness and faithfulness in your life.