There is a biblical reality that we need to understand about God’s goodness and I’m going to give it to you straight up. The good that God has for you is often given in and discovered after times of distress and pain. Have you noticed that? That is God’s modus operandi! When God wants to do you good, it very often first appears to us dressed as pain, challenge, distress, or trouble.
God’s goodness drives Him to do what it takes to give you His best and grow you and transform you into His best. God’s goodness does not drive Him to leave you comfortable and happy all the time. To get God’s best we need to change and change is painful. This is the case all through the Bible. Abraham had to be willing to put his only son on the altar. Joseph had to be sold as a slave. Moses had to hide in the desert for 40 years. Job had to lose his possessions, his family, and his health. David had to run from Saul, and then from his own son Absalom. Jonah had to be swallowed by a whale.
When Paul was converted, God announced in Acts 9:15 “Paul is my chosen instrument to take my message to the Gentiles and to kings, as well as to the people of Israel.” Paul was God’s chosen instrument. Is that not what we all want to be? It is our dream to be the chosen instrument of God. But we need to remember that verse 15 is not the end of God’s pronouncement. He concludes in verse 16, “And I will show him how much he must suffer for my name’s sake.”
We often have the truncated idea that suffering is merely corrective. But suffering can also be constructive. Suffering is often a sign of God’s good pleasure with us. Remember the words of James who wrote in James 1:2-4,
Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
The key to overcoming depression is resting in trusting that God is good, not in understanding everything that God does or why. You cannot expect to understand how God intends to bring about good in every situation. He is God. If we could understand everything about why He does things the way He does them He wouldn’t be much of a God. His thinking is above our thinking. His ways are above our ways. But His ways are always good.