What does it look like to keep the Lord’s precepts with our whole heart? From this passage, I see three main qualities:
1. Know that God is good.
2. Know that God does good.
3. Recognize difficulties as opportunities.
The Bible reminds readers over and over of the goodness of God. From creation to crucifixion, God’s goodness is demonstrated through both beauty and love beyond measure.
Everything God does is good. That’s sometimes hard to imagine, especially when evil seems to prevail in the world. But God does not do evil. God gives freedom to choose, and inevitably, humans overwhelmingly choose evil (usually as self-centered quest for power over others) over good. History speaks to the nature of people to prefer happiness over holiness and personal gain over good. Current events magnify just how hopeless humans are without the atoning love of Jesus.
Difficult times are opportunities to learn good judgment and godly wisdom in the face of challenges. That’s really hard sometimes. It’s the actionable part of knowing and there are days where it’s easier to sit in the funk of just how disappointing or unpleasant or hard life and people can be.
Jesus dealt with the same human emotions we do. His response to them? Luke 5:16 says, “Jesus would often go to some place where he could be alone and pray” (Contemporary English Version CEV). Time with the Father reignited Jesus in his work, and it can do the same for us. Hard things and hard times need to push us closer to God and His goodness and out of our own heads.
God is good. God does good. Difficulties are opportunities to know God’s goodness.