GOOD & evil

Lamentations 3:

22-24God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out,
his merciful love couldn’t have dried up.
They’re created new every morning.
How great your faithfulness!
I’m sticking with God (I say it over and over).
He’s all I’ve got left.

25-27God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits,
to the woman who diligently seeks.
It’s a good thing to quietly hope,
quietly hope for help from God.
It’s a good thing when you’re young
to stick it out through the hard times.

The reality of good and the reality of evil exist simultaneously, but not equally. The cynic is crushed by evil, wrong and hardship and has contempt for the claims of goodness. The delusional filters everything through wishful thinking and willfully optimistic distortion. The one who trusts in God, in ways that are affirmed in Scripture, know of evil and of good. They are alert to them both. They are optimistic, not because they avoid looking at suffering and hardship, rather, because they have seen the depth of goodness and bet on it.

The recurring rise of goodness out of conflict with wrong shows glimpse of God’s deep goodness. Jeremiah laments the hardship of the siege of Jerusalem but framed with anguish is the central perspective: God’s covenant mercy doesn’t stop. It is the ultimate reality.

And now? What about in our time? The hints in the past where articulated emphatically in the crushing of the Messiah followed by his resurrection to life. Evil is real but good is greater. Now? We should look at life with a resolve: the pain and difficulties in and around us may be faced without capitulation to despair. Christ is victorious, center our lives in Christ and we can know the triumph of goodness, hinted at in our lives now, certain in the completion to come.

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