God is Good - Anna Szabo of Online Discipleship For Women

Dear #TruePrincesses! Have you ever heard the phrase “God is good all the time?” Did you feel genuine resentment rise up on the inside when you heard it? Is God good, really? If so, why does God allow suffering? God is not great. Or is He? If He is, why does God allow bad things to happen? I want to share my story of suffering with you and how I realized God’s goodness.

God Is Not Great

How can God be good and allow so much evil? 

There’s a lot of evil in the world:

  • genocide 
  • wars
  • terrorism
  • mass shootings
  • orphaned children
  • poverty
  • starvation
  • suicide rates skyrocket every year
  • and so much more

But you and I don’t have to even think globally to see the evil of the world right where we are. I’m sure you have your own running list of life events that caused you pain and suffering.

Let me share with you my eight reasons for why God is not great.

I experienced severe childhood abuse 

How can a good God allow a little innocent girl to be abused, beaten, yelled at daily, neglected, unloved, abandoned, and blamed for being born? How can God be good and allow her to be dressed up by her crazy mother as a boy and be called a boy’s name? How can a good God allow her to suffer? Why does God allow suffering?

I was hated by my mother who wished me death

How can a good God allow a mother to tell her daughter straight in the eye regularly: “I hate you and I just want you dead!” Can God possibly be called “good” when He allowed a little, precious, defenseless Russian girl to be threatened by her mother with suicide, describing in detail how the mother would hang herself on the kitchen chandelier and write a letter that it was the child’s fault? Why does God allow evil?

RELATED: Narcissistic Mother

I was fatherless and rejected for that 

How can a good God allow a precious child be fatherless, be called “fatherless,” be rejected even by her own grandma for being fatherless, and wait every day, month after month, year after year for her father to show up on her birthday in January, pop out of the white thick Russian snow with a teddy bear and a box of chocolates and love her? Can a good God allow such unimaginable pain? It’s pure evil. Why does God allow evil?

I was brainwashed by my mother who addicted me to sex and alcohol

Can a good God allow an innocent girl to be used by her mother for her sexual needs and get addicted to sex through brainwashing and identity hijacking by her insane mother? How can a good God allow something so terrible to happen? Why so much suffering? Why does God allow suffering?

RELATED: Sex Addiction

I was raped twice

How can a good God allow a teen girl to be sexually violated by multiple men multiple times? Just how and why? Why does God allow evil?

I was impregnated as a teen and had a miscarriage

How can a good God allow a teen student to go through an unexpected pregnancy and experience miscarriage? Why? Why does God allow evil?

I was lured to a foreign country and enslaved

How can a good God allow a young woman with big dreams and good heart to be lured into a marriage with a foreigner who abused her, enslaved her, kept her in captivity, and eventually nearly killed her? How can a good God allow her to become homeless, hopeless, and helpless in a foreign country, without speaking the language? 

RELATED: My Domestic Violence Story as a Mail-Ordered Bride

My list of the records of wrongs by God goes on. I promise you. Why does God allow suffering? There’s a lot I don’t understand.

But here’s the biggest one…

I was manipulated by a cruel Narcissist into a suicidal depression and almost died

How can a good God allow His faithful servant, a woman dedicated to Him wholeheartedly, be taken advantage of by Satan himself? How can God be good and allow her such a cruel brush with death? Why does God allow evil? God is not great. Right?

RELATED: Narcissistic Relationship Abuse

Here’s the truth: we don’t know what “good” means.

What is “good?”

Is God Good?

To answer this question, we must first define “good.”

The Dictionary has two completely different definitions of “good.” We must explore them both in order to continue discerning whether or not He is good.

Good is that which is morally right; righteousness.

Dictionary.com

Good is whatever is morally right? Hmmm…

Let’s see: what IS morally right?

Is it morally right for a man to sleep with multiple women?

Whatever your opinion, there are cultures that define “morally righteous” completely oppositely of what you think: some defend polygamy even today in the United States of America, some despise polygamous lifestyle and defend monogamy.

Here’s another one: is childhood labor morally righteous?

Whatever your opinion, there are cultures that defend the point of view completely opposite of yours. I grew up working really hard, I mean dangerous physical labor that caused my spine to look like a letter “S.” Some cultures use children for heavy labor and some don’t. Which perspective is “righteous?”

Are children-brides ok?

Is it ok to force girls to marry old men and give birth at 10 years old?

Some cultures defend it as “morally righteous” and some fight against this very concept.

So, WHO defines what is “morally righteous?”

It’s extremely subjective.

And what IS “morally righteous?”

You see, we define “good” when it comes to God by our own measure of what is “morally righteous.”

Yet, the standards for “moral righteousness” are extremely subjective and not universally defendable.

So, the entire argument about whether or not what God allows to happen is “morally righteous” is a failed argument because there are no universally agreed-upon standards for moral righteousness among humans.

In other words, until we as humans evolve to the point of consciousness where we all and each of us collectively, undoubtedly agree regarding what is “morally righteous” when it comes to the standards by which we judge God, we can’t answer the question about His goodness logically.

There’s another definition of “good.”

Good means having the qualities required for a particular role.

Dictionary.com

To judge if our creator is “good” from the perspective of this definition, we need to know for sure what qualities are required for the role of being God, the sovereign king of the entire universe, omnipresent, everlasting, and all-knowing.

Do you know what qualities are required to be God?

If you do, how do you know?

Who coined the definition of the qualities required to be God?

Who would be judging whether or not God has the qualities required to be God?

These all are self-defeating questions.

Because you and I aren’t omnipresent, ever-lasting, and all-knowing, we don’t know at least two things:

  • What qualities are required to play the role of God
  • Whether or not God has the qualities required to play the role of God

Well, if we don’t know at least these two fundamental basics, we can’t discern.

So, we can’t know if He is good.

We aren’t equipped or qualified to judge God.

Quotes About God’s Goodness

So, if we aren’t equipped or qualified to judge God and discern whether or not He actually is good, what do we do then?

Here are some quotes I’d like to share so you can ponder and figure out your own perspective.

Is God always good?


Most, if not all of us, have a contractual agreement with God. The fact that he hasn’t signed it doesn’t keep us from believing it. I pledge to be a good, decent person, and in return God will…save my child…heal my spouse…protect my job…(fill in the blank.) Only fair, right? Yet when God fails to meet our bottom-line expectations, we are left spinning in a tornado of questions. Is he good at all? Is God angry at me? Stumped? Overworked? Is his power limited? His authority restricted? Did the devil outwit him? When life isn’t good, what are we to think about God? Where is he in all this?
 
God at times permits tragedies. He permits the ground to grow dry and stalks to grow bare. He allows Satan to unleash mayhem. But he doesn’t allow Satan to triumph. Isn’t this the promise of the Bible in Romans 8:28: “We know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose”?
 
God promises to render beauty out of “all things,” not “each thing.” The isolated events may be evil, but the ultimate culmination is good. We see small examples of this in our own lives. When you sip on a cup of coffee and say, “This is good,” what are you saying? The plastic bag that contains the beans is good? The beans themselves are good? Hot water is good? A coffee filter is good? No, none of these.
 
Good happens when the ingredients work together: the bag opened, the beans ground into powder, the water heated to the right temperature. It is the collective cooperation of the elements that creates good.
 
Nothing in the Bible would cause us to call a famine good or a heart attack good or a terrorist attack good. These are terrible calamities, born out of a fallen earth. Yet every message in the Bible compels us to believe that God will mix them with other ingredients and bring good out of them.
 
But we must let God define good. Our definition includes health, comfort, and recognition. His definition? In the case of his Son, Jesus Christ, the good life consisted of struggles, storms, and death. But God worked it all together for the greatest of good: his glory and our salvation.

Max Lucado “Is God Good?”

Imagine a world in which there was no god who had given us an idea of what justice is. Everyone would do what his own collection of atoms in his brain told him to do—be it murdering someone who got in his way, or taking food from someone who had more than he did. And why would the collection of atoms that compose my brain be any better at determining what is “right” than the next person’s?
And yet, many were upset at the fact that the Columbine and Virginia Tech shooters killed themselves before “justice” could be done to them. We become angry when we are wronged. We all want justice. This sense of what is “right” and what is “wrong” comes only from a standard of morality given in the Bible—apart from it, you have no basis to claim the Columbine and VT killers were wrong, or that someone who stole from you was wrong. You cannot claim that it is “bad” for God to send someone to hell. There is no consistent, logical basis, apart from the Bible, to claim that one action is “good” while another is “bad.” A truly loving God brought salvation to the world by coming into the world, dying, and rising from the dead. Salvation is a free gift available to all. If someone doesn’t want it, God is not to blame; He provided a means of salvation. This is a [good] God…

Answers In Genesis “Is God Really Good?”

Jesus declared, “No one is good—except God alone” (Luke 18:19). First John 1:5 tells us that “God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all.” To say that He is good means that God always acts in accordance to what is right, true, and good. Goodness is part of God’s nature, and He cannot contradict His nature. Holiness and righteousness are part of God’s nature; He cannot do anything that is unholy or unrighteous. God is the standard of all that is good.

Got Questions

Bible Verses About God’s Goodness

If God is the only true standard of “good” and “righteous,” then His own Word is the only objective measure of “goodness” of anything. And His Word, the Bible, says that He is good.

The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth.

Exodus 34:6

The Lord is Good to All, and His Tender Mercies Are Over All His Works.

Psalm 145:9

Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.

1 Chronicles 16:34

And they sang responsively, praising and giving thanks to the Lord: “For He is good, for His mercy endures forever toward Israel.”

Ezra 3:11

Good and upright is the Lord.

Psalm 25:8

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Psalm 23:6

No one is good but One, that is, God.

Mark 10:18

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.

James 1:17

If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!

Matthew 7:11

I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.

Psalm 27:13

I will meditate on the glorious splendor of Your majesty, and on Your wondrous works. Men shall speak of the might of Your awesome acts, and I will declare Your greatness. They shall utter the memory of Your great goodness, and shall sing of Your righteousness.

Psalm 145:5-7

He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.

Psalm 33:5

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him!

Psalm 34:8

Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting.

Psalm 100:4-5

Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men! For He satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with goodness.

Psalm 107:8-9

As a father pities his children, so the Lord pities those who fear Him. For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust.

Psalm 103:13-14

Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; Your spirit is good. Lead me in the Land of Uprightness.

Psalm 143:10

The Lord is upright; He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.

Psalm 92:15

You are good, and do good; teach me Your statutes.

Psalm 119:68

You also gave Your good Spirit to instruct them, and did not withhold Your manna from their mouth, and gave them water for their thirst.

Nehemiah 9:20

Hear me, O Lord, for Your lovingkindness is good; turn to me according to the multitude of Your tender mercies.

Psalm 69:16

The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and He knows those who trust in Him.

Nahum 1:7

Oh, how great is Your goodness, which You have laid up for those who fear You, which You have prepared for those who trust in You in the presence of the sons of men! You shall hide them in the secret place of Your presence from the plots of man; You shall keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues.

Psalm 31:19-20

Devotions for Women by Anna Szabo of Online Discipleship for Women
God is good all the time

Why Does God Allow Suffering?

Why does God allow bad things to happen? Why did He allow so many terrible things happen to me?

Here’s my perspective.

Five Reasons Why God Allows Bad Things to Happen

  1. God allows for afflictions to test our faith and draw us closer
    • In the Bible, Job is called “God’s most faithful servant,” yet, when Satan came to God to ask His permission to tempt Job, God ordained the evil, to which Satan subjected Job
    • God ordained bad things Satan did to Job in order to test Job’s faith, after which God blessed him
    • He blessed Job after, going through trials, despite afflictions, Job drew closer to God and grew in his faith
    • The Gospel makes it clear that God wants us to mature, grow, develop discernment and wisdom, and be in an intimate relationship with Him through Christ
    • Adversity tends to rid us of ourselves and draw us closer to God
  2. We are on a journey of sanctification where we must become Christ-like
    • The Bible teaches us that when we give our lives to Christ, we experience justification, after which we go through the lifetime of becoming like Christ, aka sanctification, which prepares us for the glorification
    • Sanctification of us isn’t possible in a context of sipping margaritas on the beach, so we must endure trials to develop Christ-like character qualities
    • Adversity tests and develops our character so we can be like Christ
  3. God wants us to grow and mature in our faith
    • Childlike faith is not good, so we must mature in our faith, and that happens through tests, which take place during trials and adversity
    • Mature faith is good because it allows us to glorify God
    • To glorify God, we need mature faith, not childlike faith, and that’s why we must go through adversity and experience pain and suffering
    • Pain and suffering help us mature in our faith
  4. We are here for a purpose, and God prepares and equips us through trials
    • God prepared good works in advance for us to do
    • To do God’s work, we must be uniquely equipped and prepared
    • We get equipped by God through specific experiences
    • We go through specific trials in life to get equipped to fulfill God’s purpose
  5. God comforts us so we can then comfort others in the same way
    • God’s grace is sufficient
    • God comforts us in adversity
    • God asks that we leverage the comfort we received from Him to comfort others who go through trials

Without adversity, sitting on the white-sand covered private beach in Barbados and being served whatever food and drinks I wanted while watching the Caribbean sea, I was neither growing in my faith nor being equipped to comfort YOU.

God ordained a lot of adversity in my life: abuse, addictions, alcoholism, depression, divorce, miscarriage, suicide attempts, homelessness, and the list goes on, however, He blessed me with His special grace, which was sufficient to overcome all my trials. When I was weak, I leaned on the Lord, and He never failed me.

Anna Szabo

Through trials and tribulations, God equipped me for this ministry, which is the good works He prepared in advance for me to do.

Before I experienced depression, I was unable to ever comfort anyone suffering with depression because I had no experience. Before I experienced domestic violence, I wasn’t able to help anyone who suffered from abuse, and now I am. Before I endured mental cruelty from the Narcissist, it was impossible for to ever comprehend what Narcissistic Abuse does to its victims. Before my sexual addiction and alcoholism got the best of me, I had never met Jesus. Before I became weak, all while I was strong and self-sufficient, I was unable to grow my faith.

Adversity caused me to drow close to Jesus and mature in my faith.

That’s why there’s this ministry, Online Discipleship For Women. This Christian ministry was founded in 2017 when I was struggling with severely suicidal depression. God grew my faith and hope and asked me to share the Gospel with you.

My mission is to alleviate suicide among women by encouraging YOU to grow in faith and hope.

My vision is to help YOU create a joyful life by embracing God’s Word.

My goal is to make the Gospel practical and applicable to YOUR daily experiences.

“Whoever Brings Blessing Will be Enriched” Proverbs 11:25

Bless Online Discipleship For Women

God’s goodness is shown in the messages I receive from the audience all over the world who listen to my Christian podcast for women called The Anna Szabo Show or watch my YouTube videos.

Women explain how relatable my content is and how my experiences encourage them.

That’s God’s goodness.

God Is Good All The Time

Life has been laborious for me. The adversity oftentimes appeared to be “too much” but only when I tried to lean on my own understanding.

I discovered that leaning on God helps make my path straight. He is good. All the time.

Who Is Jesus Christ? Answer to the question Who Is Jesus To Me?
Trust in the Lord

I wrote a poem about God’s goodness and my trust in His promises of using all things together for good and giving me beauty for ashes.

Honestly, when I look around and see the Spiritual Art that was created from my ashes of marriage and love, the collection of Christian Spoken Word which was born during my suicidal depression and divorce, when I see women enjoying my collection of Christian Apparel called #52Devotionals, I see God’s goodness and His perfect plan.


"Your plan is always perfect" #PoemsFromGod

You said your plan is perfect.
Can I believe it, God?
Sometimes I feel in conflict,
With scope of trials so broad.

But then I look around,
I pay attention close,
And see your grace abound
In sorrow and in loss.

I trust your every vow,
Your Holy Word I trust.
Sometimes I wonder how
Your beauty comes from dust.

Your plan for me to prosper,
Have future & the hope
Wholeheartedly I trust in
And never will I stop. 


8/16/17 © Anna Szabo, JD, MBA

I wrote a poem about God’s grace during trials and tribulations. It happened after I attended Randy Pope’s sermon called “Special Grace” at Perimeter Church.

Randy explained how some people have unimaginable things happen to me, like the kind of adversity I endured on my journey. He also pointed out that it’s because of God’s SPECIAL grace when He is equipping someone to do special things in His kingdom.

Here’s that poem.


"I'm Grateful for Your Special Grace" #PoemsFromGod

We often ask in desperation 
If you are actually always good:
Some Bible verses cause frustration,
Their meaning is misunderstood.

We wonder if a good, good Father
Who promised numbering our hair,
Protecting us, promoting further
Can actually cause us such despair.

These days I'm studying you closely,
By trials I now am refined.
On grace my mind is focused mostly -
Your common grace and special kind.

You give your common grace to many,
No matter lifestyle or belief,
By meeting basic needs of any
Policeman, president, or thief. 

But there's also special blessing
You give to some with special grace
Divorce, or cancer, or depressing
Brain tumor, or a stalking case.

The loss of child to a shooting,
Or jumping off a building top,
Or drugs addiction, prosecuting,
Or taking pills at school workshop.

Or being pregnant with dead baby,
Or being homeless for a while,
Enduring violence, rape, or maybe
Surviving workplace that's hostile.

Can really be that, God, your kindness
And goodness, tenderness, and grace 
Are all our own naive and blindness,
And other view we must embrace?
 
But asking this, I look back closely
On one example of my life:
Domestic Violence, despair mostly,
Enduring beatings, threats, and strife.

It wasn't pretty at the time,
But looking back, I see your purpose - 
You drew me to you through that crime,
To my salvation that was service.

Another instance is divorce
With man who lured me into marriage.
Not anything you would endorse
Yet, you worked that to my advantage.

You grew me, pruned me, rid me of
My flesh, my anger, and resentment,
Replacing them with skills to love,
With joy, with peace, and with contentment.

So, God, can actually I agree
That you are good and your will's perfect?
I know my trials you decree,
But from the pain I always profit.

I gain awareness, I gain gifts
Of faith, and hope, and perseverance,
On you rely I as life shifts.
I trust your holy interference.

I trust your word. I trust your plan. 
I trust your truth and your commitment 
To use for good my one lifespan 
And bless me with a royal treatment:

A party in your daughter’s name,
A feast with Jesus in His glory,
Saluting reasons why I came -
My messed up life and troubled story.

In mess, you drew me close to you,
Revealing purposefully your goodness,
You made me like a baby - new.
You gave me heaven and fresh pureness.

You've taught me grace, you've taught me love,
Acceptance, mercy, and forgiveness.
About you I've learned enough
To be, with Jesus, strong and fearless. 

I claim you're good. I claim you're my
Protective, loving, caring Father.
I hurt from pain, I can't deny
But through tough times you've grown me further.

I thank you for your special grace,
I thank you for each gift and blessing, 
I thank you for this broken place,
From which your goodness I'm professing.  


7/30/17 © Anna Szabo, JD, MBA

If this content is helpful, here’s the Gratitude Jar to say thanks:

God’s goodness is beyond our comprehension but the fact that we can’t understand God doesn’t make God “not good.” He is good.

All the time.

Summary

We discussed God and discerned whether or not He can be considered “good.” We defined “good” and explored some fundamentals essential of our ability to judge God. We discovered that we lack everything that would be required to judge God and so we realized that faith in His promises of goodness is the only thing logically available as an option to us.

Have faith that God will honor all His promises in your lifespan.

Now that you trust God, find out what He says about YOU. Discover who you are in Christ – download my Free book of #52Devotionals.

The more you ponder what God says about YOU, the more confident you’ll be walking through life’s unavoidable trials knowing that He has a plan for you, He made you for a divine purpose, and He will use all things together for good.

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