In All Things, In All Times
By Doug Bing, Washington Conference president
In some Christian circles there is a responsive phrase often used between a speaker and an audience.
The speaker will say, “God is good,” and the congregation is supposed to respond, “All the time.” The interchange continues with the speaker asking: “All the time?” and the congregation is supposed to enthusiastically affirm: “God is good.”
A preacher I talked with recently mentioned he had learned that not everyone knows that routine anymore. He had started his sermon with “God is good.” The congregation just looked at him, no doubt wondering where the sermon would go. After an awkward silence, the pastor finally responded to his own statement before continuing with the sermon.
As we think back over 2021, we truly can say that God is good all the time even when it didn’t feel like it in the moment.
God is good in the good times and in the extremely rough times. God has been good in all things in all times. He has been good to our school system here in western Washington as this year enrollment has grown by 10.7%. He has been good in helping churches fully embrace community service in helping those who are hungry and in need.
He has been good in helping new churches get planted and growing even during a pandemic. He has been good in providing all the financial resources needed at just the right time.
He has been good in helping both schools and churches innovate new digital methods of providing education and sharing the gospel of Jesus via Zoom, Facebook, and YouTube. He has been good in helping evangelism move forward and Sunset Lake to reopen. You likely have your own miracles and unexpected blessings to add from 2021.
God truly is good all the time. God is there in all things and in all times.
And yes, God is good even when we have faced the incredible grief of losing loved ones; seeing others suffer through illness, Covid or cancer; navigating through natural disasters; dealing with interpersonal conflicts; or transitioning through expected or unexpected moves, job changes, or life stages.
The Biblical character of Job certainly faced amazing trials and tribulation. He also certainly questioned God and wondered why things were happening the way they were. However, he had an amazing response that has been a comfort to many. He had this response even while he was in the middle of the worst crisis of his life. Notice his words and his faith in Job 19:25-27—
For I know that my Redeemer lives,
And He shall stand at last on the earth;
And after my skin is destroyed, this I know,
That in my flesh I shall see God,
Whom I shall see for myself,
And my eyes shall behold, and not another.
How my heart yearns within me!
As you reflect on this year and the amazing God we serve, please remember to reflect on the fact that God is good all the time, in all things and in all times. Many years ago, Adventist church co-founder Ellen White wrote: “What a thought is this! In Christ ‘dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. And [we] are complete in Him,’” (Review and Herald, 1896).
God came in bodily form to this earth in the time of our greatest need to show that He is good all the time, in all things and in all times. Christmas is about realizing and thanking God for being God with us, Emmanuel, Prince of Peace.
You are daily prayed for, Washington Conference family. Merry Christmas and a blessed new year!
P.S. In the pandemic, our ministry contributions moved from 30% online to now an astounding 77% online! Thank you for your faithfulness in giving and investing in ministry. Your time and funding contributions make a daily difference in churches, schools, and communities. You are welcome to share a year-end gift at www.adventistgiving.org.