How do we know God is good? This question is best answered by the following one: how do we know honey is good? Do we read the label and make our assessment based upon the bottle’s markings of Grade “A,” “B,” or “C”? Do we need to study the honey’s viscosity (thickness) to reach this conclusion? Do we take it to a scientist who can show us its other chemical properties? Do we conduct an informal survey of the top restaurant chefs to get their opinion of honey? These are all valid ways of doing it, but I am a very practical person — I would rather just taste the honey for myself. Then I could tell you how good it is from experience.

In the same way, we determine the goodness of God by tasting it. If you have ever seen God provide for your needs, give you an unexpected blessing, answer your prayer, or change your circumstances so that they worked in your favor, then you have tasted His goodness.

Often the goodness of something sweet is appreciated more when we have tasted something bitter: the promise of dessert makes even broccoli, okra, and asparagus more palpable. This is one of the reasons why we experience hardships — they cause us to appreciate God’s goodness even more. The unpleasant taste of life turned sour vanishes as we savor God’s goodness in the midst of our troubling circumstances.

Conflict may shake you to the core; pain may soar beyond its threshold in your body; people may attempt to hurt and malign you until you cannot stand any longer; your circumstances may degenerate from bad to worse; you may feel like you cannot take another step. But God is still good. Trust Him in your pain, and you will taste His goodness. It’s even sweeter than honey.

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.