Do you ever have a hard time believing that God is good? An African king had a servant who, regardless of whether something good or bad happened, would always tell him, “This is good.”

One day, the king and his servant went hunting and the king misfired, accidentally shooting off his left thumb. The servant looked at the king’s hand and said, “This is good.”

“How can you say this is good?” the king demanded. In his anger, he threw the servant in prison.

On another trip, a band of cannibals captured the king and brought him to their village. But before they got ready to eat him, they noticed his finger was missing. Thinking this was a sign of bad luck, the cannibals rejected him and let him go.

When the king returned to his village, he released his servant and explained what had happened. “Please forgive me. You were right. It was good that I lost my finger, but it was not good that I put you in prison.”

The servant thought for a minute and said, “No, it was good that I was here, because if I had been with you, the cannibals would have eaten me instead.”

God always allows things to happen for a reason. The Bible tells us He works all things together for our good. Sometimes we can’t see the good right away, but we can never question His love for us. God’s love fills each situation with His goodness.

Maybe you can’t figure out why you just lost your job. You’ve been thinking to yourself, “I’ve lost my job. Now I can’t pay my bills. I may lose my house—let’s see God bring good out of this!” I know how much it hurts, because I’ve had hard times like that myself. But I encourage you to think about how bad things could have been for you had God not done what He chose to do. Think about others who are in a similar or worse situation. Then you’ll start to see God really is good—all the time.

Our heavenly Father never takes anything from His children unless He means to give them something better. — George Müller

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder