Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him. Psalm 115:3

The phrase, “he does whatever pleases him” reminds of the imaginary hippopotamus in the children’s book, There’s a Hippopotamus on Our Roof Eating Cake, by Hazel Edwards. This is because the hippo is described as doing whatever he pleases, much to chagrin of the little girl who lives in the house. She is not allowed to do whatever she pleases.

The expression, “to do as you please,” without reference to others, can be a selfish, self-absorbed, and self-indulgent comment with negative ramifications, like our hippo, who stayed up late and ate cake all day.

However when applied to God, we realize that the things that please him are good things. His desire is to bless us and therefore always acts in our best interests. He is not moved by the latest fad, or by the latest argument, or good idea. He is not moved by the arguments of men, but continues to act for our good.

Paul writes; “In all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).

This should give us great encouragement to trust God since we know he is working for good. Yet sometimes it doesn’t seem that way. Crises happen, relationships founder, finances crash—how can God be working for good in these situations?

God takes the long view and knows that a life of comfort and ease, won’t produce Christ-like disciples. God knows we are not home yet, and he is taking us on a journey, going through difficulties grows our character, our level of empathy, and our trust in God.