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

The phrase, “he does whatever pleases him” reminds me 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 the chagrin of the little girl who lives in the house. She isn’t 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 realise that the things that please him are good things. His desire is to bless us and therefore he always acts in our best interests. He isn’t moved by the latest fad, or by the latest argument or good idea. He isn’t 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 our 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 term view and knows that a life of comfort and ease, won’t produce Christ-like disciples. We aren’t the people God intends us to be so he is taking us on a journey. We go through difficulties which grow our character, our level of empathy, and our trust in God.