If you've grown up with the idea that God is Good, then this post probably isn't for you. This post if for all the people who have a voice in the back of their head that wants to say 'Hold on a moment, it depends what you mean by 'good'". However that voice got there.
At my church this morning, the preacher ended his sermon by saying that if anyone ever tells you that something is God's will and doing that thing saps all the joy and energy out of your life, then it's not God's will for you. I don't know if this preacher is familiar with the Ignatian way of praying, but that is one of the cornerstones of Ignatian discernment - that for those people who are seeking to do the will of God, doing God's will is life-giving rather than soul-destroying.
When I was growing up, people around me seemed to think that doing something that ripped you apart was from God and doing something that gave you life and energy and passion was from Satan. I'm not talking about obviously moral and immoral choices. I'm talking about ordinary decisions. Do you desperately want to be a teacher when you grow up? Must be a desire from Satan; God asks us to suffer. I hasten to add that this was no-one's official theology, but it certainly was the way that people behaved.
This morning the preacher used the text from Matthew where Jesus tells us to take on his yoke and that it will be a light yoke. This was not the official lectionary reading for today, but it was the daily lectionary reading during the week when I was on retreat, so I heard it preached twice this week. (Coincidence? I think not.) I've preached the same sermon myself.
Jesus' yoke is one that we can bear rather than one we can't. As I said in a post here a couple of months ago, God never asks us to suffer simply as some sort of abstract discipline. He does ask us to stand up for the Gospel truths of justice, righteousness and Truth and sometimes doing that may cause us to suffer terribly. But he doesn't ask us to overburden ourselves simply to suffer for the sake of suffering.
No great theological defenses in this post - just encouragement. God is Good. He created each of us as unique individuals. If God gave you a passion (that is not immoral or unethical), it's likely to be something that God wants you to use in service to the Gospel and for the glory of God.
Pray. Listen to God. Your talents and passions are gifts of the Spirit - charismatic gifts. Use them in the service of God.