Have you ever questioned the truthfulness of the statement “God is good”? If not, you have probably heard others cast doubt on the goodness of God. Normally, when people doubt God’s goodness they have experienced something difficult and can’t conceive of a good God having allowed such a terrible thing to happen. However, there is a big problem in questioning God. He is the Creator, and we are His creation. He is the potter—we are the clay. We err when we reverse the order as the prophet Isaiah warns, “You turn things upside down! Shall the potter be regarded as the clay, that the thing made should say of its maker, ‘He did not make me’; or the thing formed say of him who formed it, ‘He has no understanding’?” (Isaiah 29:16) Our viewpoint of life is so limited compared to God’s unlimited, omniscient, and eternal perspective! There is great comfort in simply trusting in the sovereignty of a good God who knows best.
Joseph, who was maligned, mistreated, and sold like merchandise, certainly had “human reason” to doubt God’s goodness. However, he chose not to doubt—but trust! His statement to his brothers, who feared his retribution for their cruelty to him, helps all of us who have suffered wrongfully. He said, “Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today” (Genesis 50:19-20 ESV). God has a way of using evil and wrong things in our lives for good. His promise to believers that love Him is extremely comforting when bad things happen that don’t make any human sense. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” A good God brings good out of evil. The next time you are confronted with the evil of this world, trust and love God—rest in the truth that He will bring good from it. This is who our God is! He is good!
If you take refuge in the goodness of God, God will know it. The prophet Nahum said, “The LORD is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in him (Nahum 1:7). If you savor the goodness of God like the Psalmist, you will be blessed. “Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!” (Psalm 34:8) Like Joseph, you have a choice. If you choose to trust in the goodness of God you will certainly have reason to sing praise like the Psalmist of Psalm 135:3, “Praise the LORD, for the LORD is good; sing to his name, for it is pleasant!” At various occasions the people of ancient Israel sang these words, “Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever (1 Chronicles 16:34)! God’s love as well as his forgiveness is rooted in His goodness as Psalm 86:5 points out, “For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you.”
The Apostle Peter certainly had tasted of God’s goodness. He admonishes his fellow disciples with these words, “Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation—if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good” (1 Peter 2:2-3). The spiritual milk is the Word of God and will help us to know our good God. Does your desire for God and His word reveal that you have tasted of the goodness of God and have begun the process of maturing in God’s gift of eternal salvation? If so, continue to taste and feast upon the truth of God’s word and goodness. If not, pray that God would give you an appetite to taste His goodness for yourself.
With Prayer, Mark © April, 2011
Selected Verses on God is Good
ESV – Emphasis added
1 Chronicles 5:13, and it was the duty of the trumpeters and singers to make themselves heard in unison in praise and thanksgiving to the LORD), and when the song was raised, with trumpets and cymbals and other musical instruments, in praise to the LORD, “For he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever,” the house, the house of the LORD, was filled with a cloud,
2 Chronicles 7:3, When all the people of Israel saw the fire come down and the glory of the LORD on the temple, they bowed down with their faces to the ground on the pavement and worshiped and gave thanks to the LORD, saying, “For he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.”
2 Chronicles 30:18, For a majority of the people, many of them from Ephraim, Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun, had not cleansed themselves, yet they ate the Passover otherwise than as prescribed. For Hezekiah had prayed for them, saying, “May the good LORD pardon everyone.”
Ezra 3:11, And they sang responsively, praising and giving thanks to the LORD, “For he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever toward Israel.” And all the people shouted with a great shout when they praised the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid.
Psalm 100:5, For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.
Psalm 106:1, Praise the LORD! Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!
Psalm 143:9-11, Deliver me from my enemies, O LORD! I have fled to you for refuge! Teach me to do your will, for you are my God! Let your good Spirit lead me on level ground! For your name’s sake, O LORD, preserve my life! In your righteousness bring my soul out of trouble!
Psalm 145:9, The LORD is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made.
Mark 10:17-23, And as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’” And he said to him, “Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth.” And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. And Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How difficult it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!”
Philippians 2:12-13, Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
1Timothy 4:4-5, For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer.
1 Peter 2:2-3, Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation—if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.