Guest Writers

Is God Always Good?

Written by: Janice Robins, PhD

On October 18, 2022, I was reading Psalm 119:65 to 68, and the beginning of verse 68 jumped off the page at me: “You are good and do only good…” Psalm 119:68 (NLT)

My first reaction was “Yes, I agree you are good, God. Goodness is your nature and who you are.” The second phrase “and do only good” is what I questioned in my heart and mind. From my way of thinking, many of the things that happen to people are not good and I don’t see good necessarily coming from them. So how can the writer say God does only good?

I can hear you say: “Janice, don’t you know Romans 8:28 is in our Bible? And don’t you know every word in our Bible is true? How can you juxtapose the truth of Romans 8:28 if you say God doesn’t do only good?” The verse says, “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose.” (NLT) I have a love-hate relationship with it right up to today. I, like many others, question God’s goodness when a young pregnant mom who desperately wants children has a premature death; or when a little person is diagnosed with a terminal illness; or when death comes to a family through vehicular manslaughter by a drunk driver. You all have been where I’ve been.

As I was meditating on Psalm 119:68, I felt the Holy Spirit initiate a conversation with me.  “Janice, you do believe that God is good?” I confirmed, “Yes, I believe that God is good. I believe goodness is part of His nature and I believe that His nature cannot change and it cannot be changed. God‘s goodness is who He is and it is out of His faithful goodness that He demonstrates it to us through what He does in and for us.”

Then I looked at the second part – “does only good” and the Holy Spirit reminded me if I don’t believe it, then I really believe God does evil or brings bad things to us. Further, if I believe some of the things God does to us are bad or evil and not good, then those things must come from the nature of God. So it naturally follows if that is what I believe, then I am really believing evil is a part of God’s nature.

Now in my heart, I would never believe that! I would never ever say I believe that. The Holy Spirit showed me that if I don’t believe what God does to us is always only good, I’ll have to then believe there is evil as part of His nature.

The next evening, we received communication of a Type I Diabetes diagnosis being confirmed for a teenager. Immediately my heart broke and became very heavy for all the family. This was a blow to all of them.

My husband, Don, and I expressed how sad we were to read this devastating news and how concerned we were for the whole family. Don sat silently, and I asked him if we could pray together. He agreed and I prayed, specifically asking God for good to come from this. God poignantly and gently reminded me: “Here is a time for you to test your trust in His nature, goodness, and faithfulness – that He is good and does only good.”

I had to believe God could bring good from this Type I Diabetes diagnosis. God began to work His plan – to bring good – mentally, emotionally, relationally and physically.  So, I have to believe this diagnosis was allowed by God and He is going to use it to accomplish good, despite the fact I nor anyone else would ever choose this diagnosis for a teenager.

You might be thinking, “Wow! Janice! At 72 you are just learning this truth and standing firmly in it? (cf. Colossians 1:23 NLT) This is elementary – Spiritual Life 101!”  I have had this knowledge in my mind throughout my lifetime and have even shared this with others during my ministry years.  I gave myself a “pass” because while some of the events in my life and ministry years would not be described as “good”, I saw “good” results come from them from the hand of our redemptive Father.  And I commended myself that I did believe it in some circumstances but scratched my head in perplexity and questioning in others. Undeniably, this verse faced me with the truth that it is ALWAYSonly good” that comes from the hand of our Heavenly Father – regardless of whether we view the events that way. 

Whew! I’ve had a big week in the school of learning and trusting God – even when I don’t understand His ways nor would I choose them!  But they are meant for good from the hand of our good God who is only good. 

Here are some of the resources the Holy Spirit has used to reinforce the heart-knowledge of Psalm 119:68 during my continual journey with God who never tires of being patient with me while I progress on my journey of sanctification. 

You Are Still Holy

Holy, You are still holy
Even when the darkness surrounds my life
Sovereign, You are still sovereign
Even when confusion has blinded my eyes
Lord I don’t deserve Your kind affection
When my unbelief has kept me from Your touch
I want my life to be a pure reflection of Your love

And so I come into Your chambers
And I dance at Your feet Lord
You are my Saviour, and I’m at Your mercy
All that has been in my life up to now
It belongs to You
You are still holy

Holy, You are still holy
Even though I don’t understand Your ways
Sovereign You will be sovereign
Even when my circumstances don’t change
Lord I don’t deserve Your tender patience
When my unbelief has kept me from Your truth
I want my life to be a sweet devotion to You

And so I come into Your chambers
And I dance at Your feet Lord
You are my Saviour, and I’m at Your mercy
All that has been in my life up to now
It belongs to You
I belong to You

And so I come into your chambers
And I dance at Your feet Lord
You are my Saviour and I’m at your mercy
All that has been in my life up to now
It belongs to You
I belong to you

You are still holy, You are still sovereign
You are still holy, Lord
You are still righteous
You are all knowing
You are still holy, You are still holy

Romans 8:31-39 (NLT)

31 What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? 32 Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? 33 Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. 34 Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.

35 Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? 36 (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”) 37 No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.

38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Too Wise to Make a Mistake

Father, I’m asking one more time

To take away this thorn

How can such pain be Your design

When daily my spirit is torn

But just now You spoke and gave me hope

Through Your boundless grace

And I find the strength for all my need

In Your tender embrace

Too wise to make a mistake

You’re too loving to be unkind

Too strong to let me go

Dear Lord, it’s good to know

You’re too strong to let me go

I’m glad You’re in control

Too wise, too loving, too strong

Father, I’m asking one more time

To take this cup from me

From Calvary’s sorrow, sin and shame

My soul ever longs to be free

Like Isaac I see the fire and wood

But must I be the Lamb?

Your will be done, oh God

I trust Your plan

—- Donna Gassett

Parschauer Sisters – 07 Too Wise to Make A Mistake (Youtube)
*Used by permission of Donna Gassett

Janice Robins, PhD, a believer for 67 years, is a wife, mother, grandmother, and Christian Counselor, and has been a pastor’s wife for 43 years. She is retired and lives with her husband, Don Robins, PhD, in Lebanon, TN.  The undeniable joy of her life is being blessed to spend every day with her beloved husband of nearly 51 years, being mother to her daughters, their husbands, and grandmother to her precious grandchildren, and hospitality.  Her ministry passion is investing in the lives of people whom God brings across her pathway – to help them take the next step on their journey toward wholeness and balance in all dimensions of their lives.  “I am so blessed!”

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