Is God Good?
I’m sure you’ve had moments where you’ve questioned or doubted the goodness of God. How can God be good with all the junk that happens in this world? You’ve watched movies and documentaries on the world wars and the heinous things people have done to others. You’ve seen or read of natural disasters wiping out entire communities. So how can you believe that God is always good?
It’s a challenge when we know that the Lord has control over everything. Satan isn’t allowed to do anything outside of the permission of God. So why would the Lord allow these things to happen if He’s good?
These are all real and valid questions. It’s good to ask questions because it should cause you to look to the Bible to find the answers. In searching for truth with an open heart, the Lord will guide you to the answers you’re looking for. The question today asks, is God good? Though I could do a whole study on this, here are some of the answers I have for you today:
- It is in His nature:
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control.” Galatians 5:22-23a
The Spirit is part of the personhood of the Lord. Therefore, all of these characteristics make up a part of who God is, including goodness.
“God is not a man, that he might lie, or a son of man, that he might change his mind. Does he speak and not act, or promise and not fulfill?” Numbers 23:19
Because we know that God does not lie, we can stand on the promise that He is good based on the fruit of the Spirit.
- The Lord wants good for us:
”What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead of a fish? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?” – Luke 11:11-13
The Lord gives more of His Spirit to those who ask. That means that He gives us His goodness as well, and every other thing we need. The Lord freely gives us these gifts and also has good planned for us. It is His desire for us to experience His love and goodness.
“For I know the plans I have for you”—this is the Lord’s declaration— “plans for your well-being, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11
“We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
“I am sure of this, that He who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6
So, if we know that goodness is in God’s nature and He wants good for us, how do we see and apply it in the harsh world that we live?
We need to understand God’s justice and discipline alongside His goodness. God is also completely just. He cannot tolerate sin except by and through the lens of Jesus’ sacrifice. His greatest desire is for us to follow Him and thirst for a relationship with Him, but it’s our choice. As we can see with the Israelites and people of the New Testament, there is a constant pull between man wanting his own independence and power apart from God and still possibly wanting a relationship with Him. Man wants the rewards and blessings that the Lord offers His followers, but he doesn’t want all the commands that the Lord requires of that relationship.
It’s much like a child and a parent. The child wants all the perks of being a part of the family, but he doesn’t want to be told what to do. Regardless of the child’s actions to rebel against this, the parent still loves him. It grieves the parent to see the child make the choices that he does, but the parent is always there waiting for the child to realize his actions and apologize. However, there are moments when the parent needs to discipline the child in order to help him understand the consequences of sin. This is to show the child that there’s a better way than trying to do things on his own. It’s to help keep him in the parent’s love and authority because they know what’s best for the child.
This is true with the Lord as well. Because the Lord cannot tolerate sin, He does what is necessary to apply the consequences of sin into people’s lives and whatever He needs to do in order to guide them back into what is true and good. This can be a painful process. This can be for one person, a community, or an entire nation depending on the circumstances.
One day we won’t have to face any consequences for our sin because we will live in a perfect eternity where sin no longer exists. Man made the choice to sin in the garden of Eden which brought sin and destruction to God’s beautiful creation. Then the battle of man began between following Satan and following God. Satan gained power on this earth by man’s choice and has therefore been granted the access to wreak havoc by becoming the prince of this world.
But not all is lost because he cannot do it outside of God’s authority, which means that he cannot destroy what he is not allowed. His reign was also short lived. Jesus conquered death and hell. Satan still has some ability to continue in his work, but it is not going to last long. The end is written and his punishment is coming. His and his followers’ time is coming to a close so he’s doing whatever he can before the Lord finishes him off.
By enduring the hardships of life, it causes us to take our eyes off of our own independence because we realize we aren’t equipped or strong enough to handle it. We weren’t designed to. Instead, we look for something greater than ourselves to help. Some of us have learned to look to Jesus because we have found that He is the ultimate strength, authority, and love.
“God is good all the time … and all the time, God is good.” You can trust in that today. Your finite mind won’t be able to fully grasp all the complexities of this world. So, at times you’ll need to make the choice to trust the Lord with the things that are above you. Walk faithfully with Him and know that He is good and has good planned for you.
“How great is your goodness,
which you have stored up for those who fear you.
In the presence of everyone you have acted
for those who take refuge in you.” Psalm 31:19