God's Great Goodness
“God is Good.” – What does this popular label of God mean to you? Stop for a minute and ponder it… what does it really mean to you personally?
At the start of this year, I heard in my Spirit the Lord say to me, “…focus on my goodness and my hand that gives.”
This happened at a time in my life where I was focused on building various tech projects, prayerfully searching for my purpose and studying the word of God.
See, until that point, for as long as I had been a Christian (many years), my interpretation of things was: read the Bible, pray and God will answer prayers with a yes, no or maybe.
I often heard fellow Christians including myself use the phrase “God is good”, but I never really sat down to ponder it because my wrongful assumption was that you know… we serve a good God who may be good to us sometimes and not so good to us other times... depending you know… on the occasion, our behaviour ...etc.
I had no clue where the Lord would have me start to learn about His goodness and His hand that gives beyond what I already thought I knew. When I pondered the words …”and my hand that gives…” in my mind I could not reconcile this because I had been taught” do not go to God just so you can get something.” Or “do not only pray to God when you want something.” And lastly, the entire thing sounded like prosperity gospel which has been mislabelled in most Christian circles.
For a while I did nothing. Also, based on the circumstances at the time, that is all the storms that were blowing in my direction, it would appear that this was either going to be a challenge or exactly the perfect setting for God to show up and show out.
In the day, weeks and months that followed, I watched in awe as the Lord gracefully led me through his word, using teachers and by the power of the Holy Spirit to gradually bring me to a new realisation of his nature, which is also – His Goodness. Over a period of time, I came to more and more of a realisation about how wrong I had been with this highly costly “good sometimes, maybe not so good other times God” mentality!
In a display of His perfect goodness, God gave His one and only begotten son Jesus (John 3:16). Jesus came into the world, and died for us while we were still sinners (Romans 5:8). A display of a love so deep it can only come from a perfectly good source. Ultimately, all of the other facets of who God is such as faithful, merciful, healer, redeemer, saviour, provider and others all fit together in His overall goodness.
As I have pondered God’s goodness more, I have come to realise that the true essence of God’s goodness, His person and His nature can only come by revelation through the Holy Spirit. An understanding that brings one to be fully resolved in the fact that there isn’t anything bad that comes from God. All manner of disease, disorder, discord, death is of the evil one. (John 3:15). This may seem easy to reconcile when we look at it on paper however you may have heard good well-meaning Christians say “God brought this disease/trouble on me to teach me something…or for some reason” Or “God took so and so’s life for some reason...” Friends these things are from the enemy and not from God. God is good. In Him there is only light (1 John 1:5).
Now, God does discipline His children as the Bible teaches us in Hebrews 12:6-11 and Proverbs 3:12, as a father disciplines a son. For our training, and spiritual maturation, to draw us closer to Him and His purposes for our lives, for the saving of our very souls.
When God spoke to me, why did He combine his goodness with his hand that gives?
The link is faith, which I will write about in a different chapter. For now, here are some additional reasons:
If we do not understand the true meaning of God’s goodness we cannot fully open ourselves to receive the best from Him. Well, think of it this way, if you are uncertain of someone’s integrity then you’ll hold no confidence that they are capable of looking out for your best interests. You simply wouldn’t trust them. But this is not who God is and He wants you and I to know this for ourselves... on a personal level.
When we understand God’s goodness then we can reconcile our list of good and bad things that happen in this world with a revealed understanding of those things that are not from him such as disease, poverty and lack so we can ask him for things we really need such as healing, provision and blessings. Understanding God’s goodness helps us to separate the works of light from the works of darkness so we can approach God confidently and live victorious lives.
Jesus said, whatever you ask for when you pray, believe that you have received and it shall be given unto you (Mark 11:23). Knowing God’s goodness is vital to this truth. If we are uncertain of God’s goodness we may pray but we will always fail at the believe part…
Knowledge of God’s goodness is the vehicle for faith. Hebrews 11:6 says, “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” Overall, God’s goodness is our very confidence that God is who He says He is and He will do what He says He will do. His word is true every single time.
God’s goodness is so vast and is as limitless as His very nature, I am certain that I will still be learning of it until the day the Lord calls me home.
Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!
1 Chronicles 16:34, Psalms 107:1, Psalm 118
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.
Learn of His goodness.