Goodness of God

Goodness of God

Psalm 119:68

You are good, and what you do is good;

    teach me your decrees.

Oh the goodness of God!  He is good and what He does is good.  It’s all good!

Our understanding of goodness doesn’t even come close to the goodness of God, though.  We’ve honestly cheapened and decreased the meaning of the word good. 

That was some good pizza.

They played a good game.

Pumpkin spice is good. (Blach!)

That song is really good.

God is good.

God’s goodness is so, so much “gooder”, better, than anything that we call good. God’s goodness is exceptionally gooder than even the goodest thing that we can imagine!  In fact, Jesus directly approached this subject as recorded here:

Mark 10:17-18

17 As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

18 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good – except God alone.

There is no good that we can experience in this world that even begins to compare to God’s goodness.  Even Jesus, God in the flesh, the living Word of God, did not permit a comparison to be made between His own goodness and the goodness of the Father. 

Although Jesus said that if you saw Him, you saw the Father (John 14:9), He very directly and intentionally made it clear that nothing compares to the goodness of God.  Jesus, God being wrapped in the weakness and temptations of flesh, did not allow Himself to be labelled as good in that state.

I love this quote regarding the goodness of God:

“God is better than we think, so we have to change the way we think.” ~ Bill Johnson

God is good and what He does is good.

This is what I love about the goodness of God.  God’s goodness is not just a theological concept to study and intellectually believe.  God’s goodness is something that we get to experience!

Psalm 34:8

Taste and see that the Lord is good

When we experience the goodness of God, when we are fully convinced that God is good and all that God does is good, it radically transforms our lives. 

It strengthens and increases our faith.  It gives us assurance and confidence in approaching God and seeking after Him.  It invokes a spirit of generosity within us.  It gives us peace and certainty in every season of life, especially when we can’t see and don’t understand what God is doing.  We know that God is good and God does good.

When we are fully convinced that God is good and that all God does is good, it takes the pressure of needing to perform off of us.  God is so good that even if I miss it, even if I sin, I can repent, be forgiven, receive mercy and grace.  I can confidently know that God can still do good in and through my life, even through my mistakes.

God, who is good and who does good, can bring life from death, beauty from ashes, bring joy from mourning, and praise from despair (Isaiah 61:3).

Being fully convinced of this gives us perseverance and endurance through seasons that aren’t good from our worldly perspective because we know that it is going to end in goodness.

Romans 8:28

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

David had such an assurance.  His life revealed that He knew that God was good and that all that He did was good.  Listen to what he wrote from that place of believing that God is good and that God does good.

Psalm 27

1 The Lord is my light and my salvation –

    whom shall I fear?

The Lord is the stronghold of my life –

    of whom shall I be afraid?

2 When the wicked advance against me

    to devour me,

it is my enemies and my foes

    who will stumble and fall.

3 Though an army besiege me,

    my heart will not fear;

though war break out against me,

    even then I will be confident.

4 One thing I ask from the Lord,

    this only do I seek:

that I may dwell in the house of the Lord

    all the days of my life,

to gaze on the beauty of the Lord

    and to seek him in his temple.

5 For in the day of trouble

    he will keep me safe in his dwelling;

he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent

    and set me high upon a rock.

6 Then my head will be exalted

    above the enemies who surround me;

at his sacred tent I will sacrifice with shouts of joy;

    I will sing and make music to the Lord.

7 Hear my voice when I call, Lord;

    be merciful to me and answer me.

8 My heart says of you, “Seek his face!”

    Your face, Lord, I will seek.

9 Do not hide your face from me,

    do not turn your servant away in anger;

    you have been my helper.

Do not reject me or forsake me,

    God my Savior.

10 Though my father and mother forsake me,

    the Lord will receive me.

11 Teach me your way, Lord;

    lead me in a straight path

    because of my oppressors.

12 Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes,

    for false witnesses rise up against me,

    spouting malicious accusations.

13 I remain confident of this:

    I will see the goodness of the Lord

    in the land of the living.

14 Wait for the Lord;

    be strong and take heart

    and wait for the Lord.

David was convinced that no matter how challenging life became, no matter how great his enemies and opposition might be, no matter how bad things might get, even if his own parents were to forsake him, that the goodness of God would still be there for him.

Again, he said:

13 I remain confident of this:

    I will see the goodness of the Lord

    in the land of the living.

14 Wait for the Lord;

    be strong and take heart

    and wait for the Lord.

In the New King James translation of this verse, it reads:

Psalm 27:13 (NKJV)

I would have lost heart, unless I had believed That I would see the goodness of the Lord In the land of the living.

David wasn’t only convinced that he would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living, he was convinced that it would be his legacy!

Psalm 23:6

Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

The goodness of God not only in our lives, but also being revealed and experienced through our lives! 

Do you know how you’re walking through the store and then someone walks past you wearing a bit too much perfume?  How that scent follows them wherever they go and lingers there for a while?  Like you walk to another aisle and even though you didn’t see that person in that aisle, you know that they were there by the scent? 

That’s how I believe it should be for us!  God’s goodness should not only be tangible when people are with us, but it should follow us and linger when we are absent. 

This isn’t that far of a stretch!  Listen to what Paul wrote when the Philippian church sent him finances to help his ministry:

Philippians 4:18

I have received full payment and have more than enough. I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God.

Generosity became a fragrant offering.  Have you ever been a part of a pay-it-forward act of generosity?  One person in a drive-thru pays for their meal and for the next person’s as well.  When that next person arrives at the window and finds that their meal has been paid for, they pay for the next person’s meal and so on.

The goodness of generosity became like the fragrance of that person wearing too much perfume!  It lingered and invoked the generosity of those who followed. 

What fragrance are we leaving behind?

Psalm 23:6

Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life

Paul wrote:

2 Thessalonians 1:11

With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith.

If our desire for God is not a desire for goodness, then it is not truly a desire for God.  Every deed prompted by faith should be a deed that releases the goodness of God.  Every deed prompted by faith should be the fruition of our desire for goodness.

If our desires are for the goodness of God, then they will be desires to see sick healed, the bound delivered, the mourning comforted, the downcast encouraged, the lonely visited, every need provided for; all expressions of the goodness of God.  David wrote to remind us of these expressions of God’s goodness:

Psalm 103:2-5

2 Praise the Lord, my soul,

    and forget not all his benefits –

3 who forgives all your sins

    and heals all your diseases,

4 who redeems your life from the pit

    and crowns you with love and compassion,

5 who satisfies your desires with good things

    so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

God has chosen us to be citizens of Heaven, the people of God, who act as priests interceding for the lost and releasing the resources of God’s Kingdom into their lives.  We are called to live good lives that reveal and release the goodness of God!

1 Peter 2:9-12

9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

11 Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. 12 Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.

We can do no good thing on our own.  There is no good in us that was not sourced from the goodness of God.  However, through Christ, all of God’s goodness is made accessible to us!  Our good lives and our good deeds result in others giving glory to God.

In fact, there is a direct correlation between the goodness of God and the glory of God.  When Moses began leading God’s people from their bondage to their freedom and into God’s promises, He demanded that God’s Presence go with them.  As a sign of God’s Presence going with him:

Exodus 33:18-19

18 Then Moses said, “Now show me your glory.”

19 And the Lord said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the Lord, in your presence.

As we go out from this place, let’s walk in full confidence that we will see the goodness of God here in the land of the living.  Let’s be fully convinced that God is good and all that He does is good.  Let’s allow God’s goodness to fill our lives and flow through them by our deeds to bring glory to God.  Like too much perfume, may God’s goodness follow us leaving behind a pleasing fragrance that draws people to God.