The One True God is Good and Does Good
by Gini Crawford, MSW
The Bible tells us God is good, and what He does is good. God is the source of all goodness. There is no evil or bad in God; He is Holy (Psalm 5:4). We can see God's goodness in creation and our lives. In Genesis 1 it says God created the world very good for us. There is a song that talks about giving the person's lover the stars and moon if he could. Well, God can and did. Out of love for us, the Creator literally gave us the stars and moon, the flowers and trees, and so on - so we could live with goodness all around us. Delightful reality, isn't it?
You (God) are good and do good... Psalm 119:68 NASB®
When life is going good, it seems a natural fit for us. There is a serenity in our hearts, isn't there? This is because we were made for an existence that was completely good. Good in the Bible is defined by the words - beautiful, delightful, happiness, pleasant, glad, precious, correct, excellent, lovely, convenient, joyful, fruitful, secure, kind, and righteous.
God is the source of all goodness. Did you realize that every good thing comes from God? The colorful sunrise that I saw yesterday was from God. The pleasant odor after the rain came from God's sagebrush. When someone loves you, that love came from God, because He created love. The goodness that is all around us is from God. Without God there would be no goodness.
Do not be deceived... Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow. James 1:16-17 NASB®
When bad entered our world
God had created everything very good and wanted it to stay that way. However, Adam and Eve didn't listen to God and brought bad along with death into the world (Genesis 2:16-17). We were created to only possess life and good, but the caustic effects of bad took hold because of sin. Even though bad permeates our world, because of His mercy, God causes good to flourish (Romans 8:28,32-39).
Bad in the Bible is defined as - inferior, wicked, evil, malignant, hurtful, injurious, pain, unhappiness, misfortune, adversity, calamity, unpleasantness, immoral, hideous, and fierce. Have you ever thought about how very different things would be without bad or evil in the world?
God and His goodness overcame evil in this world
Since God allows things that are difficult and even devastating, we can doubt whether He really is good. In fact trusting that God is good can be quite impossible from a human perspective at times. A friend of mine's daughter was killed. She struggles at times whether God is really good. I know God understands her struggle because He knows all things. I know, He isn't thinking, "how dare she not think of Me as good." God is compassionate (John 11:33-38). He understands our struggles from evil. God literally gave His life to overcome evil.
All suffering needs to be looked at from God's perspective, an eternal perspective. Frankly I have wondered if some of the worst situations on this earth will turn out to be the most beautiful when we see the results of them in heaven. Trials can also end up being a very positive force in our lives to make us more like Jesus. It is always good to be more like Jesus, isn't it? (Romans 5:3-5, 8:28-29). As the Apostle Paul said in 2 Corinthians 4:17-18,
For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal. NASB®
Because of Who God is, He will work even horrible things for our good and others. A good example of God working terrible trials for good, is the story of Joseph in Genesis. In short, Joseph's brothers had sold him into slavery out of jealousy when he was a teenager, and were hoping this treacherous deed would end in his death. Now it was many years later and Joseph (who is now second to only Pharaoh of Egypt) says to his brothers,
"And as for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive. Genesis 50:20 NASB®
We can trust God even when the going gets rough, because His good is being worked out in His plans for us. Trusting God leads to peace and strength when the world is in turmoil (John 16:33). Hopeful certainty, isn't it?
"For I know the plans that I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope." ...God is not a man, that He should lie... Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good? Jeremiah 29:11; Numbers 23:19 NASB®
God's goodness triumphs
Do you struggle with God being good? If you don't feel God is good, ask Him to show you His goodness in your life. I do when I am struggling with God's goodness. He always answers my heartfelt struggles. We also need to remind ourselves, God is using even the trials and tribulations of life for our good, whether we feel it or not. Read Psalm 4:1; Jeremiah 33:2-3; Romans 5:1-5, 8:28; Philippians 4:6-7; James 1:2-5. Write down your insights from these passages.
God's Word gives us a wonderful promise in Psalm 23:6 about goodness. Read Psalm 23:6. Explain how this verse encourages you.
My son was in Iraq as a Marine officer. He saw many upsetting and destructive things, but he also saw God's goodness. I have found in our world that is full of bad or evil, I need to intentionally look for the good around me, and be thankful for it.
Prayerfully look for the good in your life, and make a list of those good things. And thank God for them.
For more on God's goodness and suffering see:
- God is good no matter what happens... He is the source of all goodness!
- Why does God allow us to suffer? (Part 1)
- Where are you God when I hurt? Or the silence of God (Part 2)
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