Is God Good, Or, Does He Have Evil Intent?
Whether we realize it yet or not, many of us who are authentic believers, have the erroneous idea that God is somehow against us. Could this be so?
Question #1: If in fact you do not think God is for you (in your favor), but rather against you, how do you think you've been able to protect yourself from Him for all these years?
Question #2: If God didn't have goodwill toward us, then why would He have created us in His very image and for His very pleasure? (Genesis 1:24-31; Rev. 4:11) We are His only creatures who have this superior and yet fearful distinction in relation to the rest of His creation. (Psalms 139:14)
Question #3: Why would God have gone to such great lengths to redeem you out of your sin into His glorious kingdom if He didn't love you? Consider Romans 8:31-32: "What shall we then say to these things? If God be FOR US, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?"
THE GOD OF GOODNESS
Do you desire to know God and His nature deeper?
It could certainly be stated that the very first attribute of God, if there were an order, would have to be His goodness. The initial attribute that the sinner encounters is God's goodness. Have you ever pondered deeply the fact that He chose to create you, and if He hadn't of, you wouldn't even exist (be a consciously and eternally existent soul)?
"Thou art GOOD, and DOEST GOOD; teach me thy statutes." Psalms 119:68
"The earth is full of the GOODNESS of the LORD." Psalms 33:5
"The GOODNESS of God endureth continually." Psalms 52:1
"Behold therefore the GOODNESS and severity of God...". (Romans 11:22) One of the two divine attributes we are instructed to "behold" here, is His "goodness". The English word "goodness" comes from the Greek word CHRESTOTES which means gentleness, goodness, kindness. The word "Good" in the NT denotes virtue or righteousness in the sense of what is upright; goodwill as expressed in the kindness of heart or act; easy. CHRESTOTES signifies not merely goodness as a quality, rather it is goodness in action, goodness expressing itself in deeds.
REDEMPTION GOODNESS: The life of Jesus was the price that the Father paid to manifest to us His forgiveness: "God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them." 2 Corinthians 5:19
Obviously the cross of Christ was the ultimate expression of divine goodness expressed to mankind. It was the great exchange, where God took man's place in paying the ultimate price to judge sin once and for all..."It is finished." (John 19:30) At the cross, mercy and goodness triumphed over judgment. (James 2:13; Rom. 2:4; Heb. 2:9; 4:16; 10:17; Jn 3:16...Tit 3:3)
In fact, the apostles John and Paul write to inform us that Jesus Christ's sacrifice for us is how we understand how much He loves us:
"Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us..." 1 John 3:16
"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13
"But God commendeth (displayed, exhibited) his love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8
When we deserved His wrath, it was God's goodness which led us to repentance. Check this out:
"Or despiseth thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance." Romans 2:4
We Are Called to Experience His Love
"O taste (experience) and see that the LORD is good..." Psalms 34:8
Our heavenly Father looks on us with joy and designs pleasure for us now and forever. "Taste" means experience. As the objects of His love, we are to experience His goodness. Whenever we are fearful, hurting, downhearted, or just empty in our hearts, we should remember that in the presence of the Savior is fullness, wholeness, goodness and joy: "In thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand are pleasures for evermore." (Psalms 16:11)
Remember, one of the words used to describe God's goodness is easy. God is not uptight as some humans are. To this, someone might reply; "But wait a minute! The Bible says that God's wrath and anger are kindled against sin!" Yes they are kindled against the rebellious (Romans 1:18-20), but not against those whom He has redeemed from sin and forgiven and has made His very own. This goodness is reserved for and abounds towards those who are presently living in the Spirit, not after the flesh. (Romans 8:1) For the born-again Christian, the power, penalty, and punishment of sin is completely canceled. We are safe from His wrath through Christ’s sinless blood (Romans 5:9). God is good.
CHOSEN, PREDESTINATED TO HIS GOOD PLEASURE: "According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world... in love. Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will...Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself." Ephesians 1:4-5,9
GOD'S THOUGHTS TOWARD YOU - LET THIS BE SETTLED FOREVER: "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, THOUGHTS OF PEACE, and NOT of evil, to give you an expected end." Jeremiah 29:11 (a good verse to memorize)
Is it possible that one could think upon the unfathomable vastness of divine goodness without the Fatherly heart of God being revealed? I think not. He is our Savior, Caretaker, Comforter, LORD, Friend and Redeemer. Our heavenly Father is not postured/bent upon hurting His own “special people”, rather His desire is the total reconciliation, restoration and healing of each of those created in His image (Deut. 7:6; 1 Tim. 2:4; 2 Pet. 3:9, etc.). God's disposition toward His creation, namely those redeemed and made in His image, is one of warmth and benevolence, not harm (Jer. 29:11; Rev. 4:11; 1 Pet. 5:7; Matt. 7:7-11). He is our "Abba Father" which is equivalent to "Daddy". (Romans 8:15)
“For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth. The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people: But because the LORD loved you…” Deuteronomy 7:6-8
HIS GOODNESS ACTUALLY PURSUES THOSE WHO ALLOW HIM TO BE THEIR SHEPHERD: "Surely GOODNESS and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life." Psalms 23:6
HIS GREAT AFFECTION FOR HIS PEOPLE: "...as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee." Isaiah 62:5
GOD CELEBRATES OVER HIS PEOPLE: "The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing." Zephaniah 3:17
A PITFALL TO AVOID: When a person neglects seeking to know the full counsel of God revealed in His inspired words, the Holy Bible, he will forfeit knowing the wholeness of God's nature. The person who neglects the study of the Saviour will inevitably concoct in his mind the image of a false god. He will thereby break God's commandments by erecting in his mind the "graven image" of a god who does not exist (Exodus 20:2-3).
Tip: Jesus said; "Search the scriptures...for they are they which testify of me." (John 5:39) A fresh reading of Ephesians Chapter 1 will rejuvenate and establish within your heart the "good pleasure" and the "goodness" God has occasioned and predestined His children to enjoy both now and forever. It would be profitable to get this in your heart by reading it every morning for at least one week. (two weeks recommended)
THE REASON WE WERE CREATED: "Thou are worthy, O Lord...for thou hast created all things, and FOR THY PLEASURE they are and were created." Revelation 4:11
"...trust...in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy." 1 Timothy 6:17
UNCHANGING GOODNESS TOWARD HIS OWN: "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning." James 1:17
WHO IS GOD GOOD TO?
1. All men, even sinners - Matt. 5:44-48; Gal. 5:22-23; 1 Tim. 2:4; 2 Pet. 3:9; Ez. 33:11; God looks/waits for sinners to repent; when they do He welcomes them home - Luke 15. When the people of Nineveh turned to God, Jonah was mad, but God was glad (Jonah 3:10).
2. The Almighty is especially good to His own. The LORD has not dealt with us according to our sins. Consider Ezra 9:13: "God hast punished us less than our iniquities deserve, and hast given us such deliverance as this." Also see Psalms 103:10.
"Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, who he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy." Psalms 107:2
We should exude goodness toward sinners as God does - even when and as we declare His judgment to come upon every unrepentant soul. "He maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good." (Matthew 5:45) This same goodness that we have received from God we are to display to our neighbors, both saved and unsaved. Galatians 6:10 says; "As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith."
BECAUSE HE IS GOOD, HE DESIRES TO FORGIVE: "For thou, Lord, art GOOD, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee." Psalms 86:5
Might this be a good moment to bow our hearts and give Him thanks for the enormity of His goodness?
Memory Verses: Ps. 86:5, 15; Jeremiah 29:11; Romans 2:4; 11:22
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