Neil's Blogs

Today's Post

God is Good - All the Time

God is Good - All the Time

“For the Lord is good and his love endures forever” (Psalm 100: 5). Jesus said, “there is only One who is good’ (Matt. 19:17, and that of course is God. Therefore everything He does is good and we are the benefactors. “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” (Rom. 8:28). Although we are thankful, our finite minds often struggle with the infinite goodness of God in two ways.

First, we don’t really know what is good for us. What tastes good often proves to be unhealthy. What looks good, may be in appearance only. What feels good has led many people astray. Even the treacherous act of Joseph’s brothers worked out to be good. Joseph said to them, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good, to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives” (Gen. 50:20). It doesn’t appear like an act of God’s goodness to utterly destroy the Amalekites (1 Sam. 15:2f), because we don’t fully understand God’s justice. But we do know that if there is cancer in the body, the loving thing to do is cut it out. If there is a rotten apple in a barrel, the good thing to do is get rid of it. We have a very small role in the larger drama of life, and we only see a tiny portion of the big picture that God is painting. When you are fully transformed by the renewing of your minds, “Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is - his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Rom. 12:2).

Second, if God is all-powerful and good, then why do bad things happen to good people? If there are only two players, then either God or humanity must take the blame. It is impossible to answer that question unless you understand that there are evil forces in this world who are actively opposing the will of God. God created Lucifer to be a light bearer. Lucifer by his choice became Satan, and fallen angels became demons. God created Adam and Eve and by their choice they lost their relationship with God, which made it possible for Satan to be the god of this world. Consequently, evil forces are at work in this world in opposition to God. If God foreknew that Satan and Adam would fall, why did he give them a will to make such a choice? He wanted a relationship with a living being that bears His image and likeness. If we had no choice, we would not bear His image. Chaos ensued when Lucifer, the light bearer, no longer reflected God’s light and we lost His life and likeness.

It may appear easier to cast blame rather than assume responsibility, but that leads to death. “Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’ Hear, O house of Israel: Is my way unjust? Is it not your ways that are unjust? ‘Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked?’ declares the Sovereign Lord. ‘Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live?’” (Ezek. 18:25,23). God is the author of life - not death, and He is in the process of making right what His rebellious creation has made wrong. The goodness of God will overcome this present evil, if not in our lifetime, then surely in the future.

Dr. Neil

For Spanish, see http://ficmm.org/blog

Demonic Depression

Demonic Depression From a Facebook friend: I am writing in regards to your seminar in Minnesota. The day it was to start, I was to be admitted to a hospital for the fifth time for manic depression. I have been dealing with this for almost two years. We had gone to...

Causes of Depression

Causes of Depression Martin Seligman, a noted secular researcher on depression, reflected on its causes: I have spent the last twenty years trying to learn what causes depression. Here is what I think. Bipolar depression (manic-depression) is an illness of the body,...

Unipolar Depression

Unipolar Depression The focus on medically curing unipolar depression has been on the production, preservation, and transmission of neurotransmitters. Some of the earlier antidepressant drugs were monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI’s). The purpose of these medications...

Bipolar Depression

Bipolar Depression Depression is categorized as bipolar and unipolar. A bipolar or manic-depressive illness has two poles: highs (called manic moods) and lows (depressed moods). One of the foremost experts of this illness, Kay Jamison (she struggled with manic...

Mental and Emotional Signs of Depression

Mental and Emotional Signs of Depression The following are common emotional symptoms and resultant mental states of those who are depressed: Sadness: I feel awful! Depression is most commonly characterized by a deep sadness. The “blues” seem to creep up slowly and...

Physical Symptoms of Depression

Physical Symptoms of Depression Energy Level: I just don’t feel like doing anything. Lack of energy, excessive fatigue and unrelenting tiredness are the characteristics of the melancholic. Walking, talking, cleaning the house, getting ready for work, or doing a...

Melancholy

Melancholy I get up every morning with no sense of hope, and not enough energy to climb out of bed? Negative thoughts pepper my mind, and I’m emotionally drained all the time. I may have a few good moments, but they never last. I can’t even muster up enough energy to...

Uncompromising Witness

Uncompromising Witness The great challenge in this life is to not lose our composure under fire. Can we maintain our position in Christ without deferring to the flesh? In my early years of ministry I was asked to teach the largest Sunday school class in our church....

Secular Education

Secular Education Question from a Facebook friend: I’m a kindergarten teacher and I recently received Christ. One thing really bothers me. What I don't understand is how can psychology and theology mix. I want to be an educator, but finances are hard, and there is so...

In the World But Not of the World

September 10, 2014 -In the World But Not of the World I still haven’t fully addressed the question asked at the beginning of the week. The good man wanted to know if it is okay to find “joy” in sporting events, entertainment venues, and natural conversations about...

9051 Executive Park Drive, Suite 503 • Knoxville, TN 37923 • 865.342.4000