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

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