God is good
"You are good and do only good..." Psalms 119:68
"For the Lord is good; His mercy and loving-kindness are everlasting..." Psalms 100:5
Here we are again, with our series about God's character traits! Today we will learn more about the goodness of God. We sing and confess it often: God is good, all the time and all the time, God is good - do we actually fully understand this attribute of God? Let us meditate on it together...
The Bible defines God's goodness in two ways as mentioned in Psalms 119:68
The first part of the verse - you are good - emphasizes His character and expresses the fact that God is by nature good. With other words, goodness naturally comes out of Him. Friends, God is the definition of goodness, He is good in and for Himself. We humans call all kind of things good: this is a good friend, that was a good food, movie, song, etc. but all these things that we consider as good are not perfectly good (good enough) in comparison to God's goodness. That's exactly what Jesus meant in Mark 10:18 when He said: "No one is good except God alone". God alone is goodness itself!
But how do we see the true character of a person? By his actions. So the second part of the verse in Psalms 119:68 - and do only good - concentrates on what God does. The bible is full of stories that point to His kindness, His mercy, His generosity. God is tenderhearted, warm, open and always disposed to give to His creation beyond all it deserves. God's goodness is the driving force behind all His blessings He daily pours out into our lives. Have you ever thought of God as generous towards you? Can you believe that when God looks at you with all your junk, all your shortcomings, He says "I want to be generous to you. I can't wait to pour out on you that which will make you happy - not because you deserve it, but because it's in my nature to bless you in extravagant ways". The Bible says that these things are actually God's thoughts about us (Jeremiah 29:11).
God is for us and He is always there, planning to do good to us. We are the object of His affection and because of His divine nature, He expresses His goodness towards us in an overwhelming, God-kind of way.
The goodness of God like all His attributes is self-intended, infinite, perfect and eternal. Because God is always the same, His goodness never changes as well. He has never been friendlier than He is now, and He will never be more friendly. God is not a respecter of persons but He makes His sun shine upon the evil and good and He sends His rain upon the righteous as well as on the unrighteous (Matthew 5:45). The reason for His goodness lies in Himself! God answers our prayers because He is good and for no other reason. We all are partakers of His goodness without deserving it.
But maybe you just can't understand God's goodness from this perspective at this very moment. Maybe your circumstances are simple, your life is so hard and you think you don't have good opportunities in life so that saying "God is good" feels hollow to you.
Let me help you to see God's goodness for you through the lens of the Bible:
- God shows His goodness through His Son. Jesus is God's goodness in flesh (Colossians 1: 5) in whom God was pleased to dwell in all His fullness (Colossians 1:19). Through Him, God has redeemed us, helped us, delivered and blessed us with all Blessings. Jesus took the judgment we deserved upon Himself (Romans 5:8). In addition, God gave us all things with Jesus (Romans 8:32), and all the promises of God are true in Jesus (2 Corinthians 1:20). That means, all the good and perfect gifts of God come to us through our relationship with Jesus. If we want to understand and appreciate the goodness of God, we can begin and end with Jesus.
- God shows his goodness through kind interventions in our daily lives: What do I mean by that? God is always helping us out of any difficult situation. Psalm 107 is fully dedicated to this theme and opens with joy: "Give thanks to the Lord for He is good! His faithful love endures forever." Then the psalmist describes four different scenarios where God graciously steps in to reveal His goodness. He is always ready to help you even if you mess things up!
- God shows His goodness by natural blessings: This is the lowest level of how God expresses His goodness and the one we tend to overlook or take for granted: The air we breathe, the rain, the sun, the nature, the animals, etc. King David inspired by the Holy Spirit, addresses this aspect of the expression of God's goodness in Psalms 145. He celebrates the goodness of God toward His creation. Verse 9 states that: "the Lord is good to all...". Who is included in the word "all"? You are! In case you missed that, King David repeats the idea in the next sentence again: "He has compassion on all He has made". That means there is no place in the universe you can go where God won't be good to you - Nowhere!
Every relationship, every job, every tree, every food that pleases you, every song of a bird, every friend and flower are a reminder of God's goodness for and to you.
Look around you and observe every part of your day and you will see God's goodness flowing to you in abundance. For God is good, all the time!