Knowing His Goodness

As I have been out living my life and interacting with others, I have run across a lot of doom and gloom right now.  With everything going on in the world around us, from recession talk, judgment of God threats to America, the current economic state of the world especially Greece, social justice issues, and the list can go on and on.  There has been so much negativity and hopelessness.  After walking away from various conversations, I realized that I have become so grounded in my theology of "God being good all the time."  It is important to know what you believe and the posture you are to take when you hear this talk around you.

In Ephesians 2: 20, Jesus is referred to as the chief cornerstone.  A cornerstone was an unusual stone,  as the chief cornerstone would hold the building in place but it would also set the parameters for the building.  Instead of the cornerstone of a building, think of the cornerstone of our theology or our thoughts.  There are certain things that need to be well established in our heart and mind.  They become the lenses through which we see reality, the way we approach life.  When something happens, we always react out of a default that we have built within us-good or bad.  I believe that the goodness of God is to be the cornerstone of our theology.  As situations occur in our lives, how we are able to handle and process them comes from how we view God.  If the cornerstone of our belief is that God is good, and His intentions toward us are good, then how we walk through life will change.  Everything in our relationship with God flows from knowing and trusting in His goodness.

"God is light and in Him there is no darkness at all," 1 John 1:5.  When you think on this statement, it is a crazy thought.  No darkness at all!!  Just light!!  God does not have a mean streak.  He does not wake up on the wrong side of the bed and go after us.  He does not have a bad day.  He does not have a hidden nasty side.  His character is good.  Everything about God is good.  Psalm 119:68 says,  “You are good, and what you do is good.”  It does not say once in awhile He is good.  It does not say God is good, when we are good.  It says God is good and everything He does is good.  Hebrews 13:8 “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”  His personality, character, and nature never changes.   God does not change in His character, His name, and His will.  We can always count on Him.  He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.  We can always count on Him to be good. 

Everything God does is good.  Genesis 1:31, “Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good.”  Everything He made was good-the animals, man, the world He created.  God is good, and He sees us as good.  Everything He makes is good.  You are good because you are God’s creation.  Think of the huge implications to actually understanding this.  "You are good,"-you do not have to hate yourself, have self loathing, feel like you are unworthy, a terrible sinful person , etc.  Instead, you are deeply loved, you are a saint, you are chosen and adopted by Him, you are a son and a daughter, and you were created in His image.  He made you and said "it is good."  Everything He does is good.

I know that the big question has already crossed your mind as you have been reading this.  So if God is good and what He does is good, then why are people sick and dying?  Why is there suffering?  I was recently at the hospital visiting a very sick friend.  It was very touch and go whether she would make it or not.  Her grown children, point blank asked me, "why did God make her sick?"  The question really threw me for a moment, as I do not live in the belief system that God gives us sickness, diseases, and suffering.  My response was "Do you make your children sick?  Do you give them diseases?"  God is a loving and good Father.  He does not cause sickness and disease. God in His sovereign will determined at the beginning of creation, that man would make decisions at the beginning of creation that there would be consequences as a result of those decisions.  So when Adam and Eve chose to sin, sin entered into the world, therefore, death entered into the world.  The enemy was given authority because man gave up their authority.  People get sick and have diseases because of the enemy.  Jesus said” the thief comes to kill, steal, and destroy.”  Bad things happen because of the devil.  God is good and does not cause sickness, disease, and bad things.  It is the enemy coming "to kill, steal, and destroy."  So as we encounter sickness, suffering, disease, we need to recognize that God did not give this to us.  He is good, and He will walk through this with us.

At the end of the day, we need to experience God and His goodness.  We need to move from having a truth in our head, to it being a truth in our heart and spirit.  Psalm 34:8 says, “Taste and see that the Lord is good.” This is an invitation by David to continually “taste and see” that God is good.  When you start tasting and seeing that God is good, it creates a hunger in you.  The rest of the verse says “happy are those who take refuge in Him.”  They encounter His goodness, and want more and more.  So how do you experience His goodness?  For me personally, I have taken the time everyday to look for His hand or to see His kiss.  I go over my day and ask Him, "where was your kiss for me today?"  Sometimes, I can see it and know it as it is happening, and sometimes it is just a simple thing that could have easily been missed.  But it is taking the time in every day to see and know His goodness.  I have a jar that sits on my desk.  It says on the front of it, "Kisses from God."  Once or twice a week, I write down on paper what the kiss from God was for the week.  On New Year's Eve, I plan to read through my jar and see His kisses from this past year.  Sometimes, when I am going through a rough time, I put my hand in that jar and start reading those kisses to remind myself of His goodness.  So I bless you to know and trust in His goodness.  May you see the kisses of God in every day of your life.  I bless you "to taste and see that He is good.