A Good Word on God’s Goodness
The great Missionary Statesman, Oswald Chambers, said, “The root of all sin is the suspicion that God is not good.” Our ancestors in the Garden of Eden exemplify this. The serpent called into question the goodness of God’s plan and command for Adam and Eve, leading to the Fall. Nothing has changed. One of our enemy’s primary tactics is to incite us to doubt the absolute goodness of God and His ways. All sorts of negative feelings and sinful attitudes naturally follow.
On the other hand, a serious understanding and embrace of God’s goodness actually leads us to repentance. His goodness compels us to draw near, get right, and live well in light of His truthfulness, trustworthiness, tenderness, long-suffering, kindness, mercy, love, and grace that are all summed up in the attribute of His goodness.
Consider His Goodness
The Apostle Paul told us to CONSIDER the goodness of God (Romans 11:22). The Psalms offer us plenty of truth for a profound consideration of the goodness of God. Meditate on these realities:
- An expectation of God’s goodness keeps us from losing heart (Psalm 27:13)
- God has “laid up” goodness for those who trust Him (Psalm 31:19)
- The earth is full of God’s goodness (Psalm 33:5)
- The goodness of God endures continually (Psalm 52:1)
- God crowns our years with goodness (Psalm 65:11)
- God fills the hungry soul with goodness (Psalm 107:9)
- Four times in Psalm 107 we are told to give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and His wonderful works in our lives (v. 9, 15, 21, 31)
Certainly, bad things happen in all of our lives. We suffer losses, go through disappointments, experience failures, and endure hurts. However, God’s abundant, constant, and sometimes imperceptible goodness transcends it all. Our responsibility is to trust Him even when we don’t see the way, follow Him even when we don’t know the way, and seek Him until He shows us the way. We do this with the firm conviction that He is absolutely, reliably good.
A Story of His Goodness
A dear pastor friend of mine, Sandy Robertson, shared his heart with me recently. Even though he and his wife Beth lost a daughter in the prime of her life to cancer, they embraced God’s goodness. Today, Beth is enduring her own battles with cancer – surgery, chemo, and radiation. Still, they hold firmly to the goodness of God, trusting His love. He told me, “It’s not always easy – but it is all we have and everything we need. Where else would we go and what else would we do if we did not anchor our soul in God’s goodness?”
Not long ago, I visited with Sandy and some pastors from his area. As he and I drove together afterward, he recounted the following story that beautifully illustrates our need to trust the goodness and love of our God:
I live on the Space Coast of Central Florida, about 40 miles east of Orlando. One day my wife and I decided to surprise our eight-year-old granddaughter Alexa with a trip to Disney World. It was a national holiday and the schools were closed, so we picked her up early in the morning and off we went. She had no idea what we had planned. She thought it was going to be a day just hanging out with Grandma and Grandpa.
Our first stop was McDonald’s. We grabbed three Egg McMuffins at the drive-thru and then continued on our journey. Well, it just so happened that this McDonald’s had a “Playland” attached to it. When Alexa saw that, she got excited and asked, “Grandpa, can we eat inside? I want to play.”
“No, sweetheart,” I replied. “We don’t have time for that.”
She then turned up the heat. “Please Grandpa; I really want to go inside. I hardly ever get to come here. C’mon Grandpa, why can’t we eat inside? We’ve got time.”
“Sorry, Alexa, the answer is no. We are doing the drive-thru.”
Alexa was not a happy camper and as expected, she fussed. She complained and then accused me of not letting her have any fun. That was followed by pouting and the silent treatment for the next half hour. We continued on our journey westward and at the appropriate moment, my wife declared, “Pull off somewhere, I need to find a restroom.”
To this I replied, “Look, there’s the sign for Disney World! I’ll pull off here. They’ll have public restrooms at Disney World.”
As you can imagine, the wheels began to turn in Alexa’s little brain. Then out came this sheepish voice from the back seat, “Grandpa, now that we are here at Disney World, do you think maybe we could go inside?”
“Of course we are going to go inside, Alexa. Grandma and I had this planned right from the beginning. But if you had had your way, you would have settled for McDonald’s Playland.”
What a memorable day we had together. We returned home that night exhausted and satisfied.
God is good. He is secretly planning in love and goodness for all of us. Don’t be an Alexa. Don’t settle for McDonald’s Playland when God has Disney World in mind!
You’re Being Followed
We can all learn from Sandy’s story – and His personal faith. God is good, even when we don’t understand all that He is trying to accomplish in our lives. And don’t look now – but you are being followed every day, every minute – all the time. “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life” (Psalm 23:6). God is so good – so very good.
Copyright © 2013 Daniel Henderson. All rights reserved.
Sandy Robertson is the Pastor of New Covenant Fellowship in Titusville, Florida and a key leader in “The Church is One” movement in Brevard Country, which is uniting pastors in prayer. Strategic Renewal has selected Brevard County as one of our five target areas for 2013 to mobilize greater prayer in congregations and among leaders.