Day 2: God is Good
The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made.
Psalm 145:9 NIV
“Why do bad things happen to good people?” “If God is so good, why does He allow such evil?” Teens often asked me these questions when I was a youth director. Some were asking mainly out of curiosity, but others asked these questions from their own hurt and pain. They would look at me with tears in their eyes, hoping for some answer to ease their pain. Those moments left me feeling helpless. Those moments drove me to my knees asking God the same thing.
I left the funeral in the same mindset… throwing questions up to God. “Why did you let this happen? It doesn’t seem good? It seems like a waste!”
“Nothing in my world is a waste,” were the words that interrupted my tirade.
My struggle came to an end that day. The problem is not in Him, but in my definition of good. I let go of defining good right there on the highway. I’ve learned to trust Him more than my own opinion of what good is. He is good… he uses all things for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose… If He allows it then one day I will see the good in it. Maybe not on this side of life, but I’m sure of this — when I get home, all good will be revealed.
Coming to grips with the heart of God’s goodness has been a struggle for me.
Knowing God’s sovereignty, that nothing happens without His allowing it, then facing disappointment and heartache used to make me wonder whether God was good or not. Or was I denied what I wanted because I’d been bad. Was He punishing me? Was I not good enough?
What I’ve come to terms with by faith, is that whatever He allows is ultimately — from an eternal perspective — for my good and His glory. One verse has been key to helping me trust His goodness.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
Romans 8:28 ESV
I stand assured of His goodness. Trusting His eternal perspective. Trusting His power. No matter what comes. I trust. It is for my good and His glory. Amen.
An individual’s character is an important consideration when we decide whom to trust. Character is defined as the “main or essential nature” of a person, especially that which is “strongly marked and serving to distinguish” them from others (Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary). A person’s reputation is based on his character.
God is great, God is good, let us thank Him for our food. A prayer many of us learned as children. The first place we began to learn about His character.
Look up Psalm 95:3. How does the Scripture describe God?
Now look up Mark 10:18. What did Jesus say about God in this verse?
Scripture describes God as great. And according to Jesus, God is not only good, He is the only one that is good. The most trustworthy, distinguishing mark of God is that He is good. All of God’s greatness is good.
To be good is to be “of a favorable character” (Webster’s). To be good is to be trustworthy. We want good things in our lives: good people, good places, good products, and good experiences. We want to know if things are good before we try them out. We ask others about movies, books, or restaurants they’ve experienced: Was it good? Something good can certainly not be bad.
From the beginning God’s goodness is evident.
And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good.
—Genesis 1:31 ESV
Now, if God who is great says His work is good, it must really be good!
God’s goodness is not only apparent in creation, but also when we are in His presence.
When all the Israelites saw the fire coming down and the glory of the Lord above the temple, they knelt on the pavement with their faces to the ground, and they worshiped and gave thanks to the Lord, saying, “He is good; his love endures forever.”
God radiates goodness and love. His presence inspires spontaneous worship. The psalmists who have experienced God’s presence and works sing of His goodness.
Look up two of the following verses and record the psalmists’ description of God in your journal, if you are using one.
- Psalm 119:68
- Psalm 86:5
- Psalm 52:9
- Psalm 145:9
Did you find a consensus regarding God’s goodness?
Another important aspect of God’s character is His unchanging nature. He is consistent. He can be counted on. An important aspect of trust.
“I the Lord do not change. …” — Malachi 3:6 NIV
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. —James 1:17 NIV
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations. — Psalm 100:5 NIV
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. — Hebrews 13:8 ESV
God’s character is trustworthy. He is good. He is not fickle.
Talk It Out
Talk it over with yourself:
We know God’s character also includes His strength, His power, and His position of authority over all creation. Does the knowledge that He is good and always will be good, help you place trust in God and how He uses His power? Explain.
Talk it over with God:
Ask God to help you trust His goodness even when things around you seem bad.
Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.
Isaiah 26:4 ESV
Exercise Your Faith
Think back to something you thought was bad in your life. Write down one good thing that came from the bad. Give thanks for the good God brought from a bad thing.
_________________ in the ____________ with all your ________________, and do
not ________________ on your own ________________________.