The Goodness of God

One thing that has really struck me recently is the goodness of God. By that, I mean not just that God is morally good, but that He is good in the sense that He wants to bless us and give us good things. These good things are not just material gifts, but also dealing with our well-being, so this includes good health, good friends, happiness, peace and love.

I didn’t always believe this. This is partly due to my difficult childhood. My father was abusive towards me, always losing his temper at me for no good reason and beating me even though I had done nothing wrong. Living under such stressful situations as a child, where bad things happened to me even when I didn’t deserve it, I formed a world view that the universe is bad and unjust, and to come to expect and dread bad things to always happen to me.

However, a few years ago, I started meditating on the fact that God is a good God and so I can expect good things to happen to me. This exercise has changed my life and ever since I started believing in the goodness of God, more good things have started happening to me.

In Psalm 106:1, the Psalmist sings, “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.” This sentence is repeated six times in the Bible, so God obviously wants to emphasize this aspect of His character – that He is good. Because of God’s goodness, we can expect good things to happen to us and live in anticipation of positive developments occurring in our lives. Jeremiah 29:11 says that God has plans to prosper and not to harm us, to give us hope and a future, so the belief that good things will enter our lives is one that is based on the Word of God.

Romans 8:28 tells us that “in all things God works for the good of those who love Him”. So even when bad things happen to us, we can trust that God will transform it for our good.

In James 1:17, James writes that “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”

Everything that is good in our life comes from God. So when something good happens to us, we should make it a habit to thank God for it. As we develop gratitude and appreciation to God for the good things that happen to us, we will see more and more good things happening to us, since what we focus on, we tend to multiply.

One mistake we can make is in our view of God. Some people, especially non-believers, believe that God is an angry and judgemental God, always on the lookout for our failures and eager to punish us for our sins. These people live in fear and always expect bad things to happen to them as a penalty for their wrongdoings.

But Christians do not live with that fear. Christ’s death on the cross means that God has forgiven us of all of our sins and we can have access to the blessings that come from his goodness.

In Matthew 7:11, Jesus tells us that  “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”

Jesus encourages us to pray to God for good things to come into our lives. Because God is good, we can ask Him to bless our careers, our marriages, our children, our health and our friendships. No area is too small for God to bless. God wants to bless every area of our life. And He wants these blessings to be huge, as John 10:10, Jesus promises to bless us with the abundant life.

In Deuteronomy 28:1-13, God tells us of all the blessings that we can expect if we trust in Jesus:

28 If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. All these blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God:

You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country.

The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock—the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks.

Your basket and your kneading trough will be blessed.

You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out.

The Lord will grant that the enemies who rise up against you will be defeated before you. They will come at you from one direction but flee from you in seven.

The Lord will send a blessing on your barns and on everything you put your hand to. The Lord your God will bless you in the land he is giving you.

The Lord will establish you as his holy people, as he promised you on oath, if you keep the commands of the Lord your God and walk in obedience to him. 10 Then all the peoples on earth will see that you are called by the name of the Lord, and they will fear you. 11 The Lord will grant you abundant prosperity—in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your ground—in the land he swore to your ancestors to give you.

12 The Lord will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. 13 The Lord will make you the head, not the tail. If you pay attention to the commands of the Lord your God that I give you this day and carefully follow them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom.

So I’ll encourage you to meditate on the fact that God is good. The more you thank and praise Him for His goodness, the more of His blessings and goodness you’ll receive!