.Femi Aribisala

When we are socialized on the wrath of God and on the doctrines of the eternal damnation of sinners in hellfire, it becomes difficult to appreciate the goodness of God. We end up being afraid of God. We see Him as someone with a frown who is out to get us.

It took the revelation of Jesus to reveal conclusively that God is love. Moreover, “there is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear.” (1 John 4:18).

Since God is love, then God is good. God is a good God. Indeed, Jesus says: “No one is good but One, that is, God. (Matthew 19:17). But God’s goodness is often anathema to man’s sense of goodness.

Quite simply, we do not know what goodness is. We call evil good and good evil. We put darkness for light and light for darkness. We put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter. (Isaiah 5:20). As a result, many of us are dissatisfied with the goodness of God (Ecclesiastes 6:3).

We call the proud blessed because evildoers seem to get away with evil. (Malachi 3:15). We foolishly think it is good not to have problems. But Jesus says some evil is necessary for the soul. (Matthew 6:34).

God would not be good if He does not punish evil. He would not be good if He were not a God of justice and judgment. David says to God: “It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I may learn Your statutes.” (Psalm 119:71).

God’s commandments are not grievous. (1 John 5:3). On the contrary, they are: “holy, and just, and good.” (Romans 7:12).

“The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them (God’s) servant is warned, and in keeping them there is great reward.” (Psalm 19:9-11).

“For when (God’s) judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.” (Isaiah 26:9).

God’s goodness is not like the so-called goodness of men. It is not incidental. It is not occasional. And it is not unidimensional.

When I sat down to make an appraisal of my life, I discovered that everything that has ever happened to me testifies to the same thing. God has been good to me. His goodness is the story of my life.

“Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him! Oh, fear the Lord, you His saints! There is no want to those who fear Him. The young lions lack and suffer hunger; but those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing.” (Psalm 34:8-10).

Just think about it and you will discover that God has been good, He is good, and He will be good. Because God is good, He would never allow anything bad to happen to us. When we get to heaven, we will not complain about anything but will thank God for everything.

God is not only good to us, He invests us with His goodness. The gift of the Holy Spirit is one of God’s blessings of goodness. (Psalm 21:3). He lives in us and causes us to be good and to do good, for goodness is one of His fruits. (Galatians 5:22).

In effect, when we are born of God, goodness becomes our nature. We can now be good to everybody because: “The Lord is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works.” (Psalm 145:9). “He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” (Matthew 5:45-46).

God is God because He is good. He is good because He is God. Only a good God can create the world and all that is in it. The goodness of God is self-evident everywhere. “The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.” (Psalm 33:5).

Just think, for example, of the different types of food and fruits in the world, all created by the same good God: “who gives us richly all things to enjoy.” (1 Timothy 6:17). God is so good, He satisfies the desire of every living thing. (Psalm 145:16).

Think of the water we drink and the air we breathe, God created them. He created herbs for medicine, trees for wood and paper, chemicals, plants, and animals. There is nothing we need that God has not buried in the earth.

God is always good. But we cannot fully appreciate how good He is until we first conclude that He is not good all the time. This is because God is especially good at those times we think He is not. He is particularly good at those times we think things are bad.

Otherwise, He would not tell us to give thanks in everything. (1 Thessalonians 5:18). But because God is in control of everything, we come to realize that all things, even the bad and the ugly, work together for our good.

If the moon never changes its shape, nevertheless, we sometimes see it as a half-moon, so it is with the goodness of God. The less we see, the more there is.

God cannot help but be God. Because He is God, He cannot but be good. Goodness is His nature. He cannot be bad. Jesus says we should deny ourselves to be His disciples. (Matthew 16:24). But God cannot deny Himself.

God cannot be anything but good. He cannot even decide to be bad. Paul says: “If we are faithless, (God) remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.” (2 Timothy 2:13).

God can do no evil. He cannot have evil thoughts. (Jeremiah 32:35). He is: “of purer eyes than to behold evil and cannot look on wickedness.” (Habakkuk 1:13).

The goodness of God gives us hope for the future. Indeed, it secures our future. David says: “I would have lost heart unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” (Psalm 27:13).

Our hope in a good God is the anchor of the soul. (Hebrews 6:19). Even when He was sending the Israelites into captivity, God assured them of His unfailing goodness: “I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11).

But nowhere is the goodness of God more pronounced than in God’s plan of salvation: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16).

We must not take God’s goodness for granted. We must respond with thanksgiving and “thanks living” to God’s goodness. We must not despise the riches of God’s goodness for they are designed to lead us to repentance. (Romans 2:4).

Those who love the Lord and appreciate His goodness must hate evil. (Psalm 97:10). For surely, God’s goodness and mercy shall follow us all the days of our lives; and we will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. (Psalm 23:6).

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