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Friday, January 13, 2023
"The Goodness of God"
Message summary: God's goodness is an immutable attribute, thus it does not change, "The goodness of God endures continually". It's part of His divine nature. The mysteries or questions we have regarding God's goodness are due to our finite understanding and limited knowledge, never a deficiency in His attribute of goodness.
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"May Your saints rejoice in Your goodness" (2 Chronicles 6:41). "The goodness of God endures continually" (Psalm 52:1). “He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous” (Matthew 5:45). "The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord" (Lamentations 3:25,26).
This week we have shared a series "Five Assurances For the New Year" based on Lamentations 3. Today let us consider Assurance #5: "The Goodness of God". "The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord" (Lamentations 3:25,26). Jeremiah wrote this during an exceedingly, practically unimaginable, hard time when he surely saw more bad than good. But he still faithfully proclaimed the goodness of God.
Consider the multitude of ways that God's attribute of goodness is extended to everyone, including the unbeliever and even the vilest sinner. Even the most blatant blasphemer and hater of God is abundantly showered with His goodness.
God’s goodness is revealed to all in what theologians call “general revelation”. General revelation refers to the general truths that can be known about God through nature. Special revelation refers to the more specific truths that can be known about God through the supernatural and are related to redemption. God's goodness is also an expression of what theologians call "common grace" which is God's mercy extended to all.
Today's third text is found in the Sermon on the Mount. The sun and rain are a blessing to all. Jesus said, “He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous” (Matthew 5:45). Each of us benefit from a wide host of blessings ranging from the percentage of oxygen in the air to this remarkable machine we call the body.
However the goodness of God has often been a stumbling block for the unbeliever and a source of confusion to the believer. This happens in individual lives during trying times when “bad” things happen, when His ways just don't make sense to us.
Theologian J.I. Packer has observed:
“Though God’s ways of expressing His goodness are sometimes unexpected and bewildering, looking indeed to the casual observer and in the short term more like bad [than good], the final testimony of those who walk with God through life’s ups and downs is that ‘every promise has been fulfilled; not one has failed’ (Joshua 23:14-15).”
Can you say “Amen” to that? You see, the mysteries or questions we have regarding God's goodness are due to our finite understanding and limited knowledge, never a deficiency in His attribute of goodness.
Rejoicing in God's goodness is a fundamental way in which we express our faith. I have met some believers who compartmentalize their lives. They earnestly praise God at the appropriate times, but frankly their overall attitude is negative and whining comes all too easily. They may stand in church on Sunday morning, lift their voices and praise God, but on Monday their focus returns to the negative circumstances in their lives. In our fallen world we all deal with difficulty in one way or another and sometimes intensely so. But nonetheless God is good all the time!
Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)
Stephen and Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Loving Father, we thrive on Your gracious and compassionate ways, your slowness to anger and Your abounding love. You satisfy our desires with good things and do not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. Knowing and experiencing Your goodness in our daily lives helps us to trust in You during those mysterious happenings in our lives when it would seem You've forgotten us. But we are reminded in Scripture that all things work together for good to those who love You, for You use the good and the bad, for Your glory and for our good. We give thanks to You, our Father, for You are good and Your love endures forever. Amen.
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