We all can agree that God does good things. I have known this all my life! But with the evil we see around us, does God do good things and allow bad things? Do I believe God does good things or He is good ….. totally good? How I see God will determine how I pray, read the Word, relate to others and walk through life.
In His book "God is Good – He's Better Than You Think" Bill Johnson explores this topic and presents some very interesting insights on this topic. If you are like me, I believe this is a time that God wants to take HIs children to a deeper understanding of what this means. I would like to look at some things Bill Johnson raises about the goodness of God. I pray that you will take time out to reflect, pray and ask God to reveal to you both His goodness and through this transform how you see God, yourself and the world.
When we start reading the Old Testament and move to the New Testament, it is possible to see Jesus being a person who would never have allowed what happened before He was born (ie: The Old Testament). If we did to our children what we perceive God did or even allowed to be done we would be in jail for child abuse. Some people say God caused cancer, accidents and other bad things, and others used the word "allow" which to me appears just as bad. God allowing bad things to happen to His children is still not a good thing to think about! I do not think I would like to go to a doctor to have him break my arm so he could show me how good he is at setting broken bones. God does not allow or do "bad" things so He can prove how good He is!
Who is the person in the Bible we can get the answers to our questions about God's goodness? If we look at Job, he asks so many questions. If we look at David, he reveals how broken his heart is and how he needs to come to God in repentance. After all the questions in the Old Testament, Jesus came to bring all the answers. Each person in the Old Testament has a unique part in preparing for our Saviour, Jesus, and every person in the New Testament reveals who Jesus is and as a result how to live our lives. Therefore, as we read the Bible, our focus always must be on Jesus. He is the one that brings all the answers to our questions! I really love how the Bible finish with the book of Revelation. Many people read this as the revelation of the end times, but if you read it closely, it is actually the revelation of Jesus the Christ. When completing a Bible study on Revelation with Jo, my fiancé, she wrote "Jesus is presented as passive through His surrender to the cross in the gospels. In Revelation, we are presented with an awesome vision of power and force. This revelation of forceful power and authority stirs a sense of confident excitement for the future. Jesus reigns and all of mankind will bow". Quite a clear summary of the New Testament and Revelation in particular.
As His children, we are called to represent Jesus on the earth. What does it mean to fully represent Jesus? Until we fully understand God and His goodness, our ability to represent Him as Spirit-filled believers boldly, greatly diminishes. God has declared "goodwill toward men" through the birth of Jesus and as we fully understand what He is like, we are led into impossible situations as we boldly trust Him. In Acts we read:-
29 So now, Lord, listen to their threats to harm us. Empower us, as your servants, to speak the word of God freely and courageously. 30 Stretch out your hand of power through us to heal, and to move in signs and wonders by the name of your holy Son, Jesus!” Acts 4:29-30 TPT
And now this is where it gets serious, very serious. If we believe God causes or allows evil, then we are not able to discern between God's discipline and demonic attack. If we are trying to endure really tough things in our lives and we believe God intends it for good, then we continue to be immature and forget who the enemy really is and who we are really fighting for. In John 10 Jesus says:-
10 A thief has only one thing in mind—he wants to steal, slaughter, and destroy. But I have come to give you everything in abundance, more than you expect—life in its fullness until you overflow! 11 I am the Good Shepherd who lays down my life as a sacrifice for the sheep. John 10:10-11.
Therefore, loss, death and destruction are all the result of the workings of the evil one Jesus, as the Good Shepherd, brings abundant life. In John 3:8 we read that Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil. As we as God's children represent Him on the earth, then learning how to fully represent Him must mean we understand who God is, what the devil does and how God is calling us to bring in His will and victory into every situation we walk in. This means we bring in the goodness of God wherever we go!
What then is good? In John 14:12 we read:-
12 “I tell you this timeless truth: The person who follows me in faith, believing in me, will do the same mighty miracles that I do—even greater miracles than these because I go to be with my Father! John 14:12
When defining what good is, I must start thinking about how I am to live my life. There have been people I know who spend their time convincing people that God does not do miracles anymore which in some say removes their responsibility as a Christian to live a life of faith. As we know both God is good and He is calling or releasing His goodness through us into the world. He has promised to empower us to live a life where we can not only do what Jesus did but more. Sure is a promise that I want to grow into.
Can we understand the goodness of God without experiencing it? I suppose it is like seeing chocolate in an advertisement on the TV and watching someone else eat it. We have to both know about God's goodness and experience it. To experience His goodness takes our understanding to a much deeper level. God is calling us to be born again and experience His goodness. Bill Johnson says, "His goodness is beyond our ability to comprehend but not our ability to experience. Our hearts will take us where our heads can't fit." Faith and openness to experience His goodness are both essential. His goodness is so great, we will never be able to exaggerate His goodness to us! In Ephesians 3:20 we read:-
20 Never doubt God’s mighty power to work in you and accomplish all this. He will achieve infinitely more than your greatest request, your most unbelievable dream, and exceed your wildest imagination! He will outdo them all, for his miraculous power constantly energizes you. Ephesians 3:20 TPT
God is able to do above and beyond what we think. He is able and wants to release His goodness in our lives and the world.. To be able to fully represent Him on the earth, He is calling us to come and learn about His goodness, to experience His goodness and then to represent Him by releasing His goodness wherever we go.
God does good things. Even better than that, God is good! Meditate on this, pray that God will reveal His goodness to you and then through you, release His goodness through you to every place you visit. Learn to fully represent Him on the earth!
Remember, God is GOOD... All the time!!