In the midst of pain, struggles and times where it does not make sense, why is it that the "good" God I think I know does not do everything that He can to cause me to be "happy" and for my life to be good? (Whatever "Good" means?)
What does good mean? At https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/good we read that good means:-
used in greetings
healthy or well
used to express praise
morally right or based on religious principles
When you understand all that "good" means then can we be certain that God is good? We read some very interesting things in the Bible about being good. When Jesus was asked if He was good, in Mark 10:18 we read His response:
So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God.
If we understand God, then we find He is the only one who is good and is the standard for what .goodness is
We can understand, then, that only God is good! He is the benchmark, and there is nothing in or of God that is not good. This goodness can also be understood by understanding that God is holy. Have a look at the video from the Bible Project below to get an understanding of what holiness is.
Our next question is, who is God good to? Are there times when God switches off HIs goodness to us to allow evil to happen? Is it possible that God has left me and my suffering is a sign of HIs absence?
The Lord is good to all,
And His tender mercies are over all His works. Psalm 145:9
teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen. Matthew 28:20
Not only does God promise that He will never leave us, but He has also promised to be good to us. Therefore, we can be assured that even when it looks bad, God is still with us and working for our good and His glory! I hope you enjoy the song, "The Goodness of God".
Not only is God good, but He is our Heavenly Father who is "Very Good"!
A Look at Joseph - Experiencing Goodness?
It is easy to go straight to Genesis 50 and read about the end of Joseph's life. He was blessed with old age, able to see his children, children's children and even the next generation grow up. It is lovely to read the end and see God's goodness and blessing over his life and family.
22 So Joseph dwelt in Egypt, he and his father’s household. And Joseph lived one hundred and ten years. 23 Joseph saw Ephraim’s children to the third generation. The children of Machir, the son of Manasseh, were also brought up on Joseph’s knees. Genesis 50:22-23
If you would go back to the first 30 years of his life, you would have a different perspective. Joseph was not only disliked by his brothers but as a result, was taken captive as a slave to a foreign country and later unfairly placed in a horrible prison for doing the right thing! He..
Had a dream from God that his family would bow down to him. Unwisely He appeared to brag about this to his family.
His brothers wanted to kill him. One stopped them from doing this and he was instead sold as a slave and taken to Egypt.
He was a slave in an important man, Potipher, and rose up to run his household.
Potiphar's wife wanted Joseph to have a physical relationship with him behind his master's back. Joseph said no and ran away.
Potipher's wife accused Joseph of trying to physically attack her and he was unfairly sent to prison.
He was given an opportunity to interpret dreams for important people for Pharaoh and even though what he told them came true, he did not leave the prison.
One day out of nowhere he was summoned by Pharaoh to interpret his dreams and as God revealed the answer to the dreams, was promoted to second in charge of the country. The goodness of God was experienced!
It is so easy to think "goodness" is a point in time statement. When I look and listen to others, I hear of so many Christians in real tough situations who feal that God has abandoned them. God does take what others mean for evil and weaved it into the incredible plan He has for His creation and us to lead us to good in our lives.
But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive. Psalm 50: 20.
If you have time, watch the story of Abraham and how Joseph fits into the story of God creating and raising a people through which God's redemption can be enacted.
What Can I Make Of This? How Can I See God's Goodness in My Situation?
When we understand God's goodness, we can start to see our situation from a different perspective. Have a think about the following ideas:-
God never changes. He was good before the creation of the world AND He is good now. “For I am the Lord, I do not change; Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob. Malachi 3:16.
God made us for an eternal relationship with HIm. And this is the will of Him who sent Me,that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” John 6:40.
Sin has entered the world because mankind chose not to trust God. This separated us from God. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear. Isaiah 59:2.
God desires a relationship with us. Sin entered the world through a man and has been redeemed through a man. Jesus was fully man and fully God. He came to earth to pay the penalty for our sins on the cross. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begottenSon, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16.
God is in the process of bringing "good" out of the evil and corruption that is on the earth. If you love God and are called to His purpose, then He is actively working to to being everything together in your life for good. And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28
Creation is bound through sin, but God is raising His children to deliver the earth from this bondage and liberate all creation. This will happen as God's children walk as His children and know God, live in relationship with Him and do what He is calling us to do. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; 21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. Romans 8: 20-22
Goodness is knowing that God will weave HIs plans and purposes no matter the mess we see around us. In the story of Joseph, we can see that even though Joseph spent many years as a slave and in jail, He was the one that God put in position and trained to save his family from starvation. What they meant for evil, God meant for good. But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive. Genesis 50:20.
Take heart in your situation. Pray for courage, wisdom, grace and an ability to get through the hard times to the times of blessing. Often, God trains us in the tough periods in our life and positions us in the right place so we can not only be bless, but many people can experience God's goodness through us. The tough times train and prepare us to release blessing to others.
Top 18 Bible Verses-God Will Never Leave Us https://everydayservant.com/top-18-bible-verses-god-will-never-leave-us/
Bible Project - The Holiness of God. https://bibleproject.com/learn/holiness/
23 Verses About the Goodness of God. https://www.davidjeremiah.org/knowgod/23-verses-about-the-goodness-of-god