God is good. All the time. And all the time. God is good.
If you haven’t heard this phrase, then you probably aren’t Baptist. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve heard this said. It was engrained in me as a child, a teenager, and now as an adult. It is a fact that I have believed for all my life and could recite it at the drop of a hat.
The following verses are examples of claims in the Bible describing God as good.
Psalm 107:1 “Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.”
Psalm 34:8 “Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.”
Psalm 145:9 “The LORD is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made.”
Good is such a general term that it kind of baffles me. I don’t have a clear definition in my head. When I think of good, I typically think of things that I can conceptualize. I think of good vs. evil. I think of good as the essence of goodness in a person, but honestly, I don’t think I have a solid grasp on what God being good truly means. And I think this is what led me to the my first lie I mentioned in 5 Lies I Believed:
Lie #1 If I am a “good girl” and do good things, God will do good things for me and give me what I want.
My brain processed that if God is good, He will give me x, y, and z (read as good things). Hear what I’m saying. GOOD things. Not bad things. I didn’t feel that it was too far off base to assume good things come from a good God. Here’s the definition and usage of the Hebrew word translated as good in the Old Testament:
From H2895; good (as an adjective) in the widest sense; used likewise as a noun, both in the masculine and the feminine, the singular and the plural (good, a good or good thing, a good man or woman; the good, goods or good things, good men or women), also as an adverb (well):—beautiful, best, better, bountiful, cheerful, at ease, X fair (word), (be in) favour, fine, glad, good (deed, -lier, liest, -ly, -ness, -s), graciously, joyful, kindly, kindness, liketh (best), loving, merry, X most, pleasant, + pleaseth, pleasure, precious, prosperity, ready, sweet, wealth, welfare, (be) well ([-favoured]).
Before I’m charged as being a heretic, let me say a couple things: God is good. And the Bible says that He gives good gifts. God does not lie, so these things are true without a doubt. I don’t question these things.
Here’s the problem I am running into: I had been defining good as God giving me what I want. The definition of good is more like God doing the best for me despite what I want. It is God doing what will bring Him the most glory and impact the most people. I had been connecting God’s goodness with the gifts He gives me, but God being good isn’t dependent on the things or gifts He gives.
Below is a definition of good according to the dictionary. This is important.
1. to be desired or approved of. "we live at peace with each other, which is good" synonyms:healthy, fine, sound, tip-top, hale and hearty, fit, robust, sturdy, strong, vigorous
2. having the qualities required for a particular role. "the schools here are good" synonyms: fine, superior, quality
1. that which is morally right; righteousness. "a mysterious balance of good and evil"synonyms: virtue, righteousness, goodness, morality, integrity, rectitude
2. benefit or advantage to someone or something. "he convinces his father to use his genius for the good of mankind" synonyms:benefit, advantage, profit, gain, interest, welfare, well-being
God is morally righteous. God is all good. There is no bad thing in HIm. I have often in the past interpreted good only as an adjective to describe God almost like a superhero, but in this context it is a noun. It is who He is. He cannot be anything but good. And because He is good, He has to make decisions about my life that may not seem good but will bring about ultimate good like He says in Romans 8:28. Good may very well not include my comfort, my momentary happiness, or my wants. But it will always include the best for me as deemed by an all-knowing, all-powerful, God.
I know this was a little deeper than my posts in the past and may be a lot to wade through, but I’ve gotten to a point where life is too hard to believe things just because someone told me to. That just led me to believing lies without even realizing it. As I have endured a difficult season, those lies made for a very poor foundation. I am reestablishing my foundation on truth. I am convinced that God wants to reveal Himself to me through HIs word and solidify my faith even more.
He wants to reveal Himself to you too. He wants to meet you where you are. He wants to speak truth over you. He wants to show you just how good He really is. From where I am standing, He has been so good to us. He is the definition of good.
This blog post is a part of a series called Rediscovering God for the Write31Days challenge to write every day in October. You can find links to all posts in my series here. If you want to know more about the Write31Days challenge, you can find out more at www.write31days.com.