Ask someone, “Do you believe in God?” And if they say, “Yes”, ask, “Then what’s God like?” Undoubtedly you will get a stare — like a deer caught in headlights — as you probably caught the person off guard. Then after some thought, you will probably get a laundry list of God’s virtues.

God is big. God is love. God is all-powerful, all-knowing, and always present. God is eternal. God is spirit. God is everywhere … and the list goes on. And it’s all true! Inevitably, almost every person will get around to saying, “God is good!”

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One of the first prayers children used to learn was the simple prayer before meals: “God is great, God is good! Let us thank Him for our food!” I’ve seen lots of TV preachers and Christian event speakers start their message by shouting, “God is good!” expecting the crowd to shout back, “All the time!” Then the speaker shouts, “All the time!” and the people shout back, “God is good!”

One of the most precious Biblical revelations of God is that God is good. The psalmist sings out, “O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!” (Psalm 107) And later he declares, “You are good, and do only good.” (Psalm 119:68)

Goodness is an essential quality of God, the perfection of all that is good. And because God is good, He extends His goodness to everyone: “The Lord is good to all and his tender mercies are over all His works.” (Psalm 145) Jesus said that “God causes the rain and sun to fall and shine on the just and unjust.” Why? He’s good to all.

James in his epistle writes, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above and comes down from the Father of lights…” All that we experience - our next heartbeat, our next breath, even life in general are gifts from God given to us because of His goodness. Pastor and Bible scholar, Arthur Pink said, “We don’t feel the goodness of God because we experience it so much every day.”

We become immune to God’s goodness because we take it for granted. That is until the moment when life throws us a curveball and something goes terribly wrong. Suddenly we wonder, “God, if you are good — why? Why this? Why me?”

Except for the crucifixion of Jesus, I don’t think anyone experienced suffering like Job. The Bible says Job was “blameless and upright, feared God and turned away from evil.” Yet, he endured the heartache of losing his entire family of seven sons and three daughters in a tornado that struck his house. Over time Job lost every possession and eventually his health. But Job knew God. And though he questioned God as we all would, Job responded to it all by falling to the ground and worshiping God. “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. Blessed be the name of the Lord!” In the midst of his suffering and despair, Job would not — could not — deny that through it all, God is good.

Paul expressed it this way: “We know that all things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purposes.” (Romans 8:28)

Because God is God, He turns the tragedies and disappointments of our lives into something eternally good. I know from personal experience that often it’s hard to see God’s goodness when we are in the midst of a storm. It’s when the storm passes, we often see the goodness of God who carried us through the wind and the waves.

Jesus said, “No one is good except God!” Jesus intimately knew His heavenly Father and knew that He is good. That’s why Jesus could confidently pray in the Garden before His suffering and death on a cross, “Father, not my will be done, but yours!”

In Jesus we see the ultimate expression of God’s goodness! God is so good — He would not allow us to die in our sins and suffer an eternity in hell. Instead, He sent His only Son to die in our place and suffer the punishment we deserve — so we could be with God in heaven for all eternity.

And in God’s goodness, the invitation to know Jesus, to experience forgiveness and confidently know that heaven is ours is offered to every person of every generation, nation and culture. In God’s goodness, each of us are given the opportunity to start all over and wipe the slate clean, being made new in Christ!

Sometimes God’s goodness is easy to see. Sometimes almost impossible. But is God good? All the time!

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