“Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!” (Psalm 34:8).
Many years ago, when my children were much younger, I would routinely come home after a long day just to find a toy laying in pieces on top of the counter. This was a crisis that they wanted me to address... Daddy, would you please fix this? No matter how badly the item had been mangled, they had an unspoken trust in my ability and my desire to make things right. This simple act told me they thought that I was a good father.
But as much as I love my kids and do whatever I can to provide for them and to protect them, I know that I cannot always be there to fix what is broken in their lives, especially now that they are young adults beginning their own lives. Thankfully, I have instilled in them the knowledge that their Heavenly Father is always there and ready, willing and able to help when they cry out... Father God, would You please fix this?! I have taught them that He is trustworthy, because He is truly a good Father.
1. God Is Uniquely Good
“Now a certain ruler asked Him, saying, ‘Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?’ So Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God’” (Luke 18:18-19).
Usually, we humans will show goodness to others after it has been shown to us first. Jesus set the bar a bit higher with the Golden Rule: Do unto others first what you would have them do unto you. This is better, but doesn't it still mean that we are being good with an ulterior motive? We do good to others hoping they will return the favor.
But what Jesus was saying to the rich young ruler is that when it comes to "goodness," God is uniquely good. God does good and gets nothing in return. He simply is good; He loves us and enjoys being good. His goodness is unmatched, unparalleled, unprecedented and unequalled! When it comes to goodness, God is in a class all by Himself.
2. God Creates Only Good
In a simple review of the Genesis account of creation, God shows us that He only creates that which is good. When God created everything in the universe, He was specific to end each day of creation with the words “…and it was good.”
And after He created you and me, He added “and it was very good.” Whatever God creates... it is GOOD!
Moreover, I think it is clear that God never wanted you and me to know bad, or experience bad in our lives. The tree in Eden had to be there to provide Adam and Eve with a free-will choice to love and follow God. But God didn’t want them to eat of the tree, because He didn’t want humanity to ever know anything but good!
However the serpent in the garden attacked God's motives and character, insinuating that God was holding out on them. It's not true, it said... God is lying to you!
What was Satan doing? Getting Adam and Eve to doubt the goodness of God. It's the same thing he does with us today. When we doubt the goodness of God, it opens the door for Satan to attack us with all sorts of maladies. Yes, the devil has been trying to trick us into thinking that God is not good since the very beginning. He's been trying to get us to believe the lie that God is responsible for evil in the world, when in fact, God only created good.
So where does evil come from? It's the result of man using his free will to go against God and His ways and therefore, to side with the devil!
God is not behind your problem – He is behind your promise. Here is some really simple theology for you that will help you make sense of every situation...
God good... devil bad.
God is uniquely good and He only creates good. He is your good Father!
3. God Gives Only Good Things
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning” (James 1:17).
What is James saying? God gives only good and perfect things – always! He doesn’t vary from His M.O. So if it's not good... it's not God. Good things come from God, bad things come from Satan and man's sinful nature and actions.
God good...devil bad.
Photo credit: ©Getty Images/Rasica
4. God Only Does Good
I love David’s words in Psalm 119:68:
“You are good, and what You do is good; teach me Your decrees.”
Now that says it all! That’s so clear, you'd need a really messed up theologian to confuse that simple truth. And when you read such clear Scripture that the Lord is good... don’t you dare believe Satan's lie! Remember:
What was the good that Jesus went around doing? He was healing all who were oppressed by the devil. So healing is good, and it's from God. Oppression through sickness is NOT.
God good...devil bad.
Moreover, "doing good" is the Greek word euergeteō, which means to be philanthropic, or to give charitable assistance. In other words, Jesus went around healing and destroying poverty!
Poverty and lack is not a blessing; it’s part of the curse. God doesn’t delight in His children being poor. The Word says He delights in when we are prosperous!
“Let them shout for joy and be glad, Who favor my righteous cause; And let them say continually, ‘Let the Lord be magnified, Who has pleasure in the prosperity of His servant’” (Psalm 35:27).
Jesus, who was and is God manifest in the flesh, went about doing good – healing, destroying poverty, saving humanity from sin and hell, delivering the captives from bondage, and spreading joy.
This was the very mission of Jesus.
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord” (Luke 4:18-19).
God only does good things!
5. God Wants You to Have Good Things
“The Lord will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right” (Psalm 84:11).
Doesn't that motivate you to do what is right? When you do what is right, as God defines what is right, the promise is that you will experience the fullness of God’s goodness.
Unfortunately, many people stumble over their theology here. But understanding this principle is absolutely essential to overcome Satan's lie that God is not good. If we believe that God doesn't want us to have good things, if He withheld good things from us, we would naturally conclude that God was not good. But isn't that exactly what God warns against in Proverbs 3:27?
“Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, When it is in the power of your hand to do so.”
And I think it's safe to presume if God tell us not to "withhold good," that He won't either! Remember, He's a good Father. Does a good parent want their children to have good things? Emphatically, yes! And God wants us, His kids, to have good things immeasurably more.
“If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” (Matthew 7:11).
When you do what is right and put God first (in your time, talents and tithe), He will not withhold good things from you.
Photo credit: Pexels/Katii Bishop
6. God’s Will for You Is Only Good
People often wonder if something is God’s will or not for their lives. While determining God's will sometimes requires much time in prayer and seeking godly counsel, one thing is absolutely certain: If it ain’t good... it ain’t God’s will for you!
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:1-2).
- Is depression and anxiety good?
- Sickness and premature death?
- Poverty and lack?
- Smoking, drinking, drugs?
- Being abused, neglected or abandoned?
No, all of these are bad things... destructive to health, wealth, and happiness. So what then is God's good will? As used in Scripture, "good" means: pleasant, beautiful, excellent, rich, well, appropriate, beneficial, happy, honest, honorable, right, excellent, of good constitution, better, well, prosperous, fair, precious, fine, wealthy, favorable, agreeable to the senses, valuable, kind, ethical, bountiful...
God's will is pleasant, beneficial, prosperous, agreeable... it's only good: good plans and a good future.
“’I say this because I know what I am planning for you,’ says the Lord. ‘I have good plans for you, not plans to hurt you. I will give you hope and a good future’” (Jeremiah 29:11).
So if it ain’t good...it ain’t God’s will for you!
7. God Loves Causing Good for You
Lastly, one of Satan's big lies is that God is responsible for everything that happens in the world – all the tragedy, heartache, pain and problems – everything wrong in the world. It's all smoke and mirrors to get us to doubt the goodness of God. And it allows Satan to fly under the radar, as a thief and the unseen cause of all the evil and destruction experienced by mankind.
“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).
Now I realize bad things do sometimes happen to all of us. But just because it happens, doesn't make it God's will. And we can trust that He will bring good out of those bad things, because He is ultimately in control.
“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).
I believe that God loves to take the bad things that have happened to us in this fallen world and turn it around for our good. Not only does it demonstrate He is infinitely more powerful than Satan, but it proves that He is a good Father, and will come to our rescue when we cry out... Daddy, would You please fix this?!
Photo credit: ©Getty Images/FotoMaximum
Frank Santora is Lead Pastor of Faith Church, a multi-site church with locations in Connecticut and New York. Pastor Frank hosts a weekly television show, “Destined to Win,” which airs weekly on the Hillsong Channel and TBN. He has authored thirteen books, including the most recent, Modern Day Psalms and Finding Christ in Crisis: Lessons We Learned From Covid. To learn more about Pastor Frank and this ministry, please visit www.franksantora.cc. Photo by Michele Roman.