In today’s episode, I am going to address the question, “Is God really good?” In a world where there seems to be so much evil going on, with heartache, sickness, insanity and more . . . what is God’s role in all this?
Feature Presentation: Is God Really Good?
In today’s episode, I want to address the question, “Is God really good?” This is a subject that stirs up a war within the hearts and minds of people. Even for many Christians, the phrase “God is good” can become a cliche, without a deep heart connection to what that means. The question is really, do we understand His goodness? This episode will challenge you. We can say “Amen” or say “Ouch”. Either way, I encourage you to listen through.
Isaiah 61:1-2 NKJV
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me,
Because the Lord has anointed Me
To preach good tidings to the poor
Good tidings: h1319. ḇâśar; to be fresh, i. e. full (rosy, (figuratively) cheerful); to announce (glad news):— messenger, preach, publish, shew forth, (bear, bring, carry, preach, good, tell good) tidings. to bear news, bear tidings, publish, preach, show forth ( Piel) to gladden with good news to bear news to announce ( salvation) as good news, preach ( Hithpael) to receive good news (From Strong’s Concordance)
Luke 4:18-19 NKJV
The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He has anointed Me
To preach the gospel to the poor
God’s Plan for Transformation:
Receiving Good News from a Good God
Whenever you hear the Gospel, there should be a hear of good news from a good God in there.
– Its sad that often the Gospel is given as a message of bad news from an angry God.
– This does not mean we ignore bad news, but the Gospel by its nature releases hope: good news of what is available to us.
Satan’s plan is for you to receive bad news from a God that appears to be everything but good.
– Satan wants you to think God is against you. (Not for you.)
– Satan wants you to think that God has abandoned you. (instead of being faithful)
– Satan wants to blame God for the pain and destruction in your life.
– Satan wants you to think that God is holding out on you.
Jesus’ ministry involved releasing good news from a good God.
– Because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor
Luke 18:18-19 NKJV 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.
– Jesus was pointing us to the source of all goodness = the Father.
James 1:17 NKJV 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.
Matthew 5:43-45 NKJV 43 “ You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. ’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
– That is how good God is!
Romans 2:4 – the goodness of God leads to repentance
The Foundation of God’s Goodness
We cannot walk a healthy and fruitful life if we are constantly questioning His goodness. It must become a solid foundation in our lives.
God’s goodness is tested by the enemy all day long. How? In out thoughts. He gives us a story to perceive life around us through a tainted lens that questions the validity of God’s goodness.
Classic Strategy: satan steals, kills and destroys. In the aftermath, he blames God in our thoughts. We then become accusers of God. You see this in our world. “If God is so loving and so good, then why . . . or how could He….?”
The Great War
We will never understand the goodness if we do not understand that we are at war:
– the war is not God against satan. The war is with satan against the people of God. (he that is in the world)
– Satan challenged God’s goodness in the garden and he is doing it today . . .
One of the great wars in our generations and the generations to come will be on whether or not God is good.
How is God’s goodness manifest the most? Through His children who will show the ways of Father and His goodness.
The Father’s goodness is not understood mostly because of people who have misrepresented Him.
Why People Struggle With God’s Goodness:
1. People have misrepresented God to us.
– God’s ideal is that His nature would be shown through people.
2. Tragedy took place.
– sickness came in
– loss of a loved one
3. We have been trained to serve a God who is very angry.
– He was not shown as a loving Father who deeply cares, but a angry God to run from; who will crush us at any opportunity.
4. We think goodness from God means He will only leads us into comfort.
– God’s number one concern is not our comfort.
5. We expect God to just drop everything on us, with little contending or battle engagement of our own.
– Very passive Christian perspective.
– If Its God will, He will just do it.
– You didn’t get healed . . .
– Breakthrough did not happen . . .
– The marriage fell apart . . .
Without a Revelation of the Goodness of God:
1. We will not see the battleground clearly.
The church in many countries has forgotten the war that exists.
Book Recommendation: God at War by Gregory A. Boyd
Amazing Theology = God is Good. The devil is bad.
Much of what we see in life can be explained by those two sentences.
John 10:10 NKJV 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.
2. We will think that God passively “allows” evil.
We begin to think that God is OK with murders, rape, destruction and tragedy . . .
We need to understand our positioned authority as the church.
Psalms 115:16 NKJV The heaven, even the heavens, are the Lord’s; But the earth He has given to the children of men.
Instead of asking, “How could God allow” we need to ask, “How could we allow this kind of action to take place?”
We are the representation of God’s goodness in the land.
What are you doing to demonstrate the goodness of God in the land?
When there is tragedy, are you a voice and presence in the land to manifest God’s goodness?
3. We begin to think that God did this evil.
– We carry an Old Testament lens on God, not realizing who the Father is in His goodness.
James 1:13 NKJV Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone.
So if God does not use evil to tempt us, why would we think God is the author of evil?
In our pain, we look for answers . . . we look for someone to blame . . . something to pin it on . . . instead of getting mad at sin and the enemy . . . and saddened over the unbelief of people, we blame God and develop an anger towards Him. “How could You!?”
Isaiah 5:20 NKJV
Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness;
Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
– satan flips the tables on what he has done in the land. And God gets blamed for all calamity on this planet . . . as “acts of God”. . .
4. We think God puts sickness & insanity on us.
– In our lack of seeing breakthrough, we think, “This must be God’s will for us.”
– Why would God put sickness on you and then write in His word He wants to heal you? That is a sick relationship…
– Then why go to a doctor?
Low Level Spirituality:
When we don’t understand the goodness of God, we lose a grid for the healing and miraculous power of God, so we begin to develop a low-level theology in our expectation of what He can do.
1. We settle only for a salvation, get me to heaven kind of Christian life.
– We live out of the Staples “easy” button. Get me out of here.
– Things are getting worse – we wait for the end to come, instead of being exited about our time to shine.
2. We lose our ability to contend and overcome.
– contend: fight for what the Word says but is not manifesting yet
– overcome: to keep a fighting heart to defeat what is not of God in our lives and stay the course.
3. We lose the sense that God wants to heal us.
– so we lose our spiritual passion
– why draw near to a God who is making you sick and crazy?
4. We think He gives us sickness.
– this is our suffering for Jesus . . ..
– cross to bear
5. So we simply stay in the shallow end of spirituality.
– We just work on trying to be nice people.
– No overcoming heart. No sense of breakthrough. No desire to contend.
– No generational heart for breakthrough.
– No desire to work on the sinful patterns in our families.
– We become content with religious activity and “being good people.”
Transformational Living Begins with God’s Goodness
1. The nature of God can be seen in the life of Jesus.
Colossians 2:9 NKJVS For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily
2. Jesus healed every disease He came into contact with.
Acts 10:38 NKJVS how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.
3. Satan will always accuse God of not being good.
Especially during tragedy, sickness and destruction.
4. Its up to believers to demonstrate the goodness of God.
Question: In what way do you need an understanding of God’s goodness restored in your heart? In what way can you show the goodness of God in the land?