For the month of November’s, there is a group of bloggers who are all writing posts on November about what they are thankful for. I have been contemplating what I should write on for the past couple of weeks. How does one narrow down to four posts what they are most thankful for? It was a daunting task to consider!
Of course I am thankful for God, and for all that He has given me. But that seemed so simplistic to just write that. It’s like something my four year old would say. My mind kept running to the printables I had just made for our family to use for family devotions. I kept remembering the verses that I had written that centered on four of God’s attributes. So I thought that each week, I would meditate and reflect on one of those attributes and how I can apply that attribute in my own life. The first verse contained two attributes of God, but this week we will only discuss the first attribute.
Normally, when I think of God being good, I think, “Oh, yes, He is so good to me! I have a comfortable house. He has blessed me with a wonderful husband and five healthy children. I have food in my pantry, gas in my cars, and money in the bank!”
But that is not why God is good! Because not everybody could say what I just said. Some people are going through terrible trials right now. Their marriage is falling apart. They have not been able to have children. They have experienced the loss of a child. They are bankrupt. Some people are literally starving to death. And many are being persecuted for their faith.
Yet God is still good! It is His nature to be good. It is who He is.
Here is what Corrie Ten Boom once said:
Often I have heard people say, “How good God is! We prayed that it would not rain for our church picnic, and look at the lovely weather!” Yes, God is good when He sends good weather. But God was also good when He allowed my sister, Betsie, to starve to death before my eyes in a German concentration camp. I remember one occasion when I was very discouraged there. Everything around us was dark, and there was darkness in my heart. I remember telling Betsie that I thought God had forgotten us. “No, Corrie,” said Betsie, “He has not forgotten us. Remember His Word: “For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His steadfast love toward those who fear Him.” Corrie concludes, “There is an ocean of God’s love available – there is plenty for everyone. May God grant you never to doubt that victorious love – whatever the circumstances.” Corrie Ten Boom Corrie Ten Boom Museum
This is hard to understand with the finite mind. In fact, many will not believe there is a God; or if they do believe there is a God, they reject Him. My husband was like that for years! He went to church with an aunt as a child. He heard that if you prayed, God would answer your prayers. So he prayed! He prayed that his dad would not drink. He prayed that his mom and dad would get along. God did not answer those prayers at that time.. So he turned from God until He was 22 years old when he was given a Gideon’s Bible on a public college campus. From that Bible, he read the verses:
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” Matthew 11:28-29
Boy, did he want rest! He was tired of looking for answers in this world and finding no relief! So he turned to God and trusted in Him to save Him from his sin.
And that is biggest reason that God is good! Only a good God would send His Son to die for sinful mankind! It is proof that God is good.
“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 8:28
The other part I don’t totally understand is the true meaning of the goodness of God. You see, as humans, we rate our goodness in comparison to others. We think things like, “Well, I’m good–I pay my bills; I don’t cheat on my spouse; I take care of my kids; I haven’t killed anyone!” Yet the Bible says that there is no one that is good! Jesus Himself said to the rich young ruler in Matthew 19 that “there is none good but one, that is, God:”
What I can not fully comprehend is that God is infinitely and unchangeably good (Zephaniah 3:17). He is never “bad,” and every human in comparison to His goodness is so wretched! There is no way we can measure up. Yet He loves us, and He expresses His love toward us in active goodness. I thought this was a great chart that shows how God expresses His love, His “active goodness” towards us:
When I consider that He bestows upon me His benevolence, His grace, His longsuffering, His mercy, how could I not be thankful! I am so thankful that God is good–to me!
Yet sometimes I am not thankful. Why am I not thankful at all times? Why do I not praise Him always?
Because I get used to His goodness. It’s just what I’ve come to expect. In fact, often I complain about trivial things. That I will have to take all 5 kids to the doctor’s office, rearranging babysitting and getting kids early from school while cutting short a child’s nap. But in the light of God’s goodness, it doesn’t matter! This is a lengthy quote with a little bit of older English, but I still enjoyed it when thinking of how I get used to the goodness of God:
“O that men would praise the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men” (Ps. 107:8). Gratitude is the return justly required from the objects of His beneficence; yet is it often withheld from our great Benefactor simply because His goodness is so constant and so abundant. It is lightly esteemed because it is exercised toward us in the common course of events. It is not felt because we daily experience it. “Despisest thou the riches of His goodness?” (Rom. 2:4). His goodness is “despised” when it is not improved as a means to lead men to repentance, but, on the contrary, serves to harden them from the supposition that God entirely overlooks their sin.
The goodness of God is the life of the believer’s trust. It is this excellency in God which most appeals to our hearts. Because His goodness endureth forever, we ought never to be discouraged: “The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble, and He knoweth them that trust in Him” (Nahum 1:7).
When others behave badly to us, it should only stir us up the more heartily to give thanks unto the Lord, because He is good; and when we ourselves are conscious that we are far from being good, we should only the more reverently bless Him that He is good. We must never tolerate an instant’s unbelief as to the goodness of the Lord; whatever else may be questioned, this is absolutely certain, that Jehovah is good; His dispensations may vary, but His nature is always the same. (C. H. Spurgeon). The Attributes of God by A.W. Pink 11. The Goodness of God
So this week, I’m going to reflect on the goodness of God–that God is good all the time! That deserves my praise! I am thankful for His goodness!
God doesn’t owe us anything- yet in His grace, He still gives us good things. – Billy Graham
Some more inspirational thoughts about the goodness of God:
Yes, God is good—in earth and sky,
From ocean depths and spreading wood,
Ten thousand voices seem to cry:
God made us all, and God is good.
The sun that keeps his trackless way
And downward pours his golden flood,
Night’s sparkling hosts, all seem to say,
In accents clear, that God is good.
Yes, God is good, all nature says,
By God’s own hand with speech endued;
And man, in louder notes of praise,
Should sing for joy that God is good.
For all Thy gifts we bless Thee, Lord,
But chiefly for our heavenly food;
Thy pardoning grace, Thy quickening word,
These prompt our song, that God is good.
by John Hampden Gurney
“Whenever you feel tempted to ask God, ‘Why did you do this to me?’ look at the cross and ask, ‘Why did you do that for me?’” (p. 92)–90 Days of God’s Goodness by Randy Alcorn
Some verses on the goodness of God:
- Psalms 145:9–The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.
- Psalms 86:5–For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.
- Psalm 100:5–For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.
- Psalm 34:8–O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.
- Psalm 84:11–For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.
- Lamentations 3:25–The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him.
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