God is good. Really, really good. All the time. Really.
I wrote a post a few days ago about some of the things I know to be true. The fact that I am absolutely convinced of God’s unchanging goodness probably should have been at the top of the list. I know it like I know my name. I know that I know that I know–God is good. I don’t know that there is anything that could ever convince me otherwise …
Because I’ve experienced His goodness for myself.
When your heart has been undone by mercy — when you’ve gazed into the most penetratingly beautiful eyes in existence and and found nothing but acceptance and love — when you’ve been amazed by His faithfulness, astounded by His kindness, and awestruck by His glory — well, it is pretty hard to conceive that God could ever be anything other than exactly what He is — always good.
But I also know that not everyone is convinced of God’s goodness–and that makes me very, very sad.
I saw a picture a week or so ago that gripped my heart. I can’t even remember what series of mouse clicks led me to that particular picture because it was on the type of argument-inducing site I typically try to avoid. It was a picture of three little boys — from somewhere in Africa — who were clearly starving. The picture was hard enough to look at, but what made it even more heartbreaking was the caption:
“Try telling them God is always good.”
Quite the accusation. I’m sure the person who created the meme felt they had made a compelling and effective case against God. However the problem, of course, isn’t God …
God is always good–but man is not.
In Genesis 1 God gave us stewardship over the Earth. He’s never taken it back. As Creator, He created enough — enough natural resources, enough time, enough wisdom — enough of everything. On top of that, in Jesus, we have supernatural resources. God hard-wired us with some pretty amazing creativity and resourcefulness — so even our natural accomplishments can be quite remarkable — but we don’t have to stop at natural accomplishments. On this side of the cross, we can live supernaturally by accessing the very same power that raised Jesus from the dead. Jesus not only overcame all sin and sickness, He actually defeated death itself. And we are co-heirs with Christ. Talk about having everything we need!
So what’s the problem? Why is there still such lack in so many places? Why is there so much turmoil? Why is there so much sickness and disease? Why is there such depravity? Why is there so much darkness?
I think that maybe, just maybe, our collective long-term unbelief has a little bit of something to do with it?
Instead of accusing God by wringing our hands in hopelessness over the state of the earth and wondering how He could have possibly let this happen, maybe we should step back and ask some better questions:
What am I doing about it?
What are you doing about it?
What are we, the Church, doing about it?
What do we already know God wants? What has He promised? How can we partner with Him in what He’s already promised to do?
Everyone doesn’t know God’s goodness because we haven’t shown everyone His goodness. I can’t do that alone. You can’t do that alone. But we — the collective we, the Church — can and should.
I’ll be honest, I have no idea why God reveals Himself to certain people in certain ways and why He doesn’t reveal Himself to others in similar ways. I don’t know why some people seem to have endless opportunities to experience His love and others seem to have precious few, if any. But I do know His love is for ALL. I do know that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. And I do know that those who seek Him will find Him.
I don’t know how. I don’t know when. I don’t know where. I just know they will.
Because I know He wants to be found.
I also know that life on “this side” isn’t the end of the story. Not even close. And in the end, no one will accuse God of injustice. No one.
Righteousness and justice are the very foundation of His throne. My sense of justice will never, ever be higher than His. My goodness will never, ever be greater than His. My mercy will never, ever be deeper than His.
But when I abide in Him–it can be the same as His.
And that is what the world needs … a Church that abides in Jesus. A Church that looks like Jesus. A Church that acts like Jesus.
A Church that loves like Jesus.
Because He is good … all the time.