Is God Good?

How do we know whether God is good or bad?

God is always good and only good.

A good starting point, and perhaps one of the most foundational principles of Christianity is the belief that God is good. That nothing bad can ever come from God.

I’ve found that many, possibly most people don’t believe that simple statement to be true. This blog and those to follow will challenge your perspective on the goodness of God and encourage you to believe Him for His best in your life.

If God is only good, then sickness, disease, pain, poverty, heartache, suffering and negative experiences in general don’t come from God. This is what people seem to struggle with, they are ok with God being good, but also being bad.

Nobody would think of it in that term “God being bad”, because they don’t associate Him giving somebody disease or poverty with Him being morally wrong.

Yet you have to think of it this way: you can’t give something you don’t have. Nobody that’s sane would say that sickness or suffering is good, therefore it must be bad. So to say that God would put sickness on somebody is to imply that He had something bad to give them.

That is a contradiction of this scripture:

James 1:17 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.

God doesn’t have anything bad to give.

He only has good and perfect gifts. It’s also worth noting that verse says God doesn’t change! If He’s giving out good and perfect gifts today - that’s what He’ll be giving tomorrow and next Tuesday as well. I’ve had many discussions with people that believe otherwise. They believe that God will alternate between good and bad, healing and sickness, prosperity and poverty.

From discussing these views with people over the years I have found a few common denominators as to why people believe this way about God.

The first and probably the most common objection to believing that God is always and only good is personal experience.

From the day we enter this world to the day we go into eternity we (and those around us) are experiencing a vast variety of situations in life. Often these experiences shape our lives and what we believe about ourselves, the world, and God.

Experiences aren’t to be totally discredited. In my own life I have seen many times where my personal experience in life has confirmed principles I live by that are based on God’s Word.

For example; the Bible in both the old and new testament has a lot to say about generosity and the blessings that come from it when it’s done God’s way. I’ve put God’s principle of generosity to work in my own life and I have seen time and again where I have been financially and materially blessed in proportion to what I’ve given.

Jesus advocated this principle:

Luke 6:38 Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.

There’s many more verses connected to being generous - but we’ll get to that another day.

The point is that experience in line with God’s Word is good; it’s a confirmation of what He has said He will do.

Yet in and of themselves - experiences can guide us into theological error if we aren’t careful. By careful I mean always shining the light of God’s Word onto any particular experience you or those around you might have.

A common example of experience leading into error is in regard to sickness.

Example: You know somebody that is a good christian (they go to church, pray, read the Bible, etc.) and they get sick. The sickness becomes fatal and leads to their death. You, and others, possibly the whole church prayed for this individual to get healthy but it didn’t happen.

Here is where people often begin to make assumptions. Because the person was known to be a good Christian, and much prayer was made for them to be healed and seemingly those prayers weren’t answered: we blame God. Or just as common - and just as fatal - is that we don’t blame God for it - but we have lost faith that God is only good.

Certainly if God was always good, and doesn’t put sickness on people, and always wants people to get healed, then that good Christian would have received a healing miracle.

Then we look for ways to justify this. We find scriptures and Christian sayings to do so: “the rain falls on the just and the unjust”, “the Lord gives and takes away”, “God’s ways are higher than ours”.

Rather than being firmly resolute in the belief of God’s goodness, we side we human nature - because we are more familiar with it.

You knew that person that got sick, you knew how kind and faithful they were. You saw that person, you touched them, shared experiences with them. Yet with God - though you believe in Him - you never touched Him or saw Him, you never had any physical experiences with Him.

You want to think that God is good and that He wouldn’t let something like this happen, but experience shows otherwise. A few experiences like this compounded in a person’s might cause somebody to question God.

Put together a few people that have had similar experiences, and they all agree: sometimes God gives, sometimes He takes. Sometimes God wants to heal, other times He doesn’t. God is a mystery.

Before you determine what you believe based on what you and those around you have experienced, you need search the scriptures to see what He has to say on the subject.

If you go to God’s Word with the perspective that He is only good, and only has good things to give, then you will easily see that God didn’t want that person to die of sickness.

God’s will was clearly and repeatedly shown through the life of His Son Jesus. Did Jesus ever put sickness on somebody? Did He ever tell somebody that it wasn’t God’s will for them to be healed. No. He didn’t. He actually said the opposite:

Matthew 8:2 And behold, a leper came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” 3 Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” Immediately his leprosy was cleansed.

However there were times when Jesus couldn’t heal everyone. Not wouldn’t but couldn’t heal everyone.

Mark 6:5 Now He could do no mighty work there, except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. 6 And He marveled because of their unbelief. Then He went about the villages in a circuit, teaching.

I think that one of the most important things that we can do with experiences is reflect on the earthly side of the equation.

If God is always good, always willing to heal, always giving good and perfect gifts: then the problem didn’t originate in heaven. It originated on earth.

Where on earth did the problem come from? That’s the question we should ask ourselves. There’s lots of possibilities: the devil, sin, doubt, the words we say, not applying God’s word, disregarding practical things, the list goes on. This is where we should look for the cause of the problem.

We’re imperfect people. It’s possible that we missed it somewhere.

God is perfect. It’s impossible for Him to miss it.

Before we put any blame on God. Before we accredit negative life experiences to Him. Before we say “It just wasn’t His will to heal.” let’s reflect on our own lives.

God is always good and only good. This simple truth is profound in its effect when accepted. It covers every area of life. Therefore it will be the underlying theme as I write about every area of life. We’ll see from God’s Word that He has good in store for every single one of us, every single time.

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