We live in an astonishing and amazing universe! When we look up at the sky at night we see it filled with stars. But many of those sparkly objects aren’t stars but entire galaxies! In fact, there are at least a hundred billion galaxies with something like a hundred billion stars each! There are black holes that can consume stars. Then there are stars that go super nova, exploding in an unimaginably huge amount of energy. Close to home, we look at the mountains, the oceans, all the diverse life around us, the life we have.
It’s amazing! Even a person who thinks it all came about on its own without God doing it is amazed. But those of us who live with the conviction that this all needed God to bring it into existence see it in an even more wonderful way! After it was all created the Biblical record states that “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.” (Genesis 1:31) God Himself declared everything that was made as good. One of the psalmists reflected the idea right back to God, declaring of God, “You are good, and what you do is good.” (Psalm 119:68a)
What does it mean for God to be good? Arthur W. Pink, in his classic book, The Attributes of God, writes, “The goodness of God is his inclination to deal well and bountifully with his creatures.” What this means is that God always has our ultimate best interest at heart! God is always good, never bad!
It seems to me that this attribute of God being good is one we often question more than many of His other attributes. There was the time Jesus’ disciples were in a boat crossing the lake with Jesus. Jesus was asleep in the boat when a terrible storm came up. The disciples, several who were seasoned fishermen and had experienced many a storm, were scared to death. They woke Jesus up, presumably because they knew He had the power to do something about the situation. They asked Him, after awakening Him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” (Mark 4:38) It doesn’t seem they doubted He could do something about the storm. What they doubted was whether He cared.
I know the goodness of God is something I’ve questioned. When our grandson Danny died, I realized I didn’t question that God had the power to heal Danny. I knew He could if He wanted to do so. I didn’t even question God’s wisdom in choosing to not heal him, as we all wanted Him to do. What I questioned most was God’s goodness! In my heart I didn’t feel as though God was being good to us! This feeling surprised me at the time, and still does. I know in my mind that God is good, but not always in my heart.
This is why it’s important to regularly affirm the fact that God is good. Occasionally in a gathering of Christ-followers the speaker or leader will start a back and forth dialogue. The person up front will say, “God is good,” and the people in the audience will reply, “All the time.” Then the person up front will respond, “All the time,” and the audience will reply, “God is good.” Yes, God is good, all the time, God is good!
Life isn’t always good. It’s a broken and sinful world, that’s for sure. Yet in the midst of all of that which is not good we can and should affirm, but God is good!
The psalmist in Psalm 34:8 gives us this invitation, “Taste and see that the Lord is good.”