God Is Good, A Stronghold In The Day of Trouble

By: Tia Johnson 0 Comments   1/20/2012

The earth is full of God's goodness, said the psalmist. Yet the earth is also resplendent with evil. Ecclesiastes 9:3 says that the hearts of men are full of evil.

How can good and evil coexist?

They don't coexist, at least not without conflict. That is why we often do evil when we want to do good. It's why we fight with those we love and mishandle our finances. Good and evil do not get along and they don't compromise. Good is never partially good, and evil is never partially evil. (see Isaiah 5:20)

So when God says He is good as He did before Moses, "abounding in goodness and truth...", He is not just partially good. He is GOOD! There is no evil in God at all. Of this world, Jesus even said, "No one is good but One, that is, God."

This polarization of good and evil helps us understand God's perspective on our world. In Isaiah God says, "I will punish the world for its evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; I will halt the arrogance of the proud, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible." Yet amid all this, God's plans, as said in Jeremiah 29:11, are for peace to reign, not evil.

According to Nahum 1:7, God is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble in our evil world. God is our refuge, our strength. In Him is found all that is good- peace, love and joy. Even attributes of God that appear to be frightening- like justice and truth- are necessary attributes of His goodness. God could not be all-good without them. All that we need and all that we cling to is found in Him!

In the same way, all that is truly good originates from Him! James 1:17 says, "Every good 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 is strong and trustworthy. He will not waver. At times this conflicts with our immoral thinking, yet God's unwavering character is absolutely necessary! Every good gift is from above. The pure good that springs out of our weak vessels are evidence of Him working in us and of His existence!

Because evil is spread across our globe, the temptation exists to pursue that which appears good, but is actually like an Oreo cookie without any filling. Time and energy is squandered on them without yielding real satisfaction. Eternal satisfaction lies in glorifying God with the goodness He bestows: caring for others, praying over needs, sending a meal, "paying it forward" at the checkout line, giving, giving, and giving. As C.S. Lewis wrote in Mere Christianity, "Good and evil both increase at compound interest. That is why the little decisions you and I make every day are of such infinite importance."

More than a year ago, the hosts of the radio program Garage Logic asked callers to comment on the story about a boy who gunned down people and later smiled at the media. Some said he must have been mentally ill-- how else could he smile after committing such evil? Often this society places acts of evil in the mental illness file. So then acts of superior good should also be classified as a mental illness, right? Yet Mother Theresa was never sent to the mental ward.

This boy and Mother Theresa likely didn't decide at the age of 4, "I'm going to be a murderer," or, "I'm going to help thousands through suffering." The little things they did each day reflected their heart- where it was and in what direction it was going.

So will we be agents of good or evil?

One of the most fascinating things about God's goodness is that it always trumps evil. When evil causes pain and sorrow, God can turn that pain and sorrow into a marvelous testimony. We are never without hope when we turn to Him.

God is patient with us, for only He is good. Scripture says that God's goodness teaches sinners in the way (Ps. 25:8). It also leads sinners to repentance (Romans 2:4).

God's goodness was made alive in the babe Jesus Christ, who would later suffer through the evils you and I face today-- even a murderous death. God knows that the battle continues to rage amidst us between good and evil. Yet we also know the Victor. Maybe that's why Jesus' example of prayer includes, "deliver us from the evil one, for Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever."

"To this John replied, "A man can receive only what is given him from heaven." - John 3:27


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