“…our God is in the heavens: [H]e hath done whatsoever [H]e hath pleased.” (Psalm 115:3)
“…Whatsoever the Lord pleased, that did [H]e in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places.” (Psalm) 135:6)
“Thou art good and doeth good; teach me [T]hy statutes.” (Psalm 119:68)
As many of you know I ad a bout of Pancreatitis for the last week. I received many prayers and well wishes on Face Book. The one common theme many had was the goodness of God, “God is good” they would say. I responded to one brother that the goodness of God is a truth that one could spend a lifetime preaching. One would never run out of examples and one could never exhaust the Scriptures on the subject.
There is another truth that must not ever be separated from the goodness of God. It is a truth that will glorify God’s goodness just as God’s goodness will glorify this truth. There are many Scriptural teachings that cannot be separated from another such as repentance and belief; justification and sanctification; The Holy Spirit and the call to Christ; The Crucifixion and the resurrection; the Trinity and the (3) distinct Person that the Trinity consists of; the law and grace; the sinner and hopelessness; the saint and joy and many more.
The truth that must be ever partnered with the goodness of God is the sovereignty of God. To deny either of these when speaking upon the other is presenting only half a truth in fact it steals glory from the teaching you are presenting! For example, returning to the prior paragraph, to preach justification without sanctification is to leave out the purpose of justification or the great doctrine of salvation altogether as we have been saved to be Christlike and that occurs through sanctification. To present sanctification without justification is a works salvation wrought in legalism and there is no salvation therein. To separate the Holy Spirit from the call to Christ is a human centric concept and that salvation is impossible. To separate any of the teachings above from their twin diminishes from the Scriptures purposes.
To restate my position…one cannot separate the goodness of God from the sovereignty of God. To do so diminishes the truth of both. Let me demonstrate. We all like to think we are good and if in Christ we are but we are not all powerful. This means that when we see someone suffer we feel with them, we hurt with them, we even weep with them but to bring healing to the sufferer, we cannot for we are not too weak to bring healing we impotent that is to say powerless. [on a side note…it is my hope and belief that though we are unable to do all that we would like to do for others it is still accredited to us in Heaven after all if a man looks…he hath committed it in his heart. What about when we look with desire to help? shouldn’t that be laid up amongst our treasures?] Now let us consider a king who has “supreme” power in his puny nation. He may have great power to do much good for his people but chooses not. Then there is the puppet king, he may long to help his people and to do good but any real power evades him.
In the previous paragraph we fell our impotency to heal the infirm and we looked at a king with great power but no goodness. We also saw a king that had goodness but no power for he was a puppet of another. No one would be happy in either kingdom. No one would celebrate either king’s reign lest forced to like North Korea…power but no goodness. Syria is another example of power but no goodness. Praise be to God that in America there is still power and goodness.
Now onto the best part!!!
Our God is all Good, through and through for there is no darkness in Him. Our God doeth good always…always regardless of our perceptions. God was Good in allowing my pancreatitis and the pain. It gives me a mi-nute, very, very finite in sight to the suffering of my Lord at Calvary. This is how my daughter looked at her time in the hospital for appendicitis sometime ago. In sickness and in extreme pain we get just a tiny understanding of Calvary. In our time of pain let us “suffer with [H]im that we might reign with [H]im..” Let us “[G]lory in our infirmities.” Let us pull upon is strength when we are weakened. God is so Good all the time. Our Great God is not only Good all the time, He is Omnipotent…Supreme in Power…Almighty……..SOVEREIGN in all things and in all ways. There is no impotency in God. There is nothing that hinders God nor is there anything that can hinder God. There is nothing that stays God’s Hand or can stay His Hand. There is nothing or no one that can say to God, “You can come thus far but no farther.” There is none that can thwart God’s plans or purposes none; no, not one.
Our God protects this planet from the effects of chaos in space. God second by second restrains the elements that greatly mar the other planets. This is because He is good and He is sovereign. God restrains the enemies of darkness from raging upon us at every moment because He is good and He is sovereign, these evil agents or powers of darkness fear His every Word for He is Sovereign and He is their enemy!
My Lord, my God has been and is so very good to me. I truly believe I’m His very favourite. That is how he treats me. I remember Br. Richard Sandlin saying that it is the wise father that causes all his children to think they’re the favourite. God is Wisdom. My Lord has never let me down nor has He ever ignored me. I am able to point to answered prayer after answered prayer…big life altering prayers. While practicing His Presence I made the off hand remark that i’d like to see a hawk. A little while later, on a walk sure enough there is a hawk! The skeptic would say that hawks are not a rarity. However, this hawk flew in a circle over my head (3) three times!!! He that hath an ear will understand that. When thinking of my Big Momma (G-Ma on mother’s side) I’d ask Him for a cardinal as she loved cardinals and before long there is a cardinal on my deck within (10) ten feet of me.
Along side God’s Omnipotence is God’s Omniscience and Omnipresence. Omniscience = All knowing and Omnipresence = Present everywhere. These may seem like big theological words that belong in a seminary or college but they are not. When all three are combined into one teaching this is what one learns …..God is everywhere at all times, nothing is unknown to Him or hidden from Him and He is all powerful to act as He pleases. That is a truly awesome God and we are told, in Scripture, that He is for us and know one can stand against us and With Him inside of me; behind me; in front of me; over me; under me; beside me; and all around me I believe Him!
Yes, beloved, God is Good; God is Sovereign; God Knows and God is very Present. This is the mental recipe for comfort and confidence.