Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.
When Scripture says that God is good, it does not merely mean that He is acceptable or satisfactory; it means that He is excellent in every way. He is good in Himself. His character and His nature are of the highest quality and without flaw. There is no aspect of who He is or what He does that the word 'bad' can rightly be applied to. Conversely, the word 'good' is an apt description of His nature, actions, and character in every situation. God is good.
But not only is God good in His nature, His good nature also produces good works. Psalm 119:68 says, "You are good, and what you do is good..." His goodness goes beyond simply who He is and becomes a part of everything that He does. Nowhere is this truer than in God's dealings with humanity. Though we deserve His punishment, He offers us grace, mercy, and patience. He took our sin upon Himself, paid our debt, and bore our shame so that He could offer us forgiveness unfailing love. Psalm 34:8 says, "Taste and see that the Lord is good." I have tasted. I have seen, and now I testify that God is good!
Now you might be thinking, "God has not been good to me." "You don't know what happened to me when I was 5 years old." "You don't know what my first boyfriend did to me." or "You don't know what it's like to have no one in this world who cares about you." It is true that I do not know what you have been through, but Scripture tells us that we live in a sinful, broken world, and that because of this we all experience pain and suffering. But this world is not our home. God has promised to one day make a new world that isn't flawed in all the ways this one is. He has promised to wipe every tear away from our eyes and to put right all the things that sin has ruined.
Until then we continue to endure the pain this world has to offer but we do not suffer alone. Scripture commonly refers to God as a protector of His children. Psalm 61:3 compares God to a strong tower and a refuge from those who would harm us. Psalm 9:9 says that He is like a stronghold in the day of trouble. Psalm 36:7 likens Him to a mother hen shielding us from disaster by hiding us underneath His wings. Of course God does not shield us from everything, but don't make the mistake of equating God with the evil in this world. James 1:17 says that "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." Just because the world has gone bad does mean that God has. God is good even (and especially) when the world around us is not.
So how should we respond to God's goodness? The best and right responses are love, worship, and trust. Read some of the passages below on God's goodness and see if you feel any of these responses bubbling up in you.
For further reading...
- Romans 8:28-30- God works all things together for our good.
- John 10:1-18- The Good Shepherd.
- Mark 10:18- Only God is good.
- Hebrews 12:10- Even God's discipline is for our good.
- Matthew 7:11- God gives good gifts to His children.
- Psalm 84:11- He withholds no good thing from the blameless.