BY PASTOR T. O. BANSO
“Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him!” (Psalm 34:8 NKJV).
In Hebrew, the adjective “good” in that scripture is towb (tobe). It means good in the widest sense. It also means good, pleasant, and agreeable. The Lord is good, and His goodness covers the widest scope!
The Lord is good all the time and in spite of any situation. The Lord is good whether good things are happening or not. The Lord is intrinsically, inherently good. His goodness is constant, no matter the variables we experience. What we experience or not can’t invalidate the goodness of the Lord.
Your present condition may or may not be good, but the Lord is good. Don’t, because of your negative condition, query or doubt that the Lord is good.
The Lord is good in nature and actions, though, truly, we may not understand why He does certain things or allows certain things to happen. Whether we understand it or not, the Lord is good. Elihu, the youngest of Job’s comforters, said, “Far be it from God to do wickedness, and from the Almighty to commit iniquity” (Job 34:10 NKJV).
However, it is easier for human beings to say, “The Lord is good” when things are going well. When we face certain challenges, some tend to begin to consider, or even believe, the lie of the devil that the Lord is not good. If the Lord is good, why am I like this?
Job’s wife told him to curse God and die (Job 2:9). She might have said that, wondering why a good God would allow a righteous man to experience evil. Job rebuked his wife for speaking as one of the foolish women (verse 10). He didn’t curse God. Job might not have understood what was going on; however, he couldn’t challenge the truth that the Lord is good. Therefore, he said, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him” (Job 13:15a NKJV).
Jesus also pointed out the truth about God’s goodness in Matthew 19:17: “Now behold, one came and said to Him, ‘Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?’ So He said to him, ‘Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God’” (NKJV).
The Greek word translated “good” in the phrase “No one is good but One, that is, God” is agathos, which, in general, denotes “excelling in any respect, distinguished, good.”
Jesus’ statement, in Matthew 19:17, should not be misinterpreted to mean that he was (or is) not good. Jesus was only humble as the Son of man. He was only giving honour to His Father. If God is good, as Jesus said, Jesus is good, too, because Jesus himself said in John 10:38, “The Father is in Me, and I in Him” (NKJV). In John 14:11, he said it the other way: “I am in the Father and the Father in Me” (NKJV). He was saying the same thing. Earlier in John 10:30, He had said that He and His Father were the same. Therefore, Jesus is good.
7 Things to know about the Lord’s goodness
1. The goodness of the Lord is great and endures continually. David says in Psalm 31:19a, “How great is the goodness you have stored up for those who fear you” (NLT). That means His goodness is abundant. We see the goodness of the Lord in human beings, whom He created in His own image and in nature generally. Psalm 33:5b says, “The earth is full of the goodness of the LORD” (NKJV). That is why if you look everywhere, you’ll see the goodness of the Lord. David says again in Psalm 52:1, “The goodness of God endures continually” (NKJV). His goodness will continue forever.
2. The Lord is good to everyone. According to Psalm 145:9, “The LORD is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works” (NKJV). Because the Lord is good to everyone, He shows His mercies to all His works, Christians and non-Christians, the righteous and the unrighteous. Jesus says, “He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matthew 5:45 NKJV).
Sinners are not destroyed immediately because the Lord is good. That is why the wicked people that many have been calling down fire and thunder to kill are not dead yet! The Lord is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9b). Psalm 25:8a says, “The Lord is good and does what is right; he shows the proper path to those who go astray” (NLT).
The mercy the Lord shows to everyone is because He is good and His mercy is everlasting. The mercy of the Lord flows out of His goodness. Psalm 100:5 says, “For the LORD is good; His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations” (NKJV). Many other scriptures also testify that His mercy endures forever (1 Chronicles 16:34, 41; 2 Chronicles 5:13; 7:3; Ezra 3:11; Psalm 118:1-4, 29; Psalm 136; Psalm 138:8; Jeremiah 33:11).
God’s mercy tempers His justice, giving the sinner more time to repent. Ultimately, the Lord will judge sinners. Malachi says of the people of Jerusalem, “You have wearied the Lord with your words. ‘How have we wearied him?’ you ask. You have wearied him by saying that all who do evil are good in the Lord’s sight, and he is pleased with them. You have wearied him by asking, ‘Where is the God of justice?’”(Malachi 2:17 NLT). Their suggestion was wrong. The God of justice won’t favour sinners. He’s only giving sinners more time to repent because of His mercy. Ultimately, He’ll judge unrepentant sinners. No sinner should abuse the mercy of God.
3. The Lord is good to everyone with a pure or clean heart. In addition to the general goodness of God, there is the special goodness of God to those with a pure heart. Psalm 73:1 says, “Truly God is good to Israel, to those whose hearts are pure” (NLT). This scripture shows that God rewards people with pure, undefiled hearts, with His goodness. He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him (Hebrews 11:6).
The good Lord rewards those with a pure heart. This serves as an incentive for them to continue to walk upright before him. His words do good to anyone who walks uprightly (Micah 2:7b).
4. Because the Lord is good, He’ll protect, in the day of trouble, those who trust in Him. Nahum 1:7 says, “The LORD is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and He knows those who trust in Him” (NKJV). In the day of trouble, the goodness of the Lord shall protect from evil those who trust in the Lord. He’ll be their strong refuge.
God is kind, but He is also a consuming fire (Deuteronomy 4:24, 9:3; Hebrews 12:29). Those who enjoy God’s goodness must never abuse it because of the severity of God. Romans 11:21-23 says, “For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either. Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off” (NKJV). Please take note of that – the goodness of God and the severity of God.
Because the Lord is good, He ensures that the enemies don’t destroy His children. His goodness gives His children deliverance. It provides them a way of escape. David said, “Do not let me fall into their hands. For they accuse me of things I’ve never done; with every breath they threaten me with violence. Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living” (Psalm 27:12-13 NLT).
In whatever condition you find yourself, never forget that the Lord is good. If you trust in the Lord, He’ll surround you with mercy. “Many sorrows shall be to the wicked; but he who trusts in the LORD, mercy shall surround him” (Psalm 32:10 NKJV).
5. The goodness of the Lord brings restoration. Psalm 126:1 says, “When the Lord brought back his exiles to Jerusalem, it was like a dream!” (NLT). Whatever you’ve lost, the goodness of the Lord can restore it to you. Just have faith in the Lord and faithfully follow Him.
Jeremiah 33:10-11 prophesied restoration in the cities of Judah and the desolate streets of Jerusalem. Verse 11 says there would be the voice of those who would say, “Praise the LORD of hosts, for the LORD is good, for His mercy endures forever” (NKJV). The prophecy was fulfilled. The Lord’s goodness shall bring you restoration.
6. Those who patiently wait for the Lord will enjoy His goodness. Lamentation 3:25-26 says, “The LORD is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him. It is good that one should hope and wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD” (NKJV). You must avoid the temptation of being impatient, especially when you’re trusting God to deliver you from negative conditions. When you’re in the ‘waiting room’ of God, wait patiently! “Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord” (Psalm 27:14 NLT).
The devil will lie to you that God is not good. He’ll tell you that if God is good, He would not allow you to experience what you’re going through. You must silence the devil and tell him that though He slays you, yet you’ll trust Him (Job 13:15). You should tell the devil that if a tree is cut down, there is hope that it will sprout again and grow new branches (Job 14:7). You should shut the devil’s mouth by declaring that your Redeemer lives (Job 19:25).
You must refuse to be impatient. Follow those who through faith and patience inherit the promises (Hebrews 6:12). Psalm 37:34a says, “Don’t be impatient for the Lord to act!” (TLB).
7. Because the Lord is good, you should praise His name and thank him. Psalm 135:3 says, “Praise the LORD, for the LORD is good; sing praises to His name, for it is pleasant” (NKJV). How are we to praise His name? Psalm 33:2-3 says, “Praise the LORD with the harp; make melody to Him with an instrument of ten strings. Sing to Him a new song; play skillfully with a shout of joy” (NKJV). Dance to praise Him and praise Him; use any musical instrument you know how to use (Psalm 149:3). “Praise the LORD! Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever” (Psalm 106:1 NKJV). So many other scriptures, especially in the book of psalms, talk about giving praise to the LORD.
Only the living can praise the Lord. Therefore, praise the Lord while you’re still alive. “The dead do not praise the LORD, nor any who go down into silence. But we will bless the LORD from this time forth and forevermore. Praise the LORD!” (Psalm 115:17-18 NKJV). Praise the Lord because He is good.
Four times in Psalm 107, the writer says, “Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness” (verses 8a, 15a, 21a & 31a NKJV). You should thank the Lord for His goodness. Verse 1 of Psalm 107 says, “Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever” (NKJV).
Conclusion: No matter what you’re going through, always remember that the Lord is good, and He’ll not abandon you. If you ask Job after all the trials he went through, he will tell you, “The Lord is good.” The last seven verses of the book of Job, Job 42:10-17, confirm the Lord’s goodness to Job. The LORD restored his fortunes. He blessed his latter days more than his beginning.
What you’re going through is not the last chapter of your life. The last chapter will record your breakthrough, your turnaround, your victory, your testimony, and your new song in Jesus’ name.
If Job’s story had not ended in his restoration, it would still not have diminished or nullified the goodness of God. The Lord is good, not because good things are happening to us. He is good by His nature and is good always.
We live in an imperfect world, full of difficulties that God’s children are not entirely exempted from. We must not use what we see around or experience to measure the goodness of God. Worship the Lord for who He is, and not only because of the benefits you derive from worshipping Him. No matter what, never doubt that the Lord is good.
Never doubt His love for you because of the challenges of life. “Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death?” (Romans 8:35 NLT). No. Even when you don’t understand why certain unpleasant things happen, acknowledge that the Lord is good.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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