Summary: God sets the standard for GOODNESS ... He turns badness into GOODNESS. It’s God’s nature to be good. We can trust in the GOODNESS of God.
“Ain’t God Good!”
God is good … AMEN? I learned this from childhood.
1.- When I was just a child, my mother taught me a prayer to say at mealtime: “God is great, God is GOOD, let us thank Him for our food. By His hands we all are fed. Give us Lord, our daily bread. Amen.”
2.- We used to sing this chorus: “God is so good, God is so good, God is so good, He’s so good to me.”
We find the GOODNESS of God as a reoccurring theme in the Scriptures - Psalm 100:5 -
“For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.”
God HAS to be good … it’s His very nature to be good.
Because God is good:
o We receive pardon & forgiveness.
o He hears our prayers.
o We can experience fellowship with Him.
o We can trust in Him that whatever happens in our life is based on His goodness.
SOMETIMES, we don’t SEE the goodness of God … ESPECIALLY when something BAD happens to us. When we experience a heartache, a tragedy, a disappointment … it SEEMS like God isn’t GOOD. OTHERWISE, why would God allow this to happen to us … if God is GOOD? If God is GOOD, then why the tragedy of 9-11? If God is GOOD, then why did my Dad die of cancer? If God is GOOD, then why all the suffering, not only in the world, but in my life (you can name them)?
BUT … EVERYTHING that God does … is GOOD! When God created the world, He stopped and said “It is good.”.
Part of our problem is that we spend too much of our time COMPLAINING about the 10 BAD things … and not enough time REJOICING over the 1000 GOOD things. YES, 9-11 was a tragedy … BUT we could be living in Israel where it happens every day. YES, I lost my Dad to cancer, BUT I enjoyed 46 good years with him. YES, I have had heartaches & tragedies & disappointments in my life, BUT my GOOD GOD was there to see me through every one of them.
Let’s take a look at the GOODNESS OF GOD:
I. GOD SETS THE STANDARD FOR GOODNESS
How do you determine what is “good” … and what isn’t “good”? What is the STANDARD for “goodness”?
Matthew 19:16-17 – all turn
The Rich Young Ruler had everything money could buy … he was living the GOOD life. One day he comes to Jesus and asked him 19:16.
Jesus wants to teach him the STANDARD for “good” … 19:17a
The Rich Young Ruler didn’t know what “good” was. He thought it consisted of “good things”, “good circumstances”, “good feelings”. He even thought that being “good” would get him to Heaven (19:17b-20).
Anything that is GOOD, comes from God. If it’s not from God, it isn’t good. If something isn’t good, it didn’t come from God. It doesn’t matter how good it looks … how good it feels … how good it tastes … if it doesn’t come from God, it isn’t good. AND … if it isn’t good, it didn’t come from God.
BEETS didn’t come from God … BUT chocolate did! There will be no BEETS in Heaven! Adam & Eve had no BEETS in the Garden of Eden … they came after the fall of man … a result of the CURSE upon the earth! BEETS will be the main course in Hell … Heaven will be full of chocolate.
I’m being facetious, of course … because I’m allergic to BEETS … and I love chocolate. BUT … some of you are allergic to chocolate! The TRUTH is (as much as I hate to admit it) BEETS are GOOD for you. They even teach us a spiritual lesson here this morning.
GOODNESS IS NOT DETERMINED BY EXPERIENCE, BUT BY ITS SOURCE. I’ve had a bad EXPERIENCE with BEETS. But that doesn’t determine whether BEETS are GOOD or BAD. GOODNESS is determined by its SOURCE, not by EXPERIENCE. Chocolate tastes good … it makes me feel good … it makes me happy. BUT … chocolate isn’t good for me. EXPERIENCE is not the STANDARD for GOODNESS.
EXPERIENCE is not the STANDARD for GOODNESS. James 1:17 – “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”
Every GOOD thing has God as its source. God only produces that which is GOOD. We might USE IT for a BAD PURPOSE (marijuana, cocaine, alcohol) … BUT … GOODNESS is determined by its SOURCE, not by EXPERIENCE.
II. GOD TURNS BADNESS INTO GOODNESS
Somebody might say: “How can God be good when thousands were killed in 9-11. I can’t believe in a God who would allow that.”