Romans 8:27-28 (NLT)
And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will. And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.
God is good. He is always good. There is nothing bad in the Lord or all of His Creation. Wrap your head around that for a minute. Now that you think you know – you really don’t. I find that the more I “know” the Goodness of God that the less I understand it. No I have not lost my mind. Yes I am a little bit crazy but that has nothing to do with what I am sharing with you today. I cannot explain it so all I can do is point to it. “God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His Purpose for them.” How in the world I ended up here in the midst of revelation is beyond me. The challenges of the last three years especially the last several months have called everything I believe to be thoroughly evaluated almost to the breaking point. Each time I come to the end of myself, I find more and more that God is good. Even though things have not turned out as I planned or even thought they should because of my relationship with God through Jesus Christ, I sit here and bask in the Goodness of God thinking how is it even possible? Those who have walked through the fire found that they were never alone. Those who have struggled in the deep find that they are always rescued. Those who are broken experience the joy that comes from mourning and the mercy that comes each morning. Peace surrounds them in the midst of adversity when the world watches on with pity sure that they will not make it another day. I don’t understand it, but God is good!
Gen 1:31 (NLT)
Then God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was very good! And evening passed and morning came, marking the sixth day.
God rested on the seventh day after inspecting all of His Work and determining that it was complete, as well as good! (Genesis 2:1-4) From beginning to end, God knew the end from the beginning. I don’t get it either except that there must have been a reason for the bad things that happen to God’s People or it would not been accepted in His Plan. The Lord has promised that He is working every detail of our life together for His Good. His Good is complete. It lacks nothing.
When our son was first diagnosed with cancer in 2011, we settled into the routine of treatment to save his life from the horrible disease. I was separated from my husband, children, family, friends and even the church. Thrust into an unknown world of uncertainty, my inclination was to reach out to the Lord. I felt all alone. I felt compelled to remind God that I loved Him. I trusted Him no matter what. So why all of this? People challenged me to find a “life” verse to hold on to so I began researching healing and life verses in the Word of God. I also am a firm believer that if you can find it in the Word of God that it belongs to you. After a couple weeks of nothing, I found Romans 8:28. I stumbled over it looking up something else but as I read it I knew this would be it. I had no idea at that point how long and tedious this journey would be. If you had told me then that it would consume three long years and then some, I would probably have given up right then knowing from a human standpoint that I could not make it. But in that moment, I read Romans 8:28 I could see the Hand of God working in our situation. Suddenly, it had meaning and purpose although in the beginning it seemed quite senseless. I was going to love God anyway. I was going to trust Him no matter what. So why such a horrible test? God was showing me that He is good. Oh, there you go again questioning my sanity. I would not know the Goodness of God that I do now or have the faith and confident hope in it if I had not gone through this awful time.
Matthew 19:16-22 (NLT)
Someone came to Jesus with this question: “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” “Why ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. But to answer your question—if you want to receive eternal life, keep the commandments. “Which ones?” the man asked. And Jesus replied: “You must not murder. You must not commit adultery. You must not steal. You must not testify falsely. Honor your father and mother. Love your neighbor as yourself.’” “I’ve obeyed all these commandments,” the young man replied. “What else must I do?” Jesus told him, “If you want to be perfect, go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” But when the young man heard this, he went away sad, for he had many possessions.
When the young man came to Jesus, his intentions were good. He wanted a closer relationship with God. He asked Jesus, “What good deed must I do to have eternal life?” Jesus replied to him, “Why ask me what is good?” Could it be that our Lord and Savior possessed a hint of sarcasm? Jesus said, “There is only One who is good!” God is good! The Lord then began to go through the various commandments and the young man said that he had obeyed all of them. Wow! I wish that I could say the same. So Jesus said, then sell all your possessions, give it all away and follow me. The young man was sad and walked away. We will do what we can do but when it comes to giving all of our expectation and personal security away to follow Jesus – most men walk away. I am no different from this young man, but the Goodness and Mercy of God is changing all that. The Lord doesn’t do this by removing things from our life or it would all be on Him. Instead, as God’s Goodness reaches us it changes our value system all together. What we once thought we had to have to live becomes unimportant compared to knowing Christ and following Jesus. What is good? God is good. For His Goodness to work out every detail of my life requires that all of my life be surrendered to Him. That’s the touch part that is impossible until we decide to pursue the Goodness of God found in righteousness. But who would choose such a pursuit willingly? Comfort breeds complacency in our life.
Romans 1:16-17 (NLT)
For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes—the Jew first and also the Gentile. This Good News tells us how God makes us right in his sight. This is accomplished from start to finish by faith. As the Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life.”
I am not ashamed of the Gospel but I used to be. Until the Word of God is activated in our life releasing His Power in us and breathing new life to us, it is not valuable enough to invest our time in it. I was embarrassed to tell others about Jesus because I had no idea what He had done for me, was doing in me and all that He had for me. I was clueless. I would read the Bible and found it boring enough to fall asleep every time. It was not until I needed His Power in my life. When I needed a miracle to heal our young daughter from debilitating asthma more than ten years ago, I decided that if His Word was going to work it was going to come alive now. I took every bit of faith that I had and just kept speaking it, praying it, repeating it and decided to just accept it as true before anything happened. The last morning of doubt brought me to my knees because I wanted to believe that God was good. I wanted to know His Love and Power in my life no matter what the cost. I had somehow become desperate to see God move in my life. It was no longer just about healing my daughter but I had to know my faith was in a genuine God who was real and trustworthy. For the rest of that day a war raged within me as my Spirit and flesh rallied for control. That night I read Lamentations 3:22-24 and became determined that His Mercy would meet me in the morning no matter what. I also read Habakkuk 3. Tomorrow had to be better, things had to change. They did. I went to the doctor with our young daughter in a cloud of praise. Everyone who I encountered who knew the ordeal with our daughter’s health asked if there was a change. I took her to the doctor that day and he said that she was indeed better. He then cursed our child saying that she would require strong asthma medications, “FOREVER!” In the words of my children, “Oh no, he didn’t.” Heaven and hell clashed as Jesus declared, “Not on my watch!” She was healed that day and has never taken another medication for asthma. I was convinced that my faith was secure and if God could do that miracle that He would continue to act as the “good” in our life. Yes, even when God met me broken and sobbing moments after being told our son has advanced stage cancer, I believed that He was good. When our faith attaches itself to the Goodness of God as real and credible, it changes our perspective in every situation, circumstance, hardship and even tragedy that we face. It give purpose and meaning to the unthinkable when we know that God is working out every detail for our good! God is good!
God gave His Only Son to make us right with Him again. This righteousness allows His Goodness to permeate and take over our life. However, it does not look like what the world wants us to think it will be like. It does not omit pain and suffering but exemplifies the Power of God in every situation. His Goodness is predetermined for our life. It is up to us to look for it by faith and hold on to it as our confident hope. It is through righteousness that we discover life. Jesus is our life.
Romans 7:13-18 (NLT)
But how can that be? Did the law, which is good, cause my death? Of course not! Sin used what was good to bring about my condemnation to death. So we can see how terrible sin really is. It uses God’s good commands for its own evil purposes. So the trouble is not with the law, for it is spiritual and good. The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin. I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t.
I used to think being a “good” Christian meant that you followed the Word of God letter by letter. As you grew in “faith”, that you never made mistakes and so God rewarded you with His Goodness. But then, I messed up. I mean I made a complete and utter mess of my life. Now what? According to many church doctrines, that was it for me. I missed the Will of God and His Best for my life. God’s Word shows us the way to life. The Law of God set forth in His Word is for perfection. Nobody’s perfect. We have all fallen short of the Glory of God. I am sure that all the people around the rich young man that came to Jesus thought that He was a goodie-two-shoes all along. Why wouldn’t they? He was obviously rich…ahem…I mean blessed. We put our value and worth in worldly possessions and the false teaching that those who are united with the Lord never go through anything. I send that lie of the enemy right back to the pit of hell. The Word of God is not to tell us all the ways we missed it but rather why we need Jesus and how to release God’s Goodness in our life. My sinful nature is going to fight for its own way all the way to the grave when it is finally silenced and laid to rest. But God’s Spirit is going to lead my spirit into forever. The Law is good. Sin makes us think it is bad. Jesus did not come into this world to condemn us. Sin already did an admirable job. Jesus came so that through Him every person could be saved and delivered from sin to experience the Goodness of God found by faith. To believe in God’s Word, Will and Way for our life gives everything we go through meaning. No longer is our struggle in vain. We don’t have to worry about all the bad things that happen to us because they will be good one day. Life without purpose is a tragedy. Recently losing my mother to her addiction that killed her body brings me back to my life verse, “God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” I must apply this verse to her death and look through it to see the good that is coming from it. All I “feel” right now is sadness at the wasted life and meaningless passing of my mother who was taken from me long before death intervened. But God has promised that even in this situation that He is working every detail out for my good which gives me hope in every hopeless situation of my life.
Psalm 84:10-11 (NLT)
A single day in your courts is better than a thousand anywhere else! I would rather be a gatekeeper in the house of my God than live the good life in the homes of the wicked. For the Lord God is our sun and our shield. He gives us grace and glory. The Lord will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right.
Bad things happen to good people. Bad things happen to godly people, too. The difference is that God’s Children have a promise attached to every problem that we face. God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His Purpose. God is calling you to deeper waters. He wants you to put your faith in Him completely. He gives us confident hope when His Promises are produced in our belief. If you are struggling with your situation today and cannot see God in your circumstances, then why not pursue Him where you know you will find Him. Get into the Presence of God. Go after His Goodness today. It will give new purpose and meaning to your life. When you see the Goodness of God manifest in your life, you will understand His Glory and strive to live in it. He will give you His Grace and Glory that produces overwhelming joy and peace. I don’t know how it works. I just know that it does and when you finally KNOW that He is good no longer will you be ashamed of the Gospel of Christ. You will have to tell the world that God is good! Revival begins when someone discovers that God is good and He lives inside of them!
Acts 10:37-38 (NLT)
You know what happened throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee, after John began preaching his message of baptism. And you know that God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. Then Jesus went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.