Psalm 84:10-12 (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. O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, what joy for those who trust in you.
Life is good. I know what the news says and the images on the media but innately life is good. God created this world, the earth, this planet to be a “good” place. Humans decided that they wanted options choosing to taste from the tree of good and evil because before that life was only good. Didn’t last very long did it? But if you think about it that is really how people approach life now. When things are good…God is good! When things are bad…the devil made me do it or God is just a fairytale myth and hardly credible. The Word of God says that “the Lord will withhold NO GOOD THING from those who do what is right.” I believe that. I do not always live what I believe though I strive to but the Truth of the matter is that God is always good. His Intentions for us are always good. He pursues us with His Goodness and Unfailing Love which are intertwined and connected. How do we find this “goodness”? Where is all this good that is supposed to be in our life?
Whenever I am called to assist my husband or my children in a task of putting something together or making it work, the first thing I do is to read the instructions. Why do you laugh? How will I effectively troubleshoot the situation without proper directions? This important step was relayed to me early in life by my dad. He insisted that his girls be properly trained in such things as to never be dependent on anyone else. Way to go Dad, it definitely has benefited me. But there have been times that I skipped this important step, namely long winter nights of “some assembly required” on Christmas Eve with the gifts of five children to put together. This error led to hours of frustration and sleep deprivation. By the time my assistance is requested, the person calling is usually completely frustrated in their efforts. When I begin to read the instructions, I am met with a glare and the customary “I did all that”. Well…if you did all that it would be working is my inner response usually held back by my desire to live. Why share all this? If we are not experiencing the Goodness of God in ALL of our life – it is a “me” thing or a “you” thing? God is always good. His Intention is to overtake our lives with His Goodness and change us from the inside out.
Genesis 1:27-31 (NLT)
So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. Then God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground.” Then God said, “Look! I have given you every seed-bearing plant throughout the earth and all the fruit trees for your food. And I have given every green plant as food for all the wild animals, the birds in the sky, and the small animals that scurry along the ground—everything that has life.” And that is what happened. 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.
Life was created to be good. How do I know? At the end of each creation day, God examined His Work and said that it was. He created light deeming it good. (1:4) He created the land and sea. Again, it was good. (1:10) He grew up all the vegetation and seed baring plants to continue the reproduction of all plant life. Yep, He said it was good. (1:12) He put the sun and moon in the sky turning them on and said, “That’s good, too!” (1:18) He filled the earth with animals and called them good. (1:21) After preparing a “good” place, He created His People in His Image and on that day the Lord said, “It is VERY good!” This world was created to provide and protect His People. God intended for this world to be a good placed. He filled it with good things. The best of all being people. What happened to all of God’s Goodness? It is still here. We just have to want it enough to pursue it again. Sin did not end goodness in this world. It just gave people another option other than God’s Goodness.
When our son was diagnosed with cancer, the next morning I was approached in the hallway of the hospital and posed this question, “How can you love and serve a God who would give your son cancer?” I laughed. Had to be a belly laugh because at that point I was exhausted and broken beyond humor. The Holy Spirit was shielding that person from the real me as I said, “I could tell you all the reasons why and you wouldn’t believe me. You are just going to have to wait and see what God is about to do!” That had to be faith because I wasn’t feeling it right then. It must have been the Holy Spirit because right then in that place someone was challenging the only hope I had of our son living. I think sometimes we fight and argue our stand for God not because we want to convince others but because we aren’t convinced ourselves. In that moment of complete desperation, emptiness, brokenness and despair, God had to be good. It was my only hope. How could I show someone that with a diagnosis of advanced cancer with an emaciated child wasting away in a bed? In that moment, the one thing that carried me through the next four long years was the belief and conviction that God was good! He had to be or our son would die. God’s Goodness brings us life. It is all around us. We just have to believe it to receive it. Do you believe today that God is good? Do you believe that underneath the smut and smog of sin that litters the earth is goodness? Do you believe that there is good in people? There is. Each person is given a seed of goodness called Eternity in their heart and given the chance to grow it will change the environment of our life for the better.
Deuteronomy 28:1-8 (NLT)
“If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully keep all his commands that I am giving you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the world. You will experience all these blessings if you obey the Lord your God: Your towns and your fields will be blessed. Your children and your crops will be blessed. The offspring of your herds and flocks will be blessed. Your fruit baskets and breadboards will be blessed. Wherever you go and whatever you do, you will be blessed. The Lord will conquer your enemies when they attack you. They will attack you from one direction, but they will scatter from you in seven! The Lord will guarantee a blessing on everything you do and will fill your storehouses with grain. The Lord your God will bless you in the land he is giving you.”
You are blessed. God blessed you with a future and hope in your creation. (Jeremiah 29:1) He recorded every single day of our life before we are born. (Psalm 139:16) What does this mean? God is not a man that would lie or change his mind – He is God. (Numbers 23:19) He has blessed our life ALREADY which means what we do or do not do does not influence whether or not we are blessed but rather it is using the Keys to the Kingdom by faith that we unlock that which holds our reward. You are already blessed. What opens the door of blessing in our life? Obedience. Ewww… it’s the “O” word. Yes, the “O” word is obedience. Everything we have been promised is with God in the life that He has provided. When we chose something else, He even made a bridge for our return. His Name is Jesus. You can have everything God promised and more than you can even think to ask for by simply moving your life into the Presence of God. A life committed to God walks in the Goodness and Unfailing love changing pursuit to acquisition. It were the people who chose to have less than God’s Best and all of His Goodness.
Genesis 3:1-6 (NLT)
The serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild animals the Lord God had made. One day he asked the woman, “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?” “Of course we may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,” the woman replied. “It’s only the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden that we are not allowed to eat. God said, ‘You must not eat it or even touch it; if you do, you will die.’” “You won’t die!” the serpent replied to the woman. “God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.” The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too.
I hate snakes. Lord, do I loathe them. The enemy came to Eve that day with a lie shrouded in the Truth. Yes, if she ate from the forbidden fruit it would not cause “immediate” death. Yes, if she at it she would immediately have her eyes opened and know good and evil. But what he didn’t tell her is that at the end of her natural life, sin would kill her forever. What he omitted was that knowing evil was of no benefit to her and would change her life forever. It would cause her to one day lose a child that she would endure much suffering to bear. We must know the Truth to value obedience, friends. If we do not equip our mind relying on the Holy Spirit to decide that God is good and make better choices then it is foolish to expect better outcomes. God is good. Life is good. We must choose goodness to experience its blessing.
Romans 8:24-30 (NLT)
We were given this hope when we were saved. (If we already have something, we don’t need to hope for it. But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.) And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. 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. For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory.
The first time our son was diagnosed the Lord gave me the verse Psalm 118:17 for him that says, “I will live and not die to declare the works of the Lord forever.” We made it through with that one… until the second diagnosis came about six months later. I was crushed looking for my word for this journey and the Lord gave me Romans 8:28 that is “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. May I point out that nowhere in that verse does it say expressly that you will live and not die but rather implies trust me and it will all work out. There would be four more relapses and a bone marrow transplant to follow and with each successive diagnosis this same verse was the anchor holding my faith in place with confident hope. It was through this process of trusting God that I have determined God is good. Long before our son was healed, it was engrained in me as we were continuously blessed in this ordeal. Cancer didn’t change us into who we are today but our faith in the Goodness of God has allowed us to see what He has placed in our life to provide for us, protect us and even bless us in the midst of the valley filled with a raging storm. He is always good. Life is good. We just have to be convinced. This hope is real. God is always good. There is goodness in this life for all those who choose to walk away from evil and refuse to accept anything less. But you have to know that He is good and believe it.
What area of your life is absent of the Goodness of God? Time to go back to the instructions and start from the beginning. Every good thing in our life can be confirmed in the Word of God. If you do what God’s Word says, you will have it. Each area of life surrendered to the belief that God loves you and is always good to you will yield a harvest of blessing just as He intended from the start. Evaluation of our life and examination of our heart will reveal the areas that need to be changed. Invite the Holy Spirit to align your heart with God’s Will and Way and He will. It’s His Job as our Helper to lead us to God’s Goodness and help us stay there. Obedience is a privilege not a responsibility. We cannot do anything to save ourselves or repay God for our salvation. Obedience is the opportunity to take full advantage of the Grace given to put us in right standing with God and enjoy the blessings hidden there. His Goodness and Unfailing Love were predetermined for our life. Good works do nothing to produce it just reveal it in our life. Life is good. God is good. You just have to live it for God to have all the blessings hidden her by Him. When I wake up in the morning I have decided to begin praising God for His Goodness that I will discover in this new day. Thankfulness is faith expressed in words when offered before the blessing comes. I want the Goodness of God to overtake me. I want His Unfailing Love to fulfill me. What about you? Say it with me today, “God is good so my life is good, too!” We make the difference in our life when we believe that no matter how things look God is good and life is too!
Psalm 37:3-6 (NLT)
Trust in the Lord and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper. Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires. Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you. He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn, and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun.