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Is it a good idea or a bad idea?  Is something good or bad? We regularly face that dilemma.  Sometimes things seem like a good idea, and later we realise that perhaps it wasn’t such a great idea after all.   I shared last Sunday that Stephen took me away for a romantic weekend for our first anniversary.  He wanted to keep our destination a surprise, so he thought it was a good idea to blindfold me.  Except we were travelling on a very curvy road, and I’m a little prone to carsickness.  Let’s just say what seemed like a good idea turned out to be a bad idea.

We can be absolutely assured that God is good.  That is not a dilemma we have to ponder or decide, or realise in hindsight!  Scripture is unequivocal in declaring God’s goodness.

You are good and do good. 
 Psalm 119:68

Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good and His steadfast love endures forever!
Psalm 118:1

When we refer to God being good, we don’t mean “good” on a graded scale:  average, good, great.  We don’t mean it as a loose description – good food, good coffee or a good day. This is how one commentator describes God’s goodness: “The fact that God is good means that He has no evil in Him, His intentions and motivations are always good, He always does what is right, and the outcome of His plan is always good”

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.
James 1:17

God is the source of all goodness! Everything good in our life is ultimately because of Him. We are surrounded by evidence of the goodness of God – the beauty of creation, His love for us, His provision, His care and kindness towards us.   The ultimate expression and evidence of the goodness of God is the cross – God’s answer and triumph over evil and sin, in our world and in our own hearts.   Jesus entered into our suffering, He died in our place for our sins, and now invites us into relationship with Him. 

The first book of the Bible, Genesis, tells us the story of Joseph.  He was favoured by his father, Jacob, which made his brothers very jealous. The short version of Joseph’s incredible story is that his jealous brothers sold him into slavery. In slavery he initially prospered in Potiphar’s house and was appointed to a position of trust, until Potiphar’s wife falsely accused him and he was thrown in jail. In jail he again earned a position of trust, but even those he helped didn’t help him. Until one day God raised him up to interpret Pharaoh’s dreams, and he found himself second in charge of Egypt and in charge of preparing the people for a coming famine.  Eventually Joseph reconciled with his brothers when they came to seek help from Egypt, not realising they were seeking it from their own brother. He was reunited with his Father.  Later when his father died, his brothers were concerned that Joseph would seize the opportunity to pay them back for their treachery when they sold him into slavery many years earlier.  They went to Joseph, asking again for his forgiveness. Joseph replied:

As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.
Genesis 50:20

God is good and does good!  Even when evil is intended against us, God brings about good.  Whatever circumstances, challenges or trials we face, God can use them for good. Nothing can thwart His purposes or plans.

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
Romans 8:28

Do we simply say that God is good?  Or do we believe that God is good?  Knowing God is good changes how we see God and how we see our circumstances. It may not make them easier, but we know that even in the midst of them God is working out His good purposes.  God can only do good. We can know that and trust that.

Charles Spurgeon used to say, “God is too good to be unkind, too wise to be mistaken; and when you cannot trace His hand you can trust His heart.”

God is good!  When we grasp that, it becomes a reason for great hope.

Your Care Team Pastor

Ps. Donna Hill