The other day someone told me, “I have so much difficulty believing in the goodness of God because of all the evil and confusion that I see in the world.” Wow! Here was a person that seemed open to the idea of God, but was struggling to reconcile personal life experiences with how they had defined God should be and how God should behave.
As I was considering how to respond to this comment challenging the goodness of God, it seemed too empty to simply state that the evil, the confusion in the world is not from God. It was important for me to take a positive approach. I knew I didn’t need to be defensive and God certainly didn’t need me defending Him.
After establishing that this person believed Jesus had in fact died for their sins, I decided to wonder out loud with them. Let me explain. It was easy for us to agree that life isn’t fair. We both admitted that we longed for justice when wronged, but also wanted to receive grace when we were the wrongdoer. Funny how that works?
As we continued to talk I asked them to, “…try and picture the Sinless One, the epitome of innocence, willfully hanging on a cross, shedding His blood for the sins that we have and will commit. On the day of His crucifixion no one could bring a charge against Him. Yet, He was sentenced to death. Jesus gave up His life. But, for what? Talk about injustice! What’s fair about that picture?”
Believing in the goodness of God can be difficult, especially when one is faced with unfair circumstances. However, God’s goodness is in His plan and purpose to redeem fallen mankind. The salvation that His Son, Christ Jesus provides is testimony to His goodness and love. Romans 5:8 says: “8But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
Because one sinned, all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory. The consequence of Adam’s original sin is indeed universal. Every person that has ever lived on this Earth has contracted that dreaded disease from Adam. The heart of mankind is evil. Just like Crabby Appleton, in the old cartoon Tom Terrific, the heart of man is ‘rotten to the core.’
God’s Offer of Divine Grace Is Also Universal
I bet whether you find yourself attending church gatherings or not you are familiar with John3:16. The guy with the multi-colored hair at all the NFL and NCAA football games has made sure of that by holding his simple sign that says, “John 3:16…” “ 16For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” Verse 17 goes on to say, “17For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him” (John 3:16, 17).
God’s goodness is in His plan to end the schemes of the evil one once and for all. We can rest in His goodness because of His promise to make all things right, all things new (Revelation 21:5).
Upholding all things by His wisdom and power, God gives us the gift of life because He is good. God loves you and wants to spend all of eternity with you. His goodness has provided a way for you to receive the most precious gift of all. A gift that releases you from the penalty of sin and gives life everlasting in His presence.
The Greek word translated “goodness,” is agathosune. This Greek word can more specifically be defined as an upright heart and life. Godly goodness is a goodness for the benefit of others.
The “Fruit of the Spirit” called goodness can best be described as holiness in action. It can only exist in a life that is motivated by righteousness and deeply desires to be a blessing to others. Goodness cannot be generated or manufactured on our own. Expressions of goodness can come in all shapes and sizes. Creative goodness is as vast as the Holy Spirit of God.
James 1:17 says, “ 17Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights.” As you and I seek God in obedience and allow the Holy Spirit to control us, we are blessed with the fruit of goodness.
There is indeed evil in this world. Many of the things that occur in our lives seem unfair, unjust and we will never fully understand it all. However, God’s good plan is redemption and restoration. As His child we have been set apart for His purpose. This act of being set apart is called sanctification. Because we have been sanctified we can walk in His goodness. By the power of His Spirit, we too, can be a person of holiness in action. The fruit of goodness can be real in your life! I once read that, “I need Jesus Christ for my eternal life, I need the Holy Spirit for my internal life.”
Salvation is God’s good and perfect gift to anyone that will place their faith in the person of Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour. Our goodness is in a holy and pleasing life lived to the glory God, driven by a heart filled with gratitude for the perfect love that God shares with His children. For you see goodness is love’s character.