“The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and He knows those who trust in Him” (Nahum 1:7)
I read somewhere that the simple affirmation that God is good is a wonderful and marvelous thing to consider.
It is certainly true. Think what an all powerful, all knowing God who is everywhere at once would be like if he was not also good. Perfectly good and unchanging.
Imagine even a god who is good today but might change his mind at any given moment. What a frightful thing to contemplate.
A. W. Tozer believed (and rightly so, I think) that we tend, “by a secret law of the soul” to gravitate toward our mental image of God and that in so doing, over time, we grow to resemble that mental image.
As a result, Mr. Tozer was convinced that what comes to your mind when you think about God is the most important thing about you. Lofty thoughts of God bring us into a more pure worship and careful walk, while low thoughts of God defile us as our deceitful hearts ultimately corrupt that walk.
The bottom line is that you become what you believe about God. Now, that is not to say that this happens apart from the ministry and work of the Holy Spirit but that He works through our thoughts and meditations upon who God is.
If we conclude that God is who He says He is, a good God and that He has our best interests at heart, then we naturally hold that His Word is true and the necessary guide for all of life. One thing leads to another and another and we are transformed by the Holy Spirit into the image of God, the Son.
Make no mistake, the goodness by which God makes possible our reconciliation, and by which He will one day judge the world, doesn’t mean that all will be saved and none lost (Romans 11:22).
To commit sin is always, in one way or another, to refuse the benevolence of God’s will and if we’re lost in eternity, it will be the consequence of having refused that love for so long that time ran out (John 3:16-19).
Some will simply not accept God on His terms, and we’re told that these will experience, “everlasting separation from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power” (2 Thessalonians 1:9).
It is not so much that God sends them to eternal punishment as that He allowed them the freedom to choose and they will not have for all of eternity that which they chose while choice was still theirs. God will not force His goodness upon any whose final choice is to refuse it.
But no one needs to reject the truth about God’s goodness. Peter wrote that we can entrust ourselves “to a faithful Creator” (1 Peter 4:19).
This truth is far reaching. Whoever truly comes to terms with the unfailing goodness of God will never again treat sin or future concerns in the same way.
A deep, grateful confidence that God is good will win the war against both wickedness and worry.
Pastor David M. Grey
Mt. Pleasant United Methodist Church