“God is great, God is good, and we thank Him for this food!” This simplistic little mealtime prayer taught to children addresses, among other things, the goodness of God.
The Bible is literally brimming with references to the goodness of God. The following brief synopsis mentions just a few. Psalm 52:1 says that, “The goodness of God will continue forever.” Romans 2:4, emphasizing that it is God’s goodness that provides forgiveness and salvation states, “…the goodness of God leads you to repentance.” And 1st Peter 2:9 indicates that a Christian’s lifestyle should, “…show others the goodness of God.”
I read recently about a young man who was taking flying lessons. His instructor, who was a seasoned veteran noted for both his kindness as well as his skill, told his student to put the plane into a steep and extended dive. The inexperienced pilot obeyed, but was totally unprepared for what happened.
After a short time following the dive, the engine stalled and the plane began to plummet out of control. To his horror, it seemed to the novice that the instructor was not going to provide any assistance. After a few seconds, which seemed like hours, his mind began to function and remembering what he had previously learned, he corrected the situation.
Flying straight and steady once again, he turned indignantly to his instructor and began to vent his post-panic frustrations. His instructor calmly replied, “There is no position you can get this airplane into that I cannot get you out of. If you want to learn to fly, go up there and do it again.”
I was reminded, by the preceding account, that the goodness of God is not only a theological attribute or characteristic of God, but a foundational truth that every believer needs to embrace.
But I am also reminded that like the young pilot, we sometimes doubt the goodness of God and His ability to come through for us. This is a sad thing, as to doubt God’s goodness is to doubt His promise to sustain us in the ups and downs of life’s situations (and there are many of them).
The goodness of God gives me confidence that there is no situation or circumstance in life that God cannot bring me through. I concur and conclude with the words of the psalmist. “But I believe I shall enjoy the LORD’S goodness in the land of the living” (Psalm 27:13).
— Pastor Ross Helgeton is senior pastor at Erskine Evangelical Free Church