God is Good All the Time

My dear brothers and sisters, don’t be fooled about this. Everything good comes from God. Every perfect gift is from him. These good gifts come down from the Father who made all the lights in the sky. But God never changes like the shadows from those lights. He is always the same.
—James 1:16-17 (ERV)

If there is something we Christians have failed in, it is in how we’ve presented God. God has been hugely misrepresented all through time, and it is saddening to realize that His children have played a big role in it.

There is a reason why God gave us His Word. The Word of God is supposed to inform and shape how we see Him. God reveals Himself to us in His Word. It is impossible to have a correct knowledge of God outside His written Word. This is a truth us charismatics, who have a tendency to wander into weird conclusions in the name of being led by the Spirit, need to get!

There is an enemy whose agenda has always been to assassinate God’s character from the beginning of time. When the devil makes an appearance in the Bible for the first time, he lies to the first couple that God is stingy and His Word is false. They bought the lie and the world since then has never been the same. The Fall happened as a result of deception. Man lost everything God had given him simply because he believed the lies of the adversary.

The devil still deploys this tactic today. Over the years, the Church has been lied to by the devil concerning the real nature of our God and as a result, we’ve projected this distorted view to each other and to the world as truth without the slightest suspicion that it is error.

Today, there is a powerful saying the Church is known for: “God is good all the time, and all the time, God is good.” What a powerful statement that captures the reality of who God is! But to many of us, we just utter these words to one another religiously on Sunday devoid of the weighty revelation they carry. We don’t believe He really is that good since we have been conditioned by the enemy’s lies that He isn’t.

Being omniscient, God foresaw that there will come a time when lies attacking His goodness will bombard His Church from all corners, and He did something about it. He told us in His Word to not be fooled by those lies, because He is good all the time, and every good thing that there is comes from Him.

In his epistle, James was addressing Jewish believers who were displaced from their homes — they had escaped persecution of Christians which was rampant at the time (see James 1:1). And in reaching out to these refugees by way of letter, he assured them that God had nothing to do with the nasty things they were going through. He must have known that they — like all of us have, are and will be — were tempted to conclude that God was behind their troubles.

How many times have you heard the Body of Christ teach that God is behind the bad things we go through? Instead of disassociating God from them entirely as His Word clearly does, Christians go around saying stupid stuff like “God allowed it for a reason to teach you a lesson and to strengthen your faith and character,” something the New Testament never says. I say the New Testament because many Christians are yet to understand how the cross changed things.

In the Old Testament, God was still good all the time even though we do see Him do bad things to people. But the reason why that was so was because of the covenant between Him and man that existed at the time.

Under the Old Covenant of the Law, the terms were if man obeyed the whole Law perfectly, he would experience blessings galore; if he breaks just one command, he would be guilty of breaking the whole Law and thus, he would experiences curses untold (see Deuteronomy 28:1-2, 15; James 2:10). And because God is a covenant-keeping God, He had to keep His end of the deal (see Psalm 89:34). He was still good, but being a just God, sin just had to be punished.

Prior to the cross of Jesus ever since the Fall, there was no righteous foundation for man to experience God’s goodness. God was always good, but because justice demanded that sin be punished, there was no righteous basis for Him to lavish sinful man with His goodness. His goodness and His justice were at variance — His goodness was for man, but His justice was against man.

Faith comes alive when the revelation of God’s goodness permeates your understanding.

At Calvary, Jesus reconciled God’s goodness and God’s justice so that they can all be on man’s side. In His goodness, God gave us His Son, who bore the full penalty for all our entire lifetime of sins as justice demanded, so that in His justice we can be objects of God’s goodness all the time no matter our performance under the New Covenant today. This is what Jeremiah prophesied about when He said, “And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from doing them good; but I will put My fear in their hearts so that they will not depart from Me” (Jeremiah 32:40 NKJV).

The work of Christ at Calvary did not make God to be good; He has always been good. Rather, what Jesus did at Calvary qualified us to be recipients of God’s boundless goodness. Today, because of the finished work of Christ, God has a righteous foundation to be to you all the time what He always has been — good. Even when you sin, God will still do you good and be just in doing it because Jesus bore the bad your sin deserved.

And as if He knew this would be misunderstood to mean we can live in sin all we want because He will still be good to us anyway, He said through Jeremiah that His non-stop goodness toward us will inspire in us worshipful fear towards Him. The goodness of God can never produce sinful living; on the contrary, it always leads to repentance, that is, to a change of mind that results in a change of lifestyle (see Romans 2:4). When you believe that God is always good to you, you will inevitably walk in good works.

The Bible is clear. If it is good, it is from God. If it is bad, it is from the devil. There is no grey area. Jesus said, “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). This is one famous verse that’s also one of the least understood. In it, Jesus draws a line that seperates bad things from good things — the devil causes the former, but He the latter; the former are not His will for you, but the latter are.

I like giving this illustration. The word devil is spelt D-E-V-I-L. If you drop the letter D, you remain with the word evil. On the other hand, the word good is spelt G-O-O-D; drop one O, and you remain with the word God. In other words, every bad thing that there is traces its origin back to satan, and every good thing that there is traces its origin back to God.

The world and all that were in them were good and perfect until the devil stepped into the scene. In the perfect world that God had created, there were no bad things like sickness, poverty, defeat, anxiety, bondage and death; these things came to be after the devil deceived Adam and Eve. Indeed, he came and stole, killed and destroyed. Don’t fall for the lie that God does bad things and the devil does good things. God has no bad things to cause just as much as the devil has no good things to cause.

Why is it so important for you to be established in this truth?

Because it will determine the quality of your relationship with God and the life you live.

If you believe the bad things you’re going through have been caused by God, you’ll rebel against Him. You’ll be angry at Him; you’ll murmur and complain against Him and struggle with questions like, “How can a good God do bad things to people?” and “Why do bad things happen to good people?”. You’ll want nothing to do with Him, and this will affect your experience of intimacy with Him. Just like in human relationships where we tend to distance ourselves from people who cause others harm, you’ll inevitably avoid and run away from Him.

And if you believe that God has allowed that bad thing in your life for your own good, it will paralyze you from believing Him for a turn around. You’ll settle for it as God’s will for you when in truth, it isn’t. Also, if you believe that sometimes God is good and sometimes He is bad, this double-mindedness will keep you from receiving the good things of God (see James 1:7-8).

Faith comes alive when the revelation of God’s goodness permeates your understanding. The day the saying “God is good all the time” will become a revelation to you, you will put your faith to work and believe God for His good and perfect gifts. You will draw the line in the sand and reject every bad thing in your life. You will not settle for anything less than God’s best. Hallelujah to the Lamb of God!

Unless stated otherwise, all quotations and citations of Scripture are from and refer to the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible, and the italics or any other emphasis added on them is mine. If you’d like to be born again, click here for help with that. Follow me on Twitter @_CharlesMwendwa.

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