The Personal Goodness of God | May 22nd, 2022
Have you ever experienced a season in your life when you are ultra aware of the goodness of God?
You’ve probably received a gift where little thought was put into it, perhaps because the giver didn’t know you very well or didn’t care to put forth the effort into making it special. But when you receive a gift from a friend who truly knows you, listens to you, and has your likes and dislikes figured out, the gift is usually one that you absolutely love because it’s so YOU! It’s personal, thoughtful, and specific to your tastes.
Those are the kinds of gifts from God I feel like I have been receiving lately. I am discovering that God’s goodness is so personal!
Knowing every good and perfect gift is from above, these sweet blessings are definitely not random coincidences. Recently, I found myself in need of a seemingly small repair on my vehicle. I was told by a body shop that it would be thousands of dollars and months in the shop! But through the kindness of a friend in the auto business, I was able to get it repaired for under $200. That was truly a good and perfect gift from above!
Or how about the surprising email I recently received from a woman I met over a year ago who was looking for a personal trainer for her elderly mother-in-law? The day she reconnected with me to find out my availability was the same day one of my long-time elderly clients passed away. There is no way a comforting gift like that could be random!
We have all experienced unexpected, undeserved kindnesses and if we look for them, we would notice they are poured over us constantly. Why? Simple answer…God is good. He desires to be generous to us and wants to bless us in extravagant ways! It’s one of the many ways He draws us to Himself so He can have a relationship with us. He loves us that much!
Taste and See
Goodness is one of the attributes of God described so often throughout His Word. The Bible is filled with examples of how He has shown His goodness through undeserved mercy and overflowing generosity.
Psalm 34:8 tells us: Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.
“Taste and see” is another way of saying, “Try and experience what He has for you!” We can’t discover His personal goodness toward us without being in a relationship with Him.
The first step in having a relationship with God is turning from our sin and responding to His ultimate goodness of sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to become the perfect sacrifice so we could be fully forgiven.
Once we have believed in Jesus as our Savior, we can begin a real relationship with Him. Tasting of the Lord’s goodness comes through truly knowing Him. We get to know Him by spending time with Him in prayer and also by studying and meditating on His Word. That’s how we learn about His character and the many incredible ways He pours out His goodness.
Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good. 1 Peter 2:2-3
God’s Word, pure spiritual milk, provides essential nutrients for our spiritual health. It shows us how to walk in obedience. The more we get to know who God is, understand how much He loves us, and recognize His goodness toward us, the greater our desire to live holy before the Lord in all we do. His Word provides all the instruction we need. And we are rewarded with His abundant goodness when we live in a way that pleases Him.
For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly. Psalm 84:11
A Special Kind of Goodness
We know that God’s goodness falls on those who love Him and on those who don’t. As His Word says in Matthew 5:45, He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
But there is a great difference in the goodness of the world’s wealth which can be seen and felt yet never fully satisfies and the goodness experienced from dwelling in continual communion with God. Both are blessings – sun and rain – but oh, how much more rewarding and fulfilling is the goodness that comes from an intimate relationship with Him! It is a goodness independent of circumstances.
Whether we are going through a time of peace and plenty or hardship and turmoil, God’s goodness is experienced. When we make Him our refuge and closely abide in Him, He is our perfect protection and provision. It’s a much richer, fulfilling kind of goodness stored up and lavished upon those who belong to Him.
How great is the goodness you have stored up for those who fear you. You lavish it on those who come to you for protection, blessing them before the watching world. Psalm 31:19
I love the visual that Scripture expositor Alexander Maclaren (1826-1910) gives to describe the difference:
God does not put His best gifts, so to speak, in the shop-windows; He keeps these in the inner chambers. He does not arrange His gifts as dishonest traders do their wares, putting the finest outside or on the top, and the less good beneath. ‘Thou hast kept the good wine until now.’ It is they who inhabit ‘the secret place of the Most High,’ and whose lives are filled with communion with Him, realizing His presence, seeking to know His will, reaching out the tendrils of their hearts to twine round Him, and diligently, for His dear sake, doing the tasks of life; who taste the selected dainties from God’s gracious hands.
There are so many ways we experience tastes of God’s goodness. We can look around and view the beauty of His creation in the vibrant colors and breathe in the fragrant scents of nature. We see it in the loyal friends we are given to walk with us along our journey. We can find it in the ways God opens doors for us to use our gifts for His glory. He will never let them go to waste!
We can even experience His goodness in the hard times we’ve endured. Sometimes God’s good plan for us means we must go through a seemingly impossible challenge, a debilitating illness, losing a loved one, or giving up on a big dream. Whatever it is, we can rest in knowing He makes all things work together for good because of His eternal purpose for us in it and because He is good.
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28
God’s generosity toward us is truly overflowing and at times, even overwhelming! When we make it a point to “taste and see” through an intimate relationship with Him, we will begin to find the personal touches of His goodness in every part of our life.
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